To help answer some of the more frequently asked questions, we have complied a list answering them for you. They are arranged into the following four main categories: Top Five Questions, Clock Repair Questions, Clock Sale Questions, and General Clock Questions and Tutorials. You can either click one of the categories or scroll down the list clicking on the question that most interests you.
- How to oil a clock?
- How to wind a clock?
- What is a fusee clock?
- How to clean an antique clock movement?
- How to clean an antique clock case?
What types of clocks does TickTockTony repair?
What is the difference between an overhaul and a repair?
Does TickTockTony offer a warranty with clock repairs?
How much will it cost to get my clock repaired?
Does TickTockTony repair clock cases?
Does TickTockTony offer house calls?
What is a re-bushing?
What types of clocks does TickTockTony sell?
I live outside of California; Can I purchase an antique clock?
Does TickTockTony offer a warranty with clock purchases?
Will TickTockTony deliver and install my clock?
What does a pendulum do and do all clocks need one?
How do I adjust my clock?
How do I remove the clock movement from the case?
What is a rack strike-mechanism?
Can I turn move the clock hands counter-clockwise?
Why do some clocks have weights and others have springs?
I am moving, what is the best way to move my Grandfather clock?
How can I find out how much my clock is worth or how old it is?
Top Five Questions
Both weights and springs provide the power necessary to drive a clock. In general, weights provide an even pull throughout the entire period, whereas springs provide less power towards the end of its wind. To help compensate for the diminishing power, a Fusee clock evens out the power of a clock spring throughout the entire period.
British dial clocks have a large spring and a fusee barrel which allows the clock to run for eight days before needing to be wound. Without the Fusee mechanism the clock spring would supply the movement more power during the first three days of the unwind cycle than in the last five days. This would result in the clock running faster during the initial three days than in the last five days of the cycle. To help compensate, the Fusee barrel has a conical shape that increases the power transfer during the later part of the cycle.
A proper clock cleaning is a complex process and requires the movement to be completely disassembled. This process is typically referred to as an "overhaul". Clock movements are comprised of numerous interconnected gears which can be difficult to put back together unless you have experience. Therefore, most people choose to have their clocks cleaned by an expert. Please feel free to contact us about having your clocks movement professionally cleaned.
The only way to effectively clean a clock is to clean each individual part in an ultrasonic bath of a specialized cleaning solution. Upon being reassembled all pivot points need to be oiled and sometimes require rebushing.
Simply cleaning the plates does not remove the dirt from the bearings. Most damage occurs because dirt gets into the bearings and causes the holes to wear more on one side than on the other. When the holes get elongated, the gears grind and the clock stops working.
The mistake most often made by people is to think they can simply spray some WD40 on the clock gears and call it a day. In fact, applying WD40 is one of the worst things you can do to your clock. It will not fix the problem; it actually causes more harm than good. Spraying WD40 will cause particulates to buildup on the entire movement. This happens because a clock bearing only requires a single drop of oil to operate. Surface tension holds the oil in place.
When excess oil is present the weight of the oil is too much and surface tension will not hold the oil in place. As the gears rotate, during normal operation, the excess oil will spread throughout the entire movement.
After a while, the oil will no longer be in the oil sink and the clock will, in essence, be running without oil. Anyone who has used WD40 knows it's impossible to apply one drop. Additionally, clocks work best when a specialized synthetic clock oil is used.
Cleaning an antique clock case is a delicate process. Without great care it's easy to remove the clock's finish. Always keep in mind that antiques are supposed to have imperfections; they add to the clock's value. Likewise, removing an antique's original finish can substantially decrease its value. When cleaning your clock's case only use products that have been proven safe.
Antique clocks have a shellac finish. You should only use a high quality wax, like Briwax to clean it. To apply, use a soft cloth and cover the clock case using circular motions. I find it best to wax the case in sections, that way the excess wax is not left on the case for too long. After allowing it to dry for a couple minutes, remove the excess wax. After all the wax residue has been removed, buff with a new soft cloth.
The glass can be cleaned with regular household Windex. Spray a small amount onto a paper towel and use the paper towel to clean the glass. Never spray Windex directly onto the glass because it contains alcohol, which will damage the wood shellac. Make your clock's case shine by using the same professional grade wax we use.
Clock Repair Questions
We have over thirty years experience repairing and maintaining antique clocks. We can also repair your modern or antique grandfather, wall, mantle, fusee, and cuckoo clock. Although we specialize in English and Scottish clocks, we are fully capable of repairing most types of clocks. Unfortunately, we do not repair Atmos clocks or watches. If you're not sure about the type of clock you have, please give us a call.
To talk to us about having your clock repaired or overhauled, contact us.
Basically, an overhaul focuses on the entire clock movement, whereas a repair focuses on a particular issue. During our 11-step overhaul process, we completely disassemble your movement and perform a though inspection.
After documenting all of the parts, we clean them in an ultrasonic bath of a specialized cleaning solution. Additionally, we oil all pivot points and perform all necessary repairs and rebushings. Although we always oil the clocks we work on, we recommend a clock oiling be performed every two years. Having your clock oiled regularly helps ensure your clock will last for the generations to come.
A leading indicator that your clock is in need of an overhaul, and not just a minor repair, is when the oil point contains black or green residue. This residue is a mixture of old oil and brass powder, which is a sure sign your clock needs rebushing.
Below is an extreme example of clock plate wear.
All clock movement overhauls performed by Tick Tock Tony are warranted to be free from defects of material or workmanship for a period of one year from the completion date of the overhaul. The following exceptions apply:
- Springs, chains, or weight cables are not included in the warranty.
- Evidence of alteration or tampering by anyone not explicitly authorized by TickTockTony voids the warranty.
Clock movement repairs, performed by TickTockTony, are warranted to be free from defects of material or workmanship, to the extent of the repair performed, for thirty days from the completion date of the repair. The following exceptions apply:
- Springs, chains, and weight cables are not included in the warranty.
- Evidence of alteration or tampering by anyone not explicitly authorized by TickTockTony voids the warranty.
Tick Tock Tony is the only party authorized to perform warranty work.
We have a minimum service charge for all in-home repairs. The cost of the service call depends upon several factors - please contact us for pricing. The service call covers the first hour's labor and each subsequent hour is billed at $95/hr. Usally, we are able to repair or diagnose your clock within the first hour. Before taking your clock back to our workshop, we provide an estimate and credit the service call charge towards the final balance.
For more information about having your clock repaired or overhauled see our clock repair page.
Yes, we are experienced in all aspects of repairing cases. We have experience at color matching and are able to reproduce any missing or damaged parts. We only use traditional materials, such as shellac and hide glue, to repair clock cases.
To discuss about having your case repaired, contact us.
Yes, we come to your home or business. We can often repair your clock within an hour. To schedule a house call, contact us.
The inner workings of a clock's movement are held together by two brass plates. Clock gears are held in place by these two plates. Each clock gear has a steel pivot penetrating the brass plate. During normal operation the gear turns which creates a point of friction between the plate and the pivot. When oil is present, in the oil sink, friction is significantly reduced and wear on the brass plate is minimized. However, overtime the oil drys up and dirt gathers in the oil sink.
Without oil acting as a lubricant, the once round hole eventually becomes oval. If this is allowed to continue the clock gears get out-of-sync, and the clock will stop working. To repair the clock, a rebushing is required to make the oval hole round again. When a rebushing is performed, a bigger hole is drilled in the clock plate and a brass bushing is installed which reduces the hole to its original round diameter.
To the left is an example of
normal clock plate hole.
To the left is an example of a badly worn clock plate hole, caused by excessive wear. At this point a rebushing is required.
Clock Sales Questions
We sell many types of clocks and have a large selection available for you to choose from. We specialize in selling both English and Scottish antique clocks. We continue to add select antique grandfather clocks, antique dial clocks, and Austrian Vienna Regulators to our collection.
Click on one of the following links to check out our clock inventory:
Yes, we have sold clocks throughout the United States, and we have shippers capable of delivering and installing clocks to most countries.
Yes, we offer a one year limited warranty with all clock purchases, except clearance items. Please see our Terms and Conditions for more information about the warranty.
We personally deliver and install clocks to most homes within the Southwest United States. If we are unable to deliver your clock, we will work with you to ensure your clock gets delivered and installed by professionals..
Having purchased and sold antique clocks both domestically and internationally, has allowed us to foster relationships with reliable shippers who are experienced at handling antiques. Additionally, we will put you in contact with a local installer so that once your clock arrives someone will be there to install it for you.
General Clock Questions And Tutorials
A pendulum is comparable to your heart. It drives the clock by allowing power to be released at a precise rate. The potential energy, stored in the weights, is evenly converted into kinetic energy much like the beat of your heart circulates blood throughout your body. Longer pendulums swing slower than shorter pendulums.
Not all clocks require a pendulum to provide power; some clocks have a small wheel that oscillates against a spring. This is similar to how a watch works and is called the 'balance wheel' method.
The quick answer is no. However, there are hundreds of clock designs and some allow the clock hands to be turned counter-clockwise. For exampke, British bell strike clocks have two winding points, and you can turn the minute hand backward as long as you don't go past 12 o'clock.
Both weights and springs provide the power necessary to drive a clock. In general, weights provide an even pull throughout the entire period, whereas springs provide less power towards the end of its wind. To help compensate for the diminishing power a Fusee clock evens out the power of a clock spring throughout the entire period.
Because antique clocks are one-of-a-kind and can easily be damaged during transport, we recommend that you employ a professional. Because we ship clocks all over the world, we have extensive experience at shipping clocks and know how to secure your clock for a safe transport to your new home. If you are relocating to the Southern California area, Tick Tock tony can assist you. When the clock arrives at your new home we can be there to install it and ensure that it runs correctly.
Contact us about having your clock moved.
We will research your antique clock for you and provide both a price estimate and a date range of when it was made. Sometimes, we can provide literature detailing the history of your clock. Because we look at hundreds of clocks each week, we know how much clocks are worth. If you are interested in this service please provide us with detailed photos. The standard fee for us to research your clock is $125.
Contact us about this service.