A stable base for the movement is important.
Winding the clock.
Weight driven clocks should be wound until the weight is at the top of its run but without the pulley touching the seat board. This is important because it is possible for the pulley to jump from the line, and drop the weight. Spring driven clocks should be wound fully. However care must be taken as a single over tight winding is enough to ruin a mainspring. Wind until a sudden rise in resistance is felt, Do not go any further than this point. Fusee clocks and some clocks with stop-work have a physical mechanical stop point built into the winding mechanism and therefore cannot be over-wound.
Setting for Beat.
This applies only to pendulum Clocks.
Setting the clock 'level' is not the answer to running your clock.
'Beat' is the even and rhythmic tick achieved by a healthy clock. as the pendulum swings. Failure to set the clock in beat correctly will cause the clock to stop after a short period, it is a skill which is necessary to master as it is easily un-set by winding and hand-setting on some clocks.
Long-case clocks are recommended to be setup by a professional when they are returned from the workshop. We set them roughly in beat at the shop and only minor adjustment is needed on site. to do this, the movement must be tilted to one side by placing a wedge of wood or thick cardboard under one side of the seat-board, until a rhythmic beat is achieved.
Bracket/ Mantel clocks generally leave the shop in beat when on a level surface, but are easily knocked out of beat by a hard pendulum swing or moving with the pendulum in place. To adjust, tilt the case of the clock to one side by placing wedges (a penny or two is good) under the feet of one side until a rhythmic beat is achieved.
Wall hung clocks are similarly set in beat when level at the shop, but are easily knocked out of beat and fine tuning is always necessary. To do this, with the clock hung on the wall from its top bracket, tilt the clock one way or another until a rhythmic beat is achieved.
Support the hands towards the middle/base of there length while setting.
Never wind the hands backwards on any striking or chiming clock.
Always pause to let the clock strike before continuing.
If the clock is striking the wrong hour, try gently turning the hour hand separately to the minute hand until the dial matches the strike. This does not apply to all clocks so do not apply pressure if resistance is felt. On clocks with a count-wheel, a different approach is sometimes necessary. Count-wheels are sequential so by setting off the strike the necessary number of times we can re synchronize the clock. This can be done from the rear of the clock. There will be a wheel on the back plate of the clock with notches around its circumference, one of these notches will have a steel stop piece resting in it. Lift this stop piece and let it drop again, the clock will strike.
Initially when the clock stops, take a minute to have a close look for any obvious signs such as hands fouling each other or the dial, strike hammers being held up or the pendulum touching the weights or case. Make the obvious adjustments, or, in the case of hammers being held up, try lifting the hammers while the clock strikes out. Check the clock is wound. Next, give the pendulum a gentle swing. listen carefully to the ticking, it should be even and rhythmic. if not, refer to our setup guide at the top of this page ' Setting for Beat'.
The following is a list of common questions and comments we hear everyday.
Q. The Clock was running fine until I wound it.
A. It has most likely been knocked out of beat, take a look at our set-up guide. failing that, was there a loud bang or jerk from the spring whilst winding? if so the spring has torn and the clock will need professional attention. If you wound the clock whilst it was striking, you may have jammed the strike, back the minute hand off by 5 minutes to release the strike mechanism.
Q. I moved my clock and it wont run in its new position.
A. Did you remove the pendulum before moving the clock? if not you have most likely damaged the suspension, visit a repairer and expect a bill. Otherwise the clock is just likely to be out of beat, see our setup guide.
Q. I let the clock run right down and now it wont go.
Q. I think I over-wound the clock.
Q. You overhauled my clock three years ago and recently it keeps stopping.
Q. You returned my clock yesterday and it had stopped running by this morning.
Q. I've managed to keep it going for the past thirty years using spray lubricants
A. Spray lubricants are not meant for clocks and the result is often severe wear and a costly repair. We charge extra for the additional cleaning needed just to remove silicon based lubricants before the clock can be cleaned properly and overhauled.