Antique clock repair

8 Day American Replica

Solid brass movements that are excellent replacements for movements that are beyond repair or to put in a new clock. Accurately reproduced American style movement with heavy plates, oil sinks and front mount pendulums. The center shaft / arbor configuration will match up to many original dials. All styles come either just the movement or you can get it complete with hands, key, gong, gong base and pendulum. The "drop" is the pendulum length from the center of the hand shaft down to the bottom of the rating assembly.

Why order a movement?

When an antique clock movement has been repaired many times by non-clock repair professionals, the movement eventually gets to the point where it is no longer worth working on. Of course we don’t want to do this unless we have to, as we are erasing history when swapping out an antique clock movement, but sometimes it just makes a lot more sense. At least you can sell your old antique movement on Ebay and someone will use it for parts for their movement. You can have a new movement for your clock, but the clock will lose any antique value. The movement will not be of the same quality, but they do tend to last many years. These movements are tested and oiled and are easy to install.

What happened to the old one?

When clock oil gets old, it gets solid. Solid or semi-solid oil, creates wear. Wear is evident in the movement’s outer brass plate holes and also the pivots that spin inside of them. The pivots try to spin the best they can, but the solid oil is an abrasive rather than a lubricant and the hole they are spinning inside of become oblong instead of round. The pivot ends get worn and marked up, they also get pinched in the oblong holes, and have no lubrication. The gears mesh together too much as the holes in the plates are stretched out, and the clock ceases to function.


How to identify the movement

There really is no identifying markings on the movement that will help us here. We only have to take some measurements and match it up this way. First thing to do is to see if the old movement looks like the style we are offering here. This is the style bar movement that is used on many antique American time strike units. You would need to measure some things to be sure it’s a fit. The dimensions of the winding arbors in relation to each other and also the hand shaft hole in the dial will all have to match the below diagrams. This is to be sure it will fit the old clock dial and line up with the key holes to wind the clock. The next thing to measure is the “drop” this is the measurement of the pendulum from the hand shaft (the shaft in which the hands go on) to the very bottom of the pendulum itself. The one other thing to measure is the shaft that the hands go on, from the front plate of the movement all the way out. The old movement has to be out of the clock case for this measurement.

How to order a new movement

After you measure the old movements winding arbor to hand shaft hole in the dial, and the drop, and the hand shaft length, you’re ready to see if we have a match. The movements we have listed below are a replica of the most common antique American movements that were made in mass production. After matching up these measurements you can order a new movement from the drop down list below and then place your order. There are two choices, the movement alone for replacing a current movement or a kit that includes the movement / pendulum / hands / key / gong and base so you can swap out everything but the dial. For the extra $20 it may be best to get these added parts just in case you need them.

Time Only Mechanical

Antique clock repair

For Banjos, Shop Regulators, and School clocks that do not have a strike.

  • Plates: 3 5/16"
  • Min case width 6 /14"
  • Min depth: 3 3/4"
  • Drop: 13" to 18"
  • Hand Shaft 2"

Long Drop Clock

Antique clock repair

The long drop means the clock will have a longer overall pendulum length as described above at the place where it will keep the right time. These are very popular wall clocks that will sometimes have assorted pendulum styles. If replacing a unit, your pendulum will work as long as the drop is the same, or made the same, by altering the suspension wire and/or the pendulum to create the correct overall length from the hand shaft.

  • Plates: 5 1/4" x 3 5/8"
  • Min case width 6"
  • Min depth: 3 3/4"
  • Drop: 18"
  • Hand Shaft 2"
Antique clock repair

Short Drop Clock Kit

Antique clock repair

The short drop means the clock will have a shorter overall pendulum length as described above at the place where it will keep the right time. These are very popular wall clocks that will sometimes have assorted pendulum styles. If replacing a unit, your pendulum will work as long as the drop is the same, or made the same, by altering the suspension wire and/or the pendulum to create the correct overall length from the hand shaft.

  • Plates: 5 1/4" x 3 5/8"
  • Min case width 5"
  • Min depth: 3 3/4"
  • Drop: 13" - 15"
  • Hand Shaft 2"
  • Front pendulum
Antique clock repair

Notes on building a Clock

This kit does not include the clock dial. If you are building a clock, then a dial will have to be chosen, or made, and the winding holes to wind up the clock will also need to be drilled. This is an 8 day movement, so once a week it would need to be wound up. Everything else comes with this kit if you order the kit option. You would need to check the depth of the clock case and consider the movements minimum depth will be about 2 inches more than the hand shaft length. The pendulum length is called the DROP on this unit. The drop is the pendulum length from the shaft that the clock hands go on, down to the very bottom of the pendulum rating nut threads. This measurement is approximate and will vary if a different pendulum assembly is used, or a lighter / heavier pendulum bob is used.

Notes on Repairing a Clock

If just the movement option is selected, it will be a good replacement for many of the antique clock movements such as Sessions or New Haven and others. Be sure that all of the measurements listed match up with your current movement. This means that if you are replacing an antique mantle clock movement, be sure the hand shaft matches up and the distance between the hand shaft and the winders of the clock also match. The hand shaft is the shaft that the clock hands are on that tell the time. To get the length matched up, you would need the movement that is to be replaced out of your clock, and then measure the hand shaft from the front plate of the movement, all the way out to the end of the minute hand nut threads. The drop is the pendulum length from the shaft that the clock hands go on, down to the very bottom of the pendulum rating nut threads. This measurement is approximate and will vary if a different pendulum assembly is used, or a lighter / heavier pendulum bob is used.


Kitchen Style

Antique clock repair

Very popular table clock movement dimensions on Kitchen or Gingerbread cases. The drop means the clock will have an overall pendulum length described below at the place where it will keep the right time. If replacing a unit, your pendulum will work as long as the drop is the same, or made the same, by altering the suspension wire and/or the pendulum to create the correct overall length from the hand shaft.

  • Plates: 5 1/4" x 3 5/8"
  • Min case width 4"
  • Min depth: 2 7/8"
  • Drop: 9 1/4"
  • Hand Shaft 1 1/8"
  • Front escapement
Antique clock repair

Front Mount Mantle

Antique clock repair

Very popular mantle clock movement that will mount in the front of the clock on the dial side going in from the back of the clock case. The drop means the clock will have a shorter overall pendulum length as described above at the place where it will keep the right time. These measurements on the movement is a very popular replica of the Mantle clock movements produced in America in the early 1900s. You will need to double check the measurements below to be certain it will work for your clock case.

  • Plates: 5 1/4" x 3 5/8"
  • Min case width 4"
  • Min depth: 3 1/2"
  • Drop: 4 1/2"
  • Hand Shaft 1 3/4"
Antique clock repair

Instructions for Long and Short Drop Movements

These are 8 day American style clock movements. This means you should only have to wind this once a week. Here are some steps to mounting the movement and setting up the clock.


1. Setting the verge lock tab. This is a front escapement movement, meaning the pendulum is in the front of the clock. There is a part that has to be in place for the clock to operate before you mount the movement. So the part is the tab that comes over and locks the rocker pallets in place on the verge. The verge is the wire that whacks the pendulum back and forth as the clock tick tocks and travels up to the rocker arm that engages with the escape wheel. This is called a verge assembly and is only sitting on a post that sticks out the movement. For it not to fall off of the clock, there is a brass or steel metal tab that rotates up or down. This tab goes on the post that the verge is riding on, as to prevent the verge from falling off of the front of the movement. So with this tab in place the verge should still be loose and be able to freely rock back and forth as the clock runs.

2. Mounting the movement. To mount the movement on the clock case is the same as the removal of the old unit. Something to keep in mind as you mount this movement to the back of the clock dial and case, is to keep the winders aligned with the winding holes in the clock dial. Also be sure to keep the hand shaft in the center of the hand shaft hole in the dial. For this to happen you may need to bend up or down the movement mounts on the four corners of the movement.

3. Winding the clock. With the movement installed with its mounts and screws it’s now time to wind the clock. You can wind this clock ALL the way up, all the way up until it will not wind anymore. This movement cannot be “overwound”.

4. Getting the pendulum wire length right. You have ordered a clock movement with an 18 inch (long) or 13inch (short) drop. What this means is the pendulum length, where the clock will keep approximate proper time, is 18 inches from the shaft that the clock hands go on to the very bottom of the pendulum nut threads. So this is the length we need to verify when we put the pendulum wire on the movement. Notice on this pendulum suspension wire that one end has the spring steel and the other end has a hook. The end with suspension steel will go in the small slot of the movements suspension post located right near the escapement of the clock. If you look at the front of the movement you will see the escapement with the verge under it to make the tick tock sound, right by this area you will see a mount that has a slot in it to slide the top of the spring steel into. This pendulum suspension wire will hang on this post and then travel down through the brass verge wires loop and down to where the adjustable pendulum bob will hang.

5. Putting the adjustable bob on. This movement may have either come with an adjustable bob if you ordered the movement kit, or if you only ordered the movement alone you would be using your old adjustable bob. By adjustable, I mean there is a rating nut with threads under the bob. This allows time adjustment to be done. So when it’s time to set the timing on the clock, to turn the nut to the right and therefore raising the bob on its wire will speed up the time on the clock. The opposite is true for lowering the bob, this will slow the clocks time down more.

6. Adjusting the gong hammer. This unit is called a gong strike clock movement, so this means the clocks strike hammer will hit a spiral gong wire and create the gong sound that will count out the hours, and gong once on the half hour. So the hammer head is on a wire coming off of the clock movement. This hammer head is on a wire as it is meant to be bent approximately an eighth of an inch from the spiral gong. The hammer should hit the part of the gong in the center of the spiral that is a straight flat section coming off of the gong base. At this point it will give its best sound. Please be sure that the spiral part of the gong is not touching anything even slightly like the wooden clock case. If this spiral section is touching anything the clock will just make a thud sound and not the crisp gong sound.

7. Putting the hands on. First you put the hour hand on (the smaller of the two hands) on the clock hands post. This is only a friction fit and the tube it’s going on is tapered on its way down. Although you may not be able to see that the hour hand tube is skinny on the top and fatter on the bottom, when you put the hour hand on it you will notice the more down it is, the tighter it will be. So twist and pull the hour hand on its post and be sure it’s not going to rub anything in its travel such as the clock dial face. Don’t worry about where or what time the hour hand is pointing to yet, we will do that later. So now put the minute hand on, you will see the minute hand has an oblong hole on its end and this goes onto the oblong portion of the clock hand post. With the minute hand on its post its time to put the clock minute hand nut on the end and tighten it slightly. I say slightly as we still need to set the position of the hands during the strike. We need them to point to the right place when the clock strikes out the hour.

8. Setting the hands to the strike. Now with the hands mounted on the clock, you can turn the minute hand clockwise slowly to make the clock strike. This clock will strike one time on the half hour and then on the top of the hour it will gong out whatever time it is. So make it gong out the hour, any hour, and count the number of gongs. Let’s say the clock gonged 6 times, you will then point the hour hand to the 6, as it is only a friction fit you can move this one either clockwise or counter, it does not matter, just turn it so it points to the 6. Now the minute hand should already be at the 12 o’clock position now, if it is at any other time other than 12 you will need to take off the minute hand and point it to the 12 instead and put the nut back on. With the hands set to the proper place that the movement gonged, you can now tighten up the minute hand nut and then turn the minute hand in the clockwise direction to whatever time it is.

9. Putting the clock in “Beat”. In many cases the complaint with a mechanical clock is that it stopped working after it was moved. This is usually from someone moving the clock without taking the pendulum off and this puts the clock out of beat. Out of beat is a term used in clock repair that basically means that the clock is going tock-tick tock-tick instead of tick- tock- tick -tock. It is sometimes corrected by putting a matchbook or small piece of wood under one side of the clock case to make the tick and the tock evenly spaced. This can temporarily correct the problem and the clock runs fine. This method however is not as good as correcting the beat and having the clock run when it is truly straight and level.

So note that the pendulum rod travels up to a post on the top of the movement where it is mounted. In the middle of this pendulum rod, in the movement area, is a part that whacks the pendulum back and forth. This whacker is called a crutch. The crutch is made of wire that comes from the movement’s escapement and travels down to wrap around the pendulum rod to whack it each time the clock ticks and keeps it swinging. So now if the clock is out of beat (ticktock or tocktick, instead of tick tock tick tock) then you will need to adjust the crutches wire to change the beat. Just bend this wire that comes from the escapement to the pendulum, to the left or right a little and listen to the tick tock. Ideally you will have a level on the clock case and have it in beat while the clock case is sitting level. This way when someone else moves the clock here or there they will know to just use a level and the clock will be in beat at that same levelness.

The bending of the crutch wire is done just as to put an angle in the wire so the end piece that connects to the pendulum portion is pushed more to the left or right. Please note the part of the crutch that wraps around the pendulum rod, should be in a position that it is able to whack the pendulum rod in its swing and not ride the pendulum rod as it moves. So this part of the crutch that whacks the pendulum should be in a position that the pendulum rod travels through the center of the hole and not riding the back or front of this crutch wire.

So now the ideal situation is an even tick tock while the clock is sitting level. When this is accomplished you take the pendulum off of the clock, move the clock case to its home and be sure its level, and put the pendulum back on and swing it gently.

The two options for a functioning clock

If you have an antique American clock movement from before 1960 or so, the movement you have is no longer in production and not available new. So we are left with two options to get the clock working properly again:

1. Send in for Repair

The movement is no longer in production and not available new, however if you choose to send in the movement, hands, and pendulum (not the case) we can offer you an overhaul of the movement. A clock overhaul consists of the total dismantling of the movement, inspection of every pivot and every bushing hole to determine the best course of action with the repair process. Sometimes with broken mainsprings there is damage to the wheel train on the pinions and pivots, all this is looked over with magnification. Then we manually clean the clock parts with cotton cloth and peg wood to be sure we get off all the old oil that has solidified and became an abrasive rather than a lubricant. This tedious process is then followed by pivot polishing and rebushing, where it is required. After all this, it’s time for the ultrasonic cleaning machine with the clock cleaning solution. Then rinsing is required followed by the drying process. Then comes the rebuilding of the clock movement piece by piece and then testing for a week. If it fails the testing, all this is done again if needed. Please let me know if you are interested in this service. If you would like a quote in advance, please email some pics of the movement so I can provide a repair estimate for you.

2. Replace with a Replica

These movements are made in India and are reproductions of some of the most common American antique movements. So to do this is basically the last resort where the clock movement is beyond repair or just repaired so many times incorrectly. You will need to take the clock movement out of the clock case and do some measuring to see if it’s a match between yours and the replica movements we offer.

The first thing to measure is the pendulum length. This is measured the American way not the German way. This means you are measuring what is called the movements “Drop”. The drop is the length of the pendulum from the hand shaft all the way down to the bottom of the pendulum rating nut threads. If we have a match, then the next thing is to measure is the hand shaft length from the front plate of the movement all the way out to the end of the minute hand nut threads. If these are both a match to your old unit, it is time to measure the clock movements winding arbors from left to right, center to center, and then from the winding arbor to the hand shaft hole center to center. This will tell you if the clock dials winding hole will line up on the movement just as the old unit did.

If all these are a match then we can send the replica movement to you. They come in two different ways. There is just the movement, or you can get the movement kit that includes the key, gong, gong base, pendulum, and hands. It’s best to get the kit since it’s only $20 more and you can be sure to have all you need with some spare parts for your clock also.