By bending or pushing this verge back into position, and then listening to
the sound, you can make the clock go tick tock, tick tock rather than tock tick,
tock tick or ticktock ticktock which means the clock is in beat. This method is the same for most
mantle clocks, kitchen clocks, grandmother clocks, and grandfather clocks. Just
about all clocks are this way except for the 400 Day clock or the Atmos, which
are entirely different timepieces.
Clock is ticking OK but stops
If the clock is now in beat, meaning the tick and the tock
are evenly spaced, but then the clock stops after awhile, what now? Here are
some other common ailments that are meant to be looked into before going into a
cleaning procedure. Are the hands touching the dial, or each other? Bend the
hands so they do not touch.
Is the pendulum touching another object during its swing? The
pendulum cannot touch anything during its swing. It is commonly found in mantle
clocks that the wrong pendulum bob has been put on the clock. Bobs are lost
frequently like clock keys. If someone decides to replace the bob but hooks on a
fatter one then the original, it may bump into the movement during its swing,
even though the clock is level. Being off level is the most common reason for
the pendulum to be blocked during its swing. If a clock is not level side to
side and front to back, (or close) the bob may hit the case. It depends on the
clock. All clocks are meant to be level and in beat from side to side, but not
all clocks are meant to be perfectly level from front to back. The point is, to
keep the pendulum totally free from obstructions because it uses its own weight
and momentum to help keep the clock running. If it bumps anything, even
slightly, then it loses some momentum and the clock will eventually stop.
If these things do not fix the clock then it would be safe to
assume there is a general lack of power in the time train. It is time to give
the clock a good cleaning and check it over for excessive wear. If the old oil
dried up, then this would cause too much friction for the clock to run with the
weights power. Clean out the old oil and check for excessive wear at the pivot
holes. Pivot holes are explained in another section.
To get to this point means it is time to look for a
New Movement. Unless you find clocks as interesting as I do, then the time required to overhaul the movement is not worth it when you can get a New Movement, improved by the factory with bronze bushings, which will be more cost effective. It can be much more expensive to overhaul a movement because of the extensive time it takes to disassemble the movement, work on it, and then put it all back together again. Forget about the movement being sentimental when it comes to replacing it, keep the case sentimental, not the movement. If the movement is on our charts, then it is best to replace it.
No tick tock sound?
If you do not hear any tick tock from a mechanical clock,
even if the verge is moved back and forth by hand, this means there is a big
obstruction in the way of the mechanics of the movement. This could mean any of
1.The hands are touching something, bend the hands to freedom.
2. The chiming mechanics are out of
synchronization and they are doing something to stop the movement. If the chime
mechanics seems to be your clocks situation, it is recommended to read up on
these parts with our E-Book.
There are only two general methods that a clock synchronizes the chime
with what hour it is, these two methods are called Rack and Snail or Count
Wheel. Both of these involve many interactions between the arms inside the
movement (The arms are in the front of the movement in a rack and snail style
Rack & Snail movement
The weight chain or cable is pinched or
hung up somewhere. This can happen during the installation of a movement to its
case. See if the chain or cable is rubbing anything or getting pinched
Star cam not aligned correctly. These are the two star
like looking gears that are on the outside of the movement plates. One slips over
the winding arbor and one is near each winding arbor. Not all clocks have these,
but for the clocks that do, it can be tricky to get these correctly aligned if
not told how.
The only way these can get misaligned is to remove them, so if the winder
arbors were NOT removed from your clock movement, this would not be your reason
for stoppage. (winding arbor = the arbor with the square end that the key goes
on) Now for the people who did have the winding arbors removed, let's first
explain what the purpose of these stars are and then how to install them
correctly so we can get some ticking out of the clock.
These star like gears have a purpose of not allowing the weights to go to
far up or down. If you look close at them you will see there is one tooth that
is longer than the rest on the winding arbor star gear, and one tooth entry
point that is not as deep as the others in the other star gear. These gears work
fine until it gets to the point where the tall tooth hits the short hole and
this stops the clock. It does this to do two things: not let the clock get so
wound up that the weight and chain attachments go into the movement; and it also
stops the weight from dropping too low during running, where it will hit the
clock case bottom or run out of chain so it falls to the bottom.
These can be removed completely and not reinstalled if you choose. Just
don't wind the clock weights up so high the chain or cable gets caught up in the
movement. Risk being the weights end up at the bottom of the clock case about
the ninth or tenth day and you risk the opposite end of the chain getting stuck
in the movement. The fix for the star cams is not that bad, so you might as well
put them on as your supposed to.
Just wind up the clock to where you would like the weights to hang at full
winding, while you watch the action of these star gears. Then install the gears
so they lock at that spot while the clock is being wound up. At this spot there
should be plenty of room for the weights and its attachments to be free from
touching anything, and the clock not too top heavy that it will fall over on
someone when the door is opened. That's it, its done, the lower side will take
care of itself and stop in 8 days like it should
Chiming the wrong time
This section is for the clock that chimes at the wrong time,
or chimes the wrong amount on the hour. This usually happens when the clock is
laid down on its back and then later put back upright and attempted to run
again. It is easy to fix.
Understand these two points first before proceeding: Some
clocks do not like it when the minute hand is turned counter clockwise, so for
the beginners, just go by the rule that all clocks should only go clockwise with
the minute hand and you will be safe. In fact most clocks you can go backwards
just fine, they are designed like this so it is okay, but to be safe for the
sake of the few that can not go backward, go forward only. Also understand this
one other point; on just about all clocks, with the exception being newer
Japanese clocks and 31 day clocks, the hour hand is only a friction fit and can
be turned on the hour tube to any position on the dial, backward or forward. If
the hour hand becomes loose during this, just push back on its tube and it will
be tight again. Now that you understand those two points, to move the minute
hand forward only and the hour hand is usually only pressed on being a friction
fit, we can continue setting the clock chime.
To correct a mantle or wall clock that is bonging the hour
when the minute hand gets to 6 o'clock instead of 12 o'clock, just count the
bongs, take off the minute hand and reinstall it on the clock pointing to 12 o'clock, then turn the hour hand to the hour you heard the clock bong and its
done. To correct a clock that is bonging the wrong hour on the hour, just turn
the hour hand to the correct hour the clock bonged, then reset the time
correctly with the minute hand letting it bong as you go. Your done!
Quarter hour chime clocks
This section is for Westminster or other 15 Minute melodies
not chiming the hour, on the hour. If the clock is chiming prematurely only
about 5 minutes or so before it is supposed to chime, on most clocks you can
just take off the minute hand and turn the bushing that is in the center of the
hand one way or another so it is exactly on the hour when it bongs its melodies.
If the clock chimes the first quarter when it is supposed to be chiming the hour
or something similar, just remove the hands and put them to the time that it is
On many quarter chime clocks, they have a self correcting
feature and you should wait until a couple of hours go by after setting up the
clock, to see if it will correct itself. There is a short cut to this, simply go
around once or twice with the minute hand, letting it bong as you go. If a hour
or two has gone by and the clock is still singing the wrong song at the wrong
time, then remove the hands as stated earlier and put them to what ever time the
clock is bonging, then reset the time with the minute hand.
Cleaning - not disassembling the movement
Cleaning without disassembly is not as effective as breaking
down the movement, but it is sufficient in most cases. Not everyone is ready to
break down their clock movement and put it back together. We offer a
Basic Clock Cleaning Kit that is for the person who would like to do a
simple clock cleaning without having to learn an intense amount of clock
repair. The goal to cleaning a clock movement is to remove old oil that has
solidified and put new oil in its place. Solidified clock oil creates wear to
the movements outer plates and eventually causes too much friction for the clock
Disassembling and reassembling a movement for a cleaning
is a job that takes patience and some time to learn how the movement operates.
If these are not things you wish to invest, it is best to get a
New Movement from our charts that would
fit your dial, pendulum, weights and chime rods, they are usually in stock and
ready to ship.
If you are willing to learn how your Hermle operates, and
would like to clean and repair the clock yourself, it is best to start out with
the simple kit we have put together for this purpose. It includes The Clock
Repair E-Book that guides you through each step of this process and explains the
striking components so you can reassemble the movement and have it strike
correctly. You need the E-Book to assemble a striking movement, don't kid
yourself. I would not have written it if you didn't need it. It is too much
information to put in a typical HTML format such as this page because of load
time, so it is all in a downloadable zip file. This E-Book is included in the
Basic Clock Cleaning Kit. You get the clock cleaning solution,
the E-Book, a brush, a clock level, clock oil and a vision visor. The E-Book explains what
to do with these items.
There you have your options, get the
Basic Clock Cleaning Kit and start reading up on how to clean and oil your
clock movement, or just replace it with a brand New
Movement. You can start with seeing if the movement is available, and
if it is then try the clock cleaning kit and see if you can get it to work on
your own before making the new movement purchase.