Between our precision tools and our 80+ years of combined experience we can perform the best of service. When a clock comes in for repair, it always goes through the same basic procedure.
A clock repair 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 a 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. Then rinsing is required, followed by the drying process and then oiling.
The last step is to rebuild the clock movement followed by testing. If it fails in testing, all this is done again.
There is a fee of $100 to take the movement in and inspect it. This fee includes a cleaning of the movement, the movement will look like new as we have the best cleaning solutions and machinery.
Here we have before and after pictures of a movement cleaning, and in no way is this the most dramatic, it is a typical cleaning. The old oil is removed and the plates brightened, and the movement will last much longer. The enemy of a clock movement is the dried up old oil as the friction from the moving parts with the dry oil, creates wear in the outer plates pivot holes.
The only way for us to see what is really going on with the movement is to clean it first. This is a non refundable fee and would be included with the movement shipped to us. This fee includes diagnosing issues and presenting the movements situation to the customer.
Below is a basic guideline for what it could cost for a repair. If the clock needs special work, gear cutting, or replacement parts,then additional charges will apply. The $100 fee will be in addition to these approximate repair quotes. The three train units are the hardest to give an approximate quote as some are very tricky such as large tubular bell units.
After packing up the movement, please send it to Clockworks, PO Box 339, 124 Goss Hill Rd, Huntington MA 01050. Our phone number is 800-381-7458 and the email is email@example.com if you would like to let us know that its coming.
Please be sure to include your contact information and briefly explain the problem. There is a fee of $100 to take the movement in and inspect it and should be included with the movement when shipped.
This fee includes a cleaning of the movement, the movement will look like new as we have the best cleaning solutions and machinery.
Please send the movement only along with a note saying how much each weight weighs (if weight driven) and your contact information.
Please do not send keys, dial, hands, chime block, weights or pendulum as we have them here in the shop.
We are not responsible for any clock case damage that is shipped to us. Please do not send the clock case.
We do not work on alarm clocks, electric clocks, Anniversary clocks or Cuckoo clocks. Most of the time, alarm and electric clock parts are obsolete and simply not available to repair these movements.
Anniversary clocks ALWAYS get the suspension spring kinked in shipping no matter how well it is packed, or by the person setting it back up.
Cuckoo clocks are extremely prone to damage because the entire clock has to be shipped and the cases do not hold up well in the shipping process.
When packing up the movement, take special care to protect the hand shaft as this is hard to correct if it gets bent. This is the shaft that the hands go on to tell the time.
You should pack the movement up well with newspaper and bubble wrap, or put the movement in a plastic bag and then use peanuts. If you use peanuts, please DO NOT let the movement get peanuts all up inside of it. Make sure you place the movement in the box with the hand shaft pointing up.
Once you have the movement packed really well in a box, pack it again in another box with more packing material. Double boxing provides extra cushion for the movement as it travels to minimize the possibility of damage.
To remove your movement to send it in for Clock Repair, take off the hands by holding the minute hand and turning the minute hand nut to the left. Once this nut is off, the minute hand will come off. To get the hour hand off, twist it and pull it toward you and it will come off as it is only a friction fit.
Remove any weights or pendulum that may be on the clock. Take the screws out that hold the movement in place. In grandfather clocks, these would be on the bottom of the movement going up to the outside arbors; for mantle and wall clocks they would be toward the front or back of the case.
The dial on most grandfather clocks are either attached to the case or to the movement itself. If it is attached to the movement, unclip it off of the back side of the front plate of the movement.
If the clock was made after 1965 then it is usually available brand new and we would have it in stock. This makes even more sense than getting your clock cleaned and oiled.
The movement would be exactly like the movement you now have only brand new with factory improvements. What is meant by factory improvements is that as they see the clocks performance over many years, if anything can be improved upon then they will use this improvement on movements that they are making. This sometimes includes bronze bushings in key wear areas to make the clock last longer than it did in the past.
If a clock movement is sent to us for a repair, we can clean it and oil it, repair it and put bushings in it all we want, but it’s not going to be as good as a brand new unit from the factory. In this case, having us clean your clock movement is only recommended after you have attempted to put the clock in beat per the instructions, and you have confirmed that your particular movement is no longer in production.
This link will help you find a replacement movement by letting you determine the manufacturer of the clock movement, tell you if it’s still in production, and if it is, where you can purchase the movement brand new from our site.
If your clock movement is not in production anymore and available new, the clock would need to be cleaned, repair any worn parts, oiled and tested.
Oil solidifies over time and becomes an abrasive rather than a lubricant. The old oil must be removed and fresh oil put in its place. Often enough the clock has not been cleaned in a very long time. This means the oil has solidified and instead of lubricating the mechanical components as it should, it is doing the opposite and the oil is wearing things out.
Sometimes you can see the solidified oil and sometimes you can’t as it may only be in the round pivot holes of the movement and the pinions that the gears mesh into. The parts that go through the outer brass plates and spin inside of the holes are called pivots; the holes are called pivot holes.
What gets worn out, or what makes the clock not function after a while, is that the pivot holes become oblong instead of round. When the pivot holes are oblong, it creates friction on the pivot and also the gears mesh together further and this stops the clock from one or more of its functions (Time, Strike, or chime.
If going with the mainspring replacement because the clock is still in good shape or out of production new, then if you choose to send the entire barrel with the mainspring in it, we can swap it out for $30.
We will take out the mainspring and measure the width / thickness and approximate length and then install the correct spring back into the barrel.
If doing this please send to Clockworks PO Box 339 Huntington MA 01050 with your contact information.
It may be best also to send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can look out for the package.
It will end up being the 30 charge, and then add the price of the mainspring as stated in the below chart, and then shipping back to you.
I am James Stoudenmire, the person writing all this, and I am a Clock Maker. I am 45 years old and have been working on clocks my entire adult life. My Uncle introduced me to my first clock when I was a young man and I have been hooked ever since.
It is funny how things work… after my clock lesson with my uncle in 1992, about two days later, I met a Jeweler who was very big into clocks. I worked for this Jeweler for some years for free, supporting myself by other means during the time I was in training. Working at no charge was the only way I could convince this man to teach me the valuable knowledge of what he knew about the trade. When he had to pay me, it was all work with no personal teaching of the things I needed to know. Working for free, he loved the fact that there was no pressure in keeping me jumping around and trying to validate the cost I was incurring while training. I could tinker, and ask questions with no pressure.
This was a man who would purchase watch and clock supplies from retired watchmakers and resell the parts at the NAWCC shows and the like. He even ended up with a watch supply warehouse, completely untouched, from the 1940's at one point and it took years to sort all the parts and sell them at the shows. I would sort the parts, wake up early and go with him to help him with the shows. Sometimes we would go long distances to National watch and clock shows throughout the country. The Jeweler’s name was Ludwig Goldsmith. He is unfortunately deceased now from a sudden stroke that occurred in 2014.
My Uncle's name is Robert Tonkin and he is now 85 years old. He is still running his clock shop from his house and barn in New Hartford, CT. If you are local to him, his business name is Nepaug Clockworks and he is taking in repairs also. He is a man that served in the Korean War when he was younger and then started working on clocks as a profession soon after. He has never stopped! He still does some specialty work for us when we get inundated with clocks to repair.
Once in a great while, we will get together and go to the NAWCC Museum (National Association For Watch and Clock Collectors) in Bristol, CT. Occasionally, he will come to my house for a few days and we talk about clocks; the troublesome repairs we have run into and the creative solutions we have had to implement to solve the issues.
These events acted as a catalyst for my clock career. I had opened up a clock repair center in Westfield, MA for some years. This was the same time the internet was in its early development, so I was the first person to create a clock website offering parts and repairs online. I was selling clock parts on Ebay under the name of “clockworks”. I then bought the domain name, “clockworks.com”, soon after from a private party thinking it was nice to have found the same name as my Ebay name. The EBay name “clockworks” is still owned by me, although this website keeps me busy enough without any Ebay ads running.
During all the traveling, going to shows, sorting inventory from retired watch and clock makers, I have literally hoarded clock parts that I know are going to be needed for future repairs. I have been in this business a long time, and I can’t even think of a person or ever heard of a person, that has a larger inventory of old clock parts than I have.
I have accumulated masses of Seth Thomas, New Haven, Waterbury movements and the like. This is not inclusive of the warehouse of new parts and movements from modern quartz and mechanical clocks that are still in production. We sell the new parts on this website for the modern clocks, mainly of German origin.
As for the Antique parts, I save them for repairs and do not sell them. Many of the Antique movements that come in for repair are, of course, no longer in production and the only way to repair the unit is from parts from the same movement or to create / make a part. It’s a lot easier to find the same Antique movement from my collection and use a part from it than to create / make a new part out of metal stock.
I recall hearing, when I was younger, that ‘success is when preparedness meets opportunity’. Well, I am certainly the most prepared Master Clock Maker as far as your clock repair goes! I am not out to charge my customers all the money I legitimately could, I just truly enjoy working on clocks. I charge an honest fee and often times I end up working many hours longer on a clock then I need to, making sure it is flawless and runs like new.
I am accustomed to the fact that when I bring my 4x4 in for repairs, it’s not uncommon to spend $600 or more every time I bring it in to the shop. However, when it comes to someone’s clock that belonged to their father or grandfather - a family heirloom or a clock that holds tremendous sentimental value - people sometimes hesitate about the $200-$300 or whatever the cost may be to have it working perfect again.
Comparatively, the garage that fixes my truck will have the truck in and out of their shop in a couple hours, whereas I have to keep the clock for a couple of weeks while I am tweaking it and correcting things as time goes by. Please keep this in mind that Antique clock repair can be a slow process and could take sometimes a month or more to complete due to finding parts or redoing the movement because it failed testing.
Thank you for taking the time to get to know me and I look forward to working with you and your clock(s)!