400 Day Clock Operating Instructions

Lock or unlock the Pendulum

Before the pendulum is put into motion, which is the way the clock is started, it is necessary to get it into a free-suspended position.

The pendulum should be very carefully hooked on to the pin block on the suspension spring. Attaching the pendulum to the pin block (and detaching it when necessary) is a most important operation, and great care must be taken not to bend the spring even the least bit! Don't try to do it with one hand. It's best to hold the little pin block in position with the finger of one hand while "hooking" the pendulum on it with the other. (When removing the pendulum from the pin block, remember that the pendulum "hook" has to be raised slightly before the pin can be eased out.

Clocks with spring guards

These spring protection pieces, or guards, all located at the back of the movement, have different designs. Some just cover the pin block attached to the lower end of the suspension spring; others actually clamp the pin block so it can't be moved. The guard itself may be held in place friction-tight, or by a thumb screw. Whatever the design, this protection device must be raised up and away from the pin block and kept away.

With the pin block on the Anniversary Clocks suspension spring thus exposed, the Anniversary Clocks pendulum should then be very carefully hooked on. Attaching the pendulum to the suspension spring (and detaching it when necessary) is a most important operation, and great care must be taken not to bend the spring even the least bit! Don't try to do it with one hand. It's best to hold the little pin block in position with the finger of one hand while "hooking" the Anniversary Clocks pendulum on it with the other. (When removing the pendulum from the pin block, remember that the pendulum "hook" has to be raised slightly before the pin can be eased out.

Locks with cotter pin

The pendulum locking lever is in the back, under the movement. A "safety" cotter pin may be in position (to prevent the lever from opening accidentally during shipping) and this pin must be removed before the locking lever can be opened. (If the clock has been factory packed, a brass clamp may be attached to the upper part of the pendulum. It should be pulled off and discarded.) The pendulum should be carefully held, when the locking lever is pushed to the side, allowing it to be lowered gently into the free position: a drop of about 1/8".Caution: When this action is reversed; that is, when the pendulum is to be locked again for moving or shipping, remember that it must be carefully raised (about 1/8") into its socket so that the locking lever will hold it in a firm position. If you pull the locking lever over without first raising the pendulum into its socket, no locking takes place. In such a case, the suspension spring is quite likely to be seriously bent if the clock is tipped.

If the clock is to be shipped, it is advisable to replace the "safety" pin in the hole by the lever. If the original cotter pin that came with the clock is not available, a satisfactory pin can be made from a slightly opened paper clip. (If no hole for a "safety" pin is provided, the locking lever should be held in the locked position with a rubber band.

Variable height locks

The pendulum of this clock is locked and unlocked by a lever which is located in front, or in back, of the clock at the bottom of the base. When the lever is moved to an extreme right position, the pendulum is raised and locked; when it is moved to the extreme left position, the pendulum is lowered and is "free".A second and more secure Anniversary Clocks pendulum lock is provided for use when the clock is shipped. This lock is at the back of the movement, located in the lower piece of the tubular suspension spring guard. This lower guard can be adjusted - either locked (lowered) or unlocked (raised) - by means of a thumb screw. Except when the clock is being shipped, this adjustable guard should be raised as high as it will go, and held there by tightening the thumb screw.

To lock the Anniversary Clocks pendulum for shipping, loosen the thumb screw and lower the piece in such a way that the two prongs provided not only go through the two holes in the pendulum locking bracket, but also through two holes in the disc at the top of the pendulum. (It may be necessary to rotate the pendulum slightly to find a pair of matching holes through which the prongs will go. When the two prongs of the piece have thus been fully seated, the thumb screw should be tightened to hold it in place.

Other locks

There are many different types of Anniversary Clocks pendulum locking mechanisms, most of which provide some means of raising the pendulum against a bracket, at the rear of the movement, thereby supporting the pendulum at the top and bottom during shipping. If the method of operating the mechanism on your clock is not clear, read the instructions in the paragraphs above which explain other types of locking devices. If they don't help you to determine how yours works, take the Anniversary Clocks to your local clock repairman who will be glad to explain the operation to you.

Positioning the clock

The clock should be placed in a position free from vibration. Television sets, pianos, unsteady book cases or tables are all unsatisfactory places. A mantel, a steady piece of furniture, or even a wall bracket, is to be preferred. It will not help its timekeeping qualities if the clock is placed directly over a radiator, or in a window where it will be subjected to direct sunlight or to drafts.

Leveling the Clock

The surface on which the clock rests does not have to be completely level. But the clock itself must be level. You don't need a leveling tool if the clock is level when the tip of the pendulum is directly over, or inside, the guide cup.

Starting the clock

Very Important! Carefully rotate the Anniversary Clocks pendulum, in either direction, so that it is about one complete turn from dead center, then release it. This will start the pendulum rotating more than is usually required. Depending upon the clock, the normal rotation may be as little as three quarters of a turn or, for some miniature or midget clocks, as much as a turn and a half. After the pendulum has continued to rotate for a half-hour or so, it will have "settled down" to its normal cycle. Once you know how far the pendulum normally rotates in one direction, always give it just a little more than this amount whenever you have to start it in the future. But never rotate the pendulum more than one and one half turns from dead center. If you do, a permanent twist may be left in the suspension spring which will prevent the clock from running. (No clock repairman can be expected to replace a Anniversary Clocks suspension spring, free of charge, if the spring has been permanently twisted or otherwise bent.

To Set the Hands

Set the time by moving the minute hand in either direction. The hour hand will automatically follow. If the hour hand does not point exactly to the hour when the minute hand is on 12, shift its position, in either direction (it's on only friction tight) until it does point to the hour. Don't be alarmed if the escapement "flutters" when the hands are being moved.

Timing the clock

On 3-ball and 4-ball pendulums, a round, "regulating disc" (about the size of a nickel) is at the top. When turned, it will make the balls go toward, or away from, the center of the Anniversary Clocks pendulum. The direction in which the regulating disc should be turned to make the clock go faster or slower depends upon the design of the pendulum. Look for the letters F (fast) and S (slow) on the top of, or near, the regulating disc.

If the clock is to be used as a timekeeper, the final regulating has to be done when it is in its position and leveled. The most practical way of regulating the clock is as follows: At least a half-hour after the clock has first been set up and started, at which time the Anniversary Clocks pendulum should be rotating back and forth at its normal rate, set the hands to some accurate time source such as a quartz watch or electric clock. Cover the clock with its dome or case and don't touch it again for a week. Start keeping a record with a table with Date, Right Time, Clock Time, Minutes Difference (fast and slow), Amount of Regulation and Direction. At the end of the week (or sooner, if the clock is gaining or losing time rapidly), compare the time with the accurate source and note the number of minutes that the clock has run fast or slow. To correct its rate of gain or loss, stop the Anniversary Clocks pendulum at the point where it reverses its cycle, and adjust the regulating disc on the pendulum (or regulating rod on disc pendulum clocks) as described above. (A half turn will make a significant change in the timekeeping, so if the clock is only 5 or 10 minutes fast or slow, start with a quarter or 1/8 turn.) Then, release the pendulum at, or just a little beyond, the place where you stopped it. (By making the regulating adjustment while holding the pendulum at one end of its cycle, you avoid over swinging it when you start it again. An over swing prevents accurate regulation.) Reset the hands to the correct time and let the clock run without further correction for another week.

Be sure to make a note of the amount the clock ran fast or slow, and the amount of turn you gave to the pendulum regulating disc, i.e., quarter turn, eighth of a turn, etc. After two or three weeks, you will reach a point when a 1/8 turn of the outside edge of the regulating disc will change the timing from fast to slow (or from slow to fast). You have then reached the maximum possible regulation. Do not make any further regulating adjustments unless the clock is moved to another position. Don't expect the clock to keep accurate time for 400 days! Every two weeks, or whenever necessary, remove the dome and nudge the minute hand to the correct time. With this attention, the clock will keep as good time as an 8-day mantel clock.

Cleaning the dome

Most 400-Day Clocks are covered with glass or plastic domes, or by glass or plastic sided cases. The clocks are a lot more attractive when the glass or plastic is kept clean and bright.

Glass Domes

Wash occasionally in very hot water and wipe off with a clean, dry towel. The dome can be kept bright over long periods by just wiping it off with a clean, damp, paper towel while it is on the clock. When removing the dome from the clock, always grip it as near to the bottom as possible. This will keep your fingerprints in an area where they won't show

Glass Sided Cases

Wipe both sides with a soft cloth, wrung out with hot water. Wipe off with a clean, soft, dry towel. Do not dip the case in water. The sides can be kept bright over long periods by wiping occasionally with a clean, dry cloth while the case is on the Anniversary Clocks. Avoid putting your fingers on the glass when removing the case.

Plastic Domes or Cases

Follow the same suggestions as above, but avoid extremely hot water. Always use a very soft cloth when wiping. Plastic is relatively soft and will eventually become dull if wiped repeatedly with a rough cloth or paper towel.