American clock repair options

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American clock movement repair options

It's a shame when a clock is not able to operate for years on end. It sits for so long until one day it is just time to do something about it. For the antique American made clock to function again there are two main clock repair options.

Replace the movement with a modern reproduction made in India, or repair the clock movement.

Send in for repair

The movement is no longer in production and not available new. However one of the American clock repair options is to send in the movement for an overhaul instead. A clock movement overhaul or restoration does require the unit to be taken apart.

Repair process description

Inspection is done on every pivot and bushing hole to determine the best course of action. When a mainspring breaks there could be damage to the wheel train on the pinions and pivots. We use magnification to inspect all areas for damage.

Then we manually clean the clock parts with a cotton cloth and peg wood to be sure we get off all the old oil. In other words, the old oil solidifies and becomes an abrasive rather than a lubricant. This tedious process then entails pivot polishing and rebushing if it needs it.

After all this, it’s time for the ultrasonic cleaning machine with the clock cleaning solution. Then the rinsing and drying process.

The final step is to rebuild the clock movement piece by piece and then test it for a week. If it fails the testing process, all this is done again until it is right. These are the steps for the American clock repair option.

Replacement option

These Indian made movements are reproductions of some of the most common American antique units. Basically they are the last resort when the clock movement is beyond repair or has had many incorrect repairs. Take the clock movement out of the clock case and do some measuring to see if it’s a match.

Getting the replica unit

When looking at American clock repair options, there are many things to take into consideration. The first thing to measure is the pendulum length. This measurement is the American way not the German way. This means measure what is known as 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 threads. The next thing 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 the old unit, 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 if the clock dial winding holes will line up on the movement just as the old unit did.

The American clock replacement units come in two ways. Just the movement or 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 can be sure to have all needed with some spare parts.

American clock repair options summary

American clock repair options summary. It is best to preserve history and repair the antique unit whenever possible. However for various reasons this may not be practical.

There may come a time where the movement is not worth chasing and a replacement is better. The clock will no longer be a historical antique but it will be a functioning clock again.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire in year 2022

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2 months ago

My name is David Martin and I had a movement replaced in a mantle clock a while back. I am very happy with it and it is working fine. This morning, I went to wind it and my thumb slipped and it appears the spring may have unwound. It is the peg next to the #8. When I try to wind it now, it does not catch and just completely unwinds. Need advice on how to fix, or make an appointment to drop it off. I live in Williamsburg, MA. Thank you

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