Clock Dial Drilling Description

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Clock dial drilling description

The following is a description of drilling a clock dial. Clock dials often only have the center hole for the clock hand post to come through.

If using a spring driven mechanical clock movement, need to drill holes in the dial. This is so the clock key will have access through the dial to wind the clock.

This hole is typically 3/8 of an inch wide. Drill the holes 3/8 wide in the exact spot where the winding arbor of the movement will be. Only one chance to get it right per dial so make sure to line it up perfectly.

Mark the spot to drill

This can be done by putting the dial over the clock movement while the movement is on its back. Place the dial over the movement so the hand shaft is in the center of the hole.

At this point there are two options to mark the exact spot to drill. The first method is to squeeze a marker between the movement and the dial back.

Mark the back of the dial where the winding arbor will be and therefore the spot to drill. Second, which is the easier and more exact way, is if the dial is thin enough push down with your hands so dimples show up in the dial. The downward pressure on the dial forces the winding arbors to make dimples in the thin metal indicating the exact place to drill.

Dial key hole grommets

A dial grommet is a decorative ring that sits inside the winding hole to make it look pretty. Of course, it is a metal ring with prongs on the back to fold behind the clock dial.

Thus, mounting the grommet is by friction fit. Dial grommets have a 3/8 hole in the center. In some rare situations it is 1/2 inch, however these are for very large tall case clock applications only.

Clock Dial Drilling Service

Hire Clockworks to drill the dial before it ships out. Naturally, Clockworks can drill this before shipping for a fee. So if this is of interest, please email us. We would need the movement numbers off of the back plate of the movement itself.

This information would not be in the paperwork that came with the clock or any marking on the wood clock case. It must come from the brass clockworks itself. Once we have the movement number, we can drill the winding arbor holes before the dial ships.

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Edgar Fanton
Edgar Fanton
1 year ago
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Very good description, thanks for this Clockworks.

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