Mechanical Clock Movement Removal – Floor Models

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Mechanical Clock Movement Removal

Removal of a mechanical clock movement is fast and easy. The movement itself is usually only mounted with two flat head screws underneath. These two screws run up into the movements pillar posts and hold it secure to the seat board. The weights and pendulum come off before doing anything to get them out of the way. This is done with a cloth so as to not stain the brass. To get to the point of removing the movement itself the dial and hands need to come off. Consequently, if the clock case is custom made by a woodworker things can get unusual. Furthermore, there are no rules with a custom case and the below trim, case, and mounting notes may not apply exactly.

Removing the hands

If the clock has a second hand, this is a press fit. All you have to do is pull it off. There is a knurled nutknurled nut that holds the minute hand on the clock. Hold the minute hand still while loosening the nut via needle nose pliers by turning it to the left. The needle nose pliers is only to loosen the nut. Then use fingers to remove it. Meanwhile, the hour hand is only a friction fit and comes off by twisting and pulling straight up. All three of the hands are quite simple to remove.

Removing the dial trim

The trim that surrounds the clock dial would need to be removed to get the dial off. Of course, this is usually only on with two Phillip head wood screws. Remove these screws and the trim should be able to come off of the clock. It is important to have the hands off of the clock. Some trims slide down the front of the clock dial. Hence, if the hands are in the way the trim may get caught up and bend them. Clockworks does offer new clock hands if they are needed.

Choose removal with or without the dial

At this point there are two options for getting the movement out of the clock. Either with the moon dial or without it. It is usually best to remove the dial first if possible. This way it is out of the way and the movement can be worked on directly. However this is not always possible if there are no side access panels.

With the dial

The movement can now come out with the moon dial attached if this is the way chosen. The movement is only in with two screws from underneath and up into the movements pillar posts. These two screws are the only thing holding the movement in place securely. A long skinny regular screwdriver is used to take these screws out from underneath the movement. The entire unit with its dial will come out from the front of the clock. If chain driven it may require the removal of the hook and tabs from the chains. Certainly, this is needed if the seat board does not allow the chain ends to come through and out.

Getting access to the dial feet

Many clock cases are built with side access panels so they can be removed to get to the side of the movement. These panels are removed by lifting up and pushing the bottom in toward the movement. They can then be slid downward and taken out. This will allow access to the side of the movement where the dial feet can be unlocked. Upon unlocking the four dial feet (posts) the dial will then fall out the front of the clock. Best to have someone in front of the clock with gloves on to catch the dial from falling.

Clock seat board screw
clock dial post clip
clock moon dial post
clock moon dial post

Unlocking the dial feet

The clock dial, or clock face, typically mounts via four posts. The four posts are part of the dial itself. Subsequently, they come off with it. These four posts lock into the front plate of the clock movement. Then they secure either with tapered pins that hold it to the movement, or slider arms that lock it in place. A tapered pin is a steel, or brass, pin that is fat on one side and skinny on the other. Just yank and twist the fat side with needle nose pliers to pull it out. Behind the front plate of the movement, the taper pin will be at the end of the mounting post of the dial. The slider arm method is even easier. Use your fingers to push it out of the way. The slider arms attach to the back of the front plate.

Phase of the moon dials

Remove the phase of the moon dial in the same manner as described above. Often there is concern because of more action on the dial. It can be intimidating at first glance. However, there is no need for concern. The phase of the moon dial is treated the same way. The only thing that runs the moon is one gear. Of course, it is called a moon gear. This moon gear is on the same tube as the hour hand. However, it is behind the dial. So in theory, it is in a location where it cannot be seen. The remaining gears that spin the moon secure to the dial. So when the dial comes out all the gears come out with it.

Clock seat board screw
clock dial post clip
clock moon dial post
moon dial post

Movement removal

Once the dial is gone, it exposes the movement. All of the components are off of the clock and out of the way. Next, remove the two screws from underneath the movement. The movement will then lift up and out from the front of the clock case. It will come out as one big gear meatball and can be replaced. It is as simple as that. Please email if you need assistance.

The content of this website is copyright by Clockworks and written by James Stoudenmire in year 2020

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