Removing a Mechanical Clock Movement

October 21, 2019 7:47 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Removing a mechanical clock movement

This is a basic guideline for removing a mechanical clock movement. This is not for every clock, but most grand mother and grand father clocks produced after WW2. There are numerous clock makers and each have their own style. Anyone could have built your clock and mounted it in their own way. They all have the same basic steps for removal, but sometimes a clock maker puts their own twist on these things.

Modern post WW2 Floor clocks

Remove weights and pendulum - Unhook the weights and set them aside. Do the same with the pendulum. Be sure to handle these items with a rag or use gloves. This goes for the dial as well as any other shiny metal item on your clock. If touched directly, the acid from your hands and sweat will cause the metal to tarnish. It will not be immediately evident, but over time you would see dark finger prints in these areas.

Removing the clock hands

Take off the minute hand by turning the nut to the left, while holding the hands still. You may need to loosen this nut with needle nose pliers, and then be able to use your fingers after. To get the hour hand off, twist it and pull it toward you, it is a friction fit and will come right off. If you have a second hand bit, it is also a friction fit so twist and pull towards you like the hour hand.

Removing the clock dial

Phase of the moon clock dials usually have four posts that come out of the back, that lock into the movement. The first thing too remove is the outer trim that surrounds the dial in the front. Remove the screws that hold the outer trim, so it can be removed and put out of the way.

The moon clock dial will have posts sticking out of the back and will have small holes in the ends. This is for a tapered pin to go through and secure the dial to the movement. Use needle nose pliers to grab the tapered pin and yank it out. Ideally you will have side access panels so you can get to these levers, or pins. This would be the easiest way to unlock the dial from the side of the clock case. One other method for the dial is for it to be attached to the wood case instead of the movement. If this is the situation the dial already came off with the wood trim.

Removing the clock movement

Take the screws out that hold the movement in place. In grandfather clocks, these would be on the bottom of the movement going up into the movement's pillar or arbors that hold the plates together. In other words, stick your head inside the clock case where the weights are and look straight up. You will see two screws holding the movement in place. Take those screws out and the movement will come right out the front where the dial was. If the clock is chain driven, you may need to remove the ends of the chains first. This means taking off the weight hook and ring on the chain itself. This is easy to do. Use two needle nose pliers to twist open the link that is holding the hook or ring. If it cannot twist open you may have to snap the link.

Wall and Mantle

These are even more simple than the GF clocks above. Take the hands off as described above, remove the pendulum and the mdial. Now you are left with only the movement which is mounted to the wood case. Remove the four screws, or nuts, that hold it in place and your done.

Mechanical Clock - Movement Removal Conclusion

Removal of the clock movement is fast and easy. Now that you have the movement outside of the clock case, you can swap it out for the new one. It can also be sent in for cleaning and restoration. Installation is, of course, in the reverse of the Mechanical Clock - Removing Movement text.

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

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