Mechanical Clock Movement Wear

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Mechanical Clock Movement Wear

Mechanical clock movement wears out after years go by because the oil turns solid. With age, the mechanical clock movement's oil solidifies and becomes black and sticky.

By the time 20 or 30 years go by, the oil has solidified and is creating wear on the brass plates of the movement. So, when this happens, the clock movement will not run correctly.

This is when the movement will need a cleaning at least, or be replaced. Of course, a brand new movement is always the best option.

What wear and where

Look at the old clock movement, and see holes in the brass plates where there are small pivot arbors sticking into these holes. These pivots are what the gears of the clock ride upon and as the pivots spin in the solidified oil, this makes the holes oblong instead of round.

With the pivot holes oblong, the holes are pinching the pivots and creating resistance in the gear train. With the solidified oil and the pinched pivots, the clock will eventually stop working or chiming.

Invisible clock movement wear

This wear takes place in the holes that are in the brass plates and is hard to identify sometimes. These holes in the brass plates become oblong instead of round and this pinches the pivot arbor going into it. Between this, and the solid oil, the clock ceases to function.

To have this repaired is an expensive and long process. To have a mechanical movement serviced can cost two times as much or even three times the amount of the new one.

However, once the movement starts having problems due to the oblong pivot holes, something will need to be done. The clock will never stay running otherwise.

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

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Charles Berman
Charles Berman
2 years ago

I have Pearl Grandfather clock with a chime problem, it doesn’t. It had worked in the past but had developed a problem after sitting a while and the being moved.
The clock keeps good time but there is no chimes at all. At one time it was chiming randomly but not now. There was point that if I moved the silent lever to off and then on I would get one strike but not now. The heaviest weight is on the right side. Only the middle weight moves down. It also has a moon dial.

Charles Berman
Charles Berman
2 years ago
Reply to  Charles Berman

It does seem to have something to do with the silenter arm. While leaving it near the middle of the swing I heard it gong but not consonantly.

Ralph Barnett
1 year ago

My Franz Hermle has been over wined how can I fix this?

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