Mechanical Clock Strike Setting
Mechanical Clock Strike Setting is not hard to do. This information is based on a out of the box new unit to be installed into an existing clock case, but its for any other situation also where there is strike issues. The strike issues can be from not striking at all to not striking the correct hour or striking forever. All of these strike issues reside in the same location mainly, and this location is on the front side of the German mechanical clock movement. Sure its also on the left gear train and the hammer rack in the back, but most issues in the realm of setting up the clock will be in the front.
Rack stuck behind the snail
If the new movement is not striking the hour. Assuming you have the hands and dial off the clock, you can see the saw tooth rack, the big thing on the front of the movement that looks like a saw. This is supposed to be in the up position as it drops down on the hour hand tube snail when its ready to strike. If it falls behind the snail instead of on top of it, when you installed the minute hand it can squash it behind the snail instead and mess things up. If all that did not make sense, well just take the minute hand off and run it for an hour and then reinstall the hand. It will be fine after this. This is also the fix for striking forever or at least more than 12 times.
Check the weight cables or chains
If the clock is weight driven, you done the above, still not striking, we check the cables or chains the weights hang on. These cables or chains cant be rubbing anything during the travel down to the weight. It cant be rubbing the seatboard the movement mounts to, or the movement pillar or anything. It should travel straight down from the cable drum or ratchet wheel to the weight, not rubbing anything. The weight of the weight should not be an issue and is always good as it does not require alot of weight on this side. In other words the clock will strike with any of the weights on it, just if the weights are mixed up and the strike has the heavy one instead, it will strike too fast instead of not at all. Chains or cables rubbing is also a common cause of very slow strikes.
We have now resolved alot here, not striking, striking too slow, striking forever. All of these are now covered for a new movement anyway. If your clock movement is old and striking slow or not at all, it may need a new movement or a cleaning. But by now you realize its not worth cleaning and restoring if the movement is still in production, a new movement is best to get. You could try oiling a slow striking movement, it will help for a while until its time to swap it out.
Mechanical Clock Strike Setting - Now it works, do this
Now at this point you have the clock running, chiming, and striking. The dial is still off but the hands are on the clock. The hands point to the right time when the clock chimes and strikes. Now its time to let the clock run for 1/2 a day or a day with no dial on it to be sure all is well. If there is something to be done with it, no sense in having the dial in the way. Also it will let you see what is going on if there is any issue at this point with no dial. One other reason is if the clock is doing well before the installation of the dial, then it stops after we put the dial on, we know the issue is the installation of the moon gear / dial and not the movement itself. If it has given no issues for a while and we are confident in its performance now we can move on to installing the rest.