Mechanical Clock Kit Styles Available
Mechanical Clock Kit Styles Available include wall clocks, mantle (shelf) clocks, and floor clocks. Floor models includes the granddaughter, grandmother, and grandfather series. Mechanical Clock Kit Styles are in the list below.
Mantle clock kits are always spring driven and wound with a clock key. Moreover, it can come in a variety of chime types. Triple chime, Westminster only, bell strike, bim bam or gong strike.
If the clock has three places to wind with the key it is a quarterly chime unit. This means it is either Triple chime or Westminster only. In other words every 15 minutes it will progressively play part of the song. At the top of the hour it will play the complete song then strike out the hours.
Wall clock kits may be spring driven or weight driven. There are more spring driven wall clocks in the world than weight driven. The weights are not light and it is a lot for a wall to hold.
So fastening it well is very important. The movement can have a pendulum or no pendulum but of course the pendulum is most popular. When a mechanical clock does not have a pendulum it has a balance wheel instead. This is a floating and rocking wheel on the top of the movement and operates more like a watch balance.
Mechanical Clock Kit Styles - Granddaughter or Grandmother clocks
Typically, granddaughters are spring driven with no weights.
The grandmothers are usually chain driven. The chiming units have three weights. Any other strike style has two weights. It is a shorter clock overall than a grandfather clock.
Grandfather clock kits
Typically cable driven with three weights and triple chimes.
This means the weights will hang on cables instead of chains, and plays choice of three songs. However it is not always triple chime because some are Westminster only. This is the largest and tallest of the floor clocks.
All of the above mechanical clock kit styles, in the past, have been made with every chime type. In other words there are all these various ways to make the clock play a song or make a noise.
There is the quarterly sounds that play a tune ever quarter hour, the most common of the songs is Westminster. Or there is the triple chime that includes Westminster, St. Michaels, or Whittington.
As for the other noise makers, we call them strike clocks because they only strike out the hours and usually bong once on the half hour. These include Gong strike (coil gong on the back or below the movement), Bell strike, or Bim Bam (sounds like its name, on two or three strike rods).
Clock kit before building the clock case
It is important to order the clock kit before building the clock case. If the case is built before getting the mechanical clock kit it is possible the kit will not fit
. This sounds crazy but it is more common than anyone may think. So before spending a lot of time and hard work on building a luxury case, take the advice of getting the clock kit first. It will save lots of frustration and money in the long run.
Why order a clock kit before building
To find or adapt a clock kit to the case is very difficult. The ideal dial or other parts may not exist in the size that the case requires.
Measurements need to be correct for the clock kit to fit into the case.
Always order the Mechanical Clock Kit before building the case. Having the clock kit set up on a stand while working on the case is ideal.
This way it will be easy to measure the various parts of the clock kit such as the pendulum swing and dial. Having the luxury of the components being in the air before you makes is much easier to measure and is a wise decision.
Not all clocks are made
The size of many antique clocks dials just are not made anymore. Grandfather clocks back in the day had large Clock dials with ships on them.
They most certainly are gorgeous but try to find another one like it. These are no longer available. This is the case with many others as well. This is yet another reason to buy the clock kit before building the case.
If the dial is found, we need to drill winding holes. This way it will have a hole to put the key or crank into. Chain driven clocks are the only style that does not need winding holes in the dial.
Alternate kit component availability
Clockworks offers a large variety of clock movements. However, when it comes to some components resources can get slim. This is why it is important to buy the clock kit before building the case.
Clock dials are the hardest because there are so many shapes, sizes, and options available. Examples include round dials, square, hump top with no moon, and moon dials.
To sum up this topic on clock kits. It is wise to get the Mechanical Clock Kit before building the clock case. The best thing to do is set up the movement kit in the workshop. This way is easy access to visualize the size prior to installation.
Nothing is worse than making a beautiful case only to realize there are no components that will fit it. By purchasing all of the components before building, there is less chance for error when making the case. They will be at the disposal to measure at any time during the building process.
Mounting the Gong
Gong-Strike Wall Clock Kit Instructions begins with the gong installation. The coil gong mounts in the back of the clock case first before the movement. The strike hammer is on the back of the movement.
It adjusts with the wire that the hammer head is on. The hammer on the movement gets its final adjustment by bending the wire the hammer is on.
The destination where the hammer should strike is in the center of the round gong, on the flat portion. This is where it should make contact. When the hammer is at rest, it should be about 1/8 inch away from the gong wire.
There needs to be a space between the hammer and the gong wire so the hammer will make a crisp gong sound without double hitting, thudding, or missing the gong completely.
The gong comes with a small metal mounting base. After the base installation, the gong wire is next. The base has a mounting screw that is already in the base's center. Take the screw off the base, put the gong wire on it, then screw it back together.
Before tightening it up too much, position the gong wire to its approximate position and then tighten it. Approximate position because as previously mentioned, the hammer wire on the movement is what will be the final adjustment.
Gong-Strike Wall Clock Kit Instructions - Mounting the Dial
The dial on this kit is a simple white round dial with gold trim and Arabic numerals. We drill the dial for the winding arbor configuration of the movement. This is done so the clock can be wound up with the key.
Attach the dial to a thin board by drilling holes and using some brass finishing nails, or screws, to adhere it to the board. Alternately, epoxy will also work to attach it to the board. Position the dial so the hand shaft itself and the winding posts align with the dial holes.
Gong-Strike Wall Clock Kit Instructions - Installing the Hands
After mounting the dial, it is time to put the hands on the clock. First, install the hour hand. It is a friction fit, twist and push down toward the dial at the same time. The more down the hour hand the tighter the fit will be because the post is tapered.
Fairly snug but not touching the dial or the minute hand. The hour hand, the dial, and the minute hand should all be parallel with each other. They cannot hit each other during any part of their rotation.
Hands for modern German units have a center mount in the minute hand that rotates. If the clock does not strike exactly on the hour or the quarters like it should, follow the following steps. To correct this issue, take the minute hand off of the clock and turn it over.
With a pair of needle nose pliers, rotate the center mounting bushing a little bit. Hold the minute hand in one hand, the needle nose pliers in the other while grabbing and spinning this center hand bushing.
Gong-Strike Wall Clock Kit Instructions - Hanging the Pendulum
The three components are the suspension spring at the very top, the leader it hangs on, and then the pendulum length all the way down to the very bottom of the pendulum rating nut threads.
The movement will arrive with the the suspension spring already in place. However, the leader that hangs on it may not be. Put on as follows: Take the set screw out of the suspension post to release the suspension spring and then lower it some. When lowering the spring, hook on the leader.
At the same time, the leader should engage with the crutch that swings back and forth on the back of the movement. Goal is to have the leader in the center of the crutch that swings it, hooking up the top to the suspension.
Once the leader is attached to the suspension, bring the two part assembly back up to where it should be. Reinstall the thumb screw that holds the suspension spring, and now also the leader. Hang the pendulum onto the bottom of the leader and put it in beat. It will not run if it is not put into beat, this is easy to do.
Gong-Strike Wall Clock Kit Instructions - Why put a clock in beat
Every pendulum clock needs to be put into beat to operate. If the clock is not put into beat it will run for 5 minutes to 12 hours and then stop every time.
A common issue with mechanical clocks is that it stops working after moving it. This is usually from someone moving the clock without taking the pendulum off and this puts the clock out of beat.
Out of beat is a term in the clock repair world that basically means the clock is going tock-tick, tock-tick instead of tick - tock - tick - tock. The easy fix is by tilting the clock and putting a shim under one side.
This can temporarily correct the problem and the clock runs fine. This method, however, is not as good as correcting the beat and having the clock run when it is truly straight and level.
Adjust the beat by pushing the top of the pendulum left or right as it hangs in its clock case. Hold a lower portion of the pendulum with the left hand as pushing the top of the pendulum left or right with the right hand. Feel the freedom in the pendulum to move left or right.
With some resistance at the sides at the end of the left or right travel. The is changing the beat of the clock when going beyond this resistance and therefore changing the place of the freedom area. Do not worry about breaking the clock there is nothing to break when going left or right.
The pendulum is responsible for all the timekeeping of the movement. There is a rating nut on the bottom of the pendulum that turns to get the time perfect. Timing a clock takes some time and patience to get perfect and adjust it a few times to get it right.
When turning this nut, it is either raising or lowering the round bob at the bottom of the pendulum. This positioning is what speeds or slows time. Turning the nut to the right to raise the bob, time will go faster. Turn it the opposite way to slow it down.
This concludes the Gong-Strike Wall Clock Kit Instructions.
How to install a spring driven clock movement
Westminster Spring-Driven Clock-Kit Installation
These are the installation instructions for a Westminster spring-driven clock-kit from Clockworks.com. Please be sure to hold off on building the clock case until the movement arrives and is set up in a test environment.
This way measuring things can be done in the real world and everything will fit perfectly. The following is the mounting method for each component for the Westminster spring-driven clock-kit. Please complete them in the order that they are in the list. In other words, the following is the sequential order in which to install these parts.
Mounting the Chime Block
First, the chime block will mount to the bottom of the clock case. Of course, the hardware for this comes with the chime block. It has 5 chime rods that are mounted, tuned with an overall length of about 7 1/2 inches through the block. Next, drill two holes in the bottom of the clock case to mount it in the Westminster spring-driven clock-kit.
Use a flat screwdriver for the bolts and washers to mount the block from underneath the clock case. Moreover, the washers keep the bolts from going through the wood and they thread right into the chime block.
To help position the height, mount a spacer block on the inside of the clock case where the chime block will mount. This is optional but can help. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the chime block positioning only has to be approximate. Obviously, the hammers on the movement are meant to be bent into the final position.
What this means is it does not have to be dead on. Pretty close to where the hammers on the movement will be is good enough. Position it so the tops of the hammer heads are about 1/8 inch down from the block that the chime rods come out of.
The final adjustment will come later when bending the hammer wires as to make the head about 1/8 away from the chime rod. This spacing between the head and the rod is so it will not thud or double hit. Bend each hammer so it sounds good down the line, and a nice song will play when done.
Altogether, it plays 4/4 Westminster chimes that sounds each quarter hour and strikes the full hour. The movement comes from the factory with oil and ready for installation. Moreover, it includes the leader, the suspension spring, and the hand nut.
Subsequently, it has two square outer plates made of brass with the puzzle of gearing between them, and then it has the 5 hammers on the bottom for the westminster chime. This is an 8 day key wound movement with 100 mm plate width and height. The Hand shaft is 33.2 mm from the front plate all the way out.
This is a front mount movement, however this can change very easily if a custom design is in need. The mounts can go on the back of the movement instead, if the set up allows for the pendulum to still swing. The mounts are a dog ear shape with holes in them.
Use some small wood screws to secure the movement. Generally speaking, this movement is sold as a front mount intention. Drill 4 or 5 inch holes in the wood on the front of the case. Of course, the movement screws to the back side of the board with the hole in it, and the dial mounts on the front.
The Clock Dial
Westminster Spring-Driven Clock-Kit Installation: If your clock dial has no 'feet' for mounting
The dial is a light weight metal dial with gold trim. The width of the dial is 6 inches and has a 5 inch time track. The time track is the ring just outside the numerals.
Mount this by drilling small holes in the dial trim and using small nails or wood screws to secure it. Then, align the winding arbors and the hand shaft with the holes in the clock face.
Westminster Spring-Driven Clock-Kit Installation: If your clock dial has 'feet' for mounting
This is a light weight metal dial with gold trim. The width of the dial is 6 inches and has a 5 inch time track. The time track is the ring just outside the numerals. This is mounts by using the dial blind plate. This is the backing of the dial with the four feet.
The feet of the blind plate will lock into the front plate of the clock movement itself. This way the dial has the appearance of hanging in the air instead of a board mount. Secure the feet of the blind plate to the front plate of the movement by using taper pines to lock the feet in.
Clock Hand Mounting
Westminster Spring-Driven Clock-Kits have an hour hand that has a round hole and is only a friction fit onto the post. It moves forward or backward to adjust the time. The minute hand secures with the minute hand nut.
If the clock ends up chiming at other times than the quarters, do the following. Take the minute hand off of the clock. This is the longer of the two hands. With this minute hand off of the clock, turn it upside down. Notice it has a square hole where it attaches to the clock.
Well this square hole is in a bushing that will rotate WITHIN the minute hand itself. So just use needle nose pliers to turn this bushing so the square in the bushing rotates. Then put the hand back on the clock and see if it points to where it chimed. Then set to time by turning the hands backward or forward.
Grid R and A style pendulum with a hook top. At the bottom of the pendulum is the rating assembly. A rating assembly is the nut and threads that hold the pendulum bob on.
As the name rating nut and threads indicates, its function is to adjust the time keeping of the clock. If you turn the nut at the bottom as to raise the pendulum bob a little, this will speed up time. Do the reverse for slowing of time.
This concludes the Westminster Spring-Driven Clock-Kit Installation Instructions
What a wonderful clock kit, I will pass this down to my grand children.
Author of Clockworks.com
Does this mechanism come with or support adding the Hermle Clock Silence Switch?
The smaller Hermle clock movement kits do not have a chime silence option.
Such as this one
Or any of these
However the floor clock kits can have this feature as seen here