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).
Mechanical clock-kit movement options
The following are the various options for Mechanical clock-kit movements to utilize in building a clock.
We offer complete kits at Clockworks, however we can't include them all as it would be overwhelming. It may be possible to alter any aspect in the clock kits that are available. Please call to let us help with kit modifications or for general assistance.
Mechanical clock-kit movement options - Floor Clocks
Either Westminster only or triple chime. Both of these Mechanical Clock Kit options play a melody every 15 minutes and require a three weight movement.
Also there is the bell strike option that will play on the top of the hour whatever hour it is, and once on the half hour.
Options are the length, the bob diameter, and if would like a wood stick style The Pendulum or a fancy lyre style The Pendulum. The wood stick style is more antique look and the lyre is the contemporary style.
Either on the back for standard depth cases, or for the shallow depth we can do a side hammer unit.
Either a phase of the moon style, or just the hump top that says Tempus Fugit. Or we can zip off any moon Dial or TF dial to provide a very nice square metal dial with no hump on the top at all.
Another option is to use heavy paper stock on a thin board, use spray glue to make it stay.
Mechanical clock-kit movement options - Wall Clocks
Either Westminster only, Triple chime, Bim Bam, gong or bell. Lots of chime options there, but whatever wanted to listen to out of these we can do.
Either the wood stick style or sometimes if its short enough, we can put a brass rod pendulum in.
The Mechanical Clock Kit options brass rod pendulum is different than the metal lyre pendulum as its just a brass rod going straight down with out all the decor.
Includes the back, or on the side, or even the bottom on the wall clock kits.
Square dial made of heavy paper stock that uses a spray glue in order to attach it to a thin board, or a metal dial.
In Arabic or Roman numerals. The dial on a wall clock would mount to the wood trim that goes around the dial, not interlocking with the movement.
One style you can't get these days are the round dials that do lock into the movement, to have the appearance of the dial just floating in the air with the mounting hidden such as the Vienna regulator style.
Mechanical clock-kit movement options - Mantle or Shelf Clocks
Mechanical clock-kit movement options - Chime type
All of them really. an have Westminster, triple chime, gong, bell, or Bim Bam strike for Mechanical clock movement kit options.
Mechanical clock-kit movement options - Pendulum
Options include metal rod to a decor for the kitchen style clocks are available, or a wood stick pendulum if the clock is tall enough. For the shorter mantle units it will be just a round bob that is usually adjustable for time keeping.
Mechanical clock-kit movement options - Dial
The hardest on the mantle units. To get a the dial with bezel with glass in convex or flat is ideal, however not always possible.
If the situation calls for this type of clock dial, may want to chase a different clock design to make, it is not often it works out well unfortunately. The shelf clocks are easier as it has a door that closes with glass in the front, rather than the round brass bezel with dial and glass all in one combination.
This concludes the Mechanical Clock-Kit movement options. Please call to discuss the clock kits with us 800 381 7458.
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.
Making a Grandfather-Clock Seat-Board
Making a Grandfather-Clock Seat-Board, which is the mount that the weight driven movement sits upon, is fairly easy.
Of course, the movement sits on this with cables or chains. Subsequently, they hang directly down between the boards.
Typical approximate dimensions
Additionally, many of the modern clocks have a seatboard that is 16 inches wide and is 2 and a half inches deep. However this varies depending on the clock case dimensions.
In the center of the mounting board is a hole that is 1 inch wide. It goes across the center of the 2 and a half inch deep seat board.
Putting it together
The hole is wide enough for the movement to sit on the board with its chains hanging down in the center. Then the seat board screws and washers can go up into the movement’s arbors on the bottom.
These are the screws with the rectangle washers. Of course, an easier method would be to mount two, three quarter or 1 inch square boards running parallel, which are 1 inch apart, across the inside of the clock case. This is really all a mounting board needs to consist of.
The only thing that has to happen is the movement is in the air with the chains dangling down in between these boards. The boards just can’t be so wide that the pendulum rubs it on the back of the movement.
With the movement mounting in the air, all that needs to be done is have the chime block mounted.
This goes on the back of the clock case. This enables the hammers to engage with the rods for the chime sound. Next hang the weights and pendulum. The final step is to lock the dial into the movement from the front.
A plywood seat board
Many ways to make a seat board
A simple test stand
Clock case seat board
Grandfather Clock Pendulum Information
Grandfather clock pendulum information begins with the obvious discussion of length. The length of the pendulum on German units comes in a few CM options.
German units measure the pendulum from the top of the movement to the bottom of the nut threads.
The pendulum itself, the leader it hangs on, and the suspension spring that the leader hangs on.
All three components in centimeters make up that CM length in the drop down menu.
Pendulum length information
To know how long the actual pendulum is, subtract 15CM from the options with the pendulum length.
This will exclude the leader and suspension spring, and be the actual pendulum length from tip to tip off of the clock.
This length can vary as if a larger pendulum bob is selected, the actual length of the pendulum gets longer.
Why the CM length matters at all is because if the pendulum length is not near the CM length of the movement, the clock will not keep time.
So the gearing in the movement and the pendulum length works together to keep time around the specified CM length.
The bob width Options
A Lyre grandfather clock pendulum comes with either a 6 1/2, 8 1/2, or 10 1/2 inch bob diameters. The 'Bob' is the round disk at the bottom of the pendulum.
Moreover, the CM length on the movement will indicate the length of the pendulum from the TOP of the movement all the way down to the bottom of the pendulum nut threads.
This is an approximate length that depends on other factors such as bob diameter and weight of the pendulum.
Basically if the CM is 94CM the pendulum itself will be about 35 inches tip to tip off of the clock, and the 114CM option would put this same measurement at approximately 44 inches.
Side-Strike Tall Case Clock-KitThis quality chain driven Side-Strike Tall Case Clock-Kit for a Grandmother Clock will strike the hours on a Bim Bam sound. On the half hour it will strike only one Bim Bam.
It is a simple design with only two weights that will run 8 days on a single wind. The kit comes with the movement, chime, the dial, pendulum, and hands. This is a complete clock without the wood case.
Ideal clock caseA great clock kit for a shaker or tall case style grandmother or granddaughter sized clock case. Pictures show some measurements needed to know to build the case. Of course the best thing to do is to get the movement first and then build the case afterward.
German MovementThe chain driven side Strike movement will run 8 days on a single wind up. The movement comes factory oiled and ready for installation. It includes its chains, mounting screws and washers, the leader, the suspension spring, and hand nut.
It has two square shaped outer plates made of brass with the puzzle of gearing between them, and then it has the hammers on the side. The hand shaft, (shaft that the hands go on) is 32.3mm from the front plate and all the way out.
Movement InstallationThe movement will need a seat board to mount on. A seat board can consist of only two parallel board strips that are approximately 3/4 square. These two boards run along the bottom of the hood of the case with the space about 1 inch apart.
The front plate of the movement sits on one board while the back plate sits on the other. The chains drop down between the boards to suspend the movement in the air where everything else will dangle from it.
The movement secures from underneath with the two screws and rectangle washers that come with the kit. The washers are rectangle as it will clamp each seat board while the screw goes up to the movements bottom pillar into the post hole threads.
Tempus Fugit DialIncludes a Tempus Fugit style dial that is 11 x 14 7/8. The silver and brass tone dial has raised numerals. The Tempus Fugit dial's hump top can be easily cut off for a 11 x 11 dial instead. We can do that here for no charge if the clock case looks best with a square dial.
Mounting the dial is easy as it only has to attach to the wood case. The usual way this is done is drilling four pilot holes in the corners of the dial and use some small brass screws to secure it.
Chime Block with RodsMounted on the side of the clock case for the Bim Bam strike sound. Two of the hammers on the movement move at once on the longer two bars, then only one hammer hits the shorter rod.
This creates the sound bim bam. At 2 o'clock the sound would be bimbam bimbam in other words. One the half hours it will just play one bimbam sound.
Hour and Minute HandsBlack Serpentine style hour and minute hands sized for the dial diameter. The hour hand has a round hole and is only a friction fit onto the post. It will be able to move forward or backward to adjust the time.
The minute hand has a 2mm square hole in the rotatable mounting bushing. The minute hand secures with the minute hand nut that comes with the movement.
Stick PendulumThe wood stick pendulum will come unstained so it can be stained like the case on the customers end. Or painted black. It is a simple design that is good for the rustic antique style look. The pendulum length on this unit measures from the top of the clock movements suspension post and all the way down.
This measurement is 100cm and includes the pendulum tip to tip, the leader it hangs on, and the suspension that the leader hangs on. After the movement is in, its only a matter of hanging the pendulum on its leader. The term leader is that pendulum hanger on the back of the movement that swings back and forth.
I’m installing this movement in a tall Shaker clock. The clock will not run. The inside of the case where the pendulum swings is 10” wide. I’m using the smallest diameter pendulum (4″). To test if I was not getting enough swing, I replaced the pendulum with washers of equal weight. This did enable the clock to run, but only for about a minute.
I measured from the top of the suspension spring to the end of the threaded rod and got 97.5 cm. The wood rod alone is 79.3 cm.
Is my pendulum too short? Is my case too narrow? Is there a fix?
Putting a clock in beat
In many cases the complaint with a mechanical clock is that it stopped working after it was moved. 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 used in clock repair that basically means the clock is going tock-tick tock-tick instead of tick tock tick tock. It is sometimes corrected by putting a matchbook or Small piece of wood under one side of the clock case to make the tick and the tock evenly spaced. 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. This can be done on most clocks by slightly pushing the pendulum one way or another beyond its resistance to far to one side. This will affect the tick and tock and the idea is to get this to be evenly spaced in time as in tick tock tick tock,
not ticktock ticktock, or even tocktick tocktick
Author of Clockworks.com