Routine clock service

Routine clock service from Horologica - affordable clock repairs in Essex

By: Horologica - affordable clock repairs in Essex  02/12/2010
Keywords: Antique Dealers, Antique Clocks, Wall Clocks

Most repairers will advise you to have your antique clock serviced every three to five years. One of the slowest ticking clocks is the Grandfather clock on which the pendulum swings once a second. There are more than 150 million seconds in five years so that's a lot of ticks! The pendulum of a French clock typically swings three times as fast - about half a billion ticks between services!
If you don't have your clock serviced there's a good risk that wear levels will increase because the oil is not doing its job of lubricating the pivots and pallets. Oil dries out and congeals over time, causing drag which slows down the clock. But running wheel pivots in dry pivot holes causes damage to the steel pivot because abrasive materials collect in the sticky oil and then bed themselves into the soft brass pivot hole. Dry holes are worse as the constant rotation and extreme tension causes them to elongate and one day (usually while you're winding it up), there will be a sudden bang as several teeth are ripped off the barrel wheel (see an example under 'Clock Repairs').

In this photo you'll see that when I accept a clock for cleaning, I completely dismantle it before washing each part in an ultrasonic tank of weak ammonia solution. Some 'repairers' don't do this because it takes a lot of time and a clock can be made to run for the 12 month guarantee period just by dunking it intact into a bucket of paraffin or petrol - not advised! So before you hand your clock over, ask the dealer about his servicing procedures. Now three to five years is a good plan for servicing (especially for the dealer) but many clocks will happily run for up to ten years. Don't leave it longer than that, however, or you'll risk facing a much bigger bill.

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