304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Why does my Howard Miller grandfather clock not chime? Check that the strike on/off lever in not in the “strike off” position or halfway between positions. Check that the movement is not in the “night off” position. Be sure that all the packing material is removed from the movement area.
How do I get my Howard Miller grandfather clock to chime? To do this, start with the minute hand pointing to one of the quarter hours (3, 6, 9 or 12). Then turn the minute hand backward (counter-clockwise) to the previous quarter hour and then continue back (counter clockwise) an additional 5 minutes. Next, bring the minute hand forward to the starting place again.
Why did my grandfather clock stop chiming? If your clock has stopped chiming after 5 years, or has stopped chiming correctly, chances are the problem is a lack of, or improper, maintenance. Most manufacturers of clocks recommend ‘oiling’ a clock every year. The clock often stops functioning properly due to this lack of lubrication or from the worn parts.
How do you fix a grandfather clock that doesn’t chime? Reset the nighttime shut-off. Chime is off/will not chime: Ensure that the chime is not in the “OFF” position. If this does not solve the problem, replace the batteries. The clock chimes several minutes before the hour when the hands are moved manually: This is normal.
There is no set rule, it depends on the clock! So many of my customers are shocked when they see me move the hands backwards on their clocks. In the last sixty or seventy years more than 95% of the clocks manufactured have been designed so that you can safely move the minute hand counter-clockwise.
Yes, the order is critical for proper function. On 99% of floor clocks (grandfather/grandmother) with three weights, the heavier weight goes on the right-hand chain hook or pulley as you are FACING the clock.
The three weights provide power to the hour strike (left weight), time (center weight), and chime melody (right weight). Without these weights, the Grandfather Clock would not operate.
If there is no markings to identify the weights, hang the heaviest weight on the right side as it needs more power to run all of the chime hammers. The other two equal or lighter weights should be placed in any order on the left side and center position. This will usually work on most grandfather clocks.
Usual care for grandfather clocks is to have the clock oiled about every five years. Oiling the clock takes expertise by removing the hands and dial so the front of the movement can be accessed to apply the special types of oils used to reduce the friction in your grandfather clock.
Wind your clock once a week. It does not matter in what order the clock weights wound. All springs must be fully wound.
The heaviest weight is “R,” the next heaviest is “C” and the lightest is “L.” Open the door to the clock. Grab the chain on the left-hand side. It has a small brass plate with a hole in it attached to one end.
Using cloth gloves, or at least a cloth of some kind, pull down on the weight some. This is the same as making the weight weigh more. At the same time, turn the minute hand past the quarter hour to see if it will engage the chime. When you advance the time and make it chime, the weight will slowly come down.
Rotate the minute hand counterclockwise to avoid playing the melody. Most grandfather clocks play a melody and chime on the hour. In order to set the time without playing the melody, move the minute hand counterclockwise. Winding the minute hand 1 full rotation counterclockwise will set the clock back by 1 hour.
Grandfather Clocks weigh anywhere from 100 to 200 pounds and require special attention when moving them from one place to another.
Most clocks should be oiled every two to three years to maximize longevity and ensure proper functioning.
The main thing to be cognizant of when choosing clock oil is to ensure it is designed to be used in clocks. Just like it’s not a good idea to cook with motor oil you don’t want to oil your clock using the wrong oil. Using substitutes like WD40 can actually damage your clock’s movement.
Use a quality liquid non-ammonia glass cleaner. Apply the glass cleaner to a soft cloth – do not spray or apply directly to the glass. It is recommended that your clock movement be oiled every two years from the date of purchase and thoroughly cleaned every five to ten years depending upon climatic conditions.
This “salvaged” oil is excellent for lubricating clocks, and even watches. Make sure it has no water, and apply very sparingly on each and every axle.
Don’t use 3-in-One or even worse, WD40. Both will impair the clock’s ability to work; modern clock oil is synthetic so much longer lasting than mineral or vegetable oils, which break down over time. Clock oils also contain rust inhibitors to protect the clock.
Products that you should NEVER use to oil a clock: WD-40, silicone lubricant, kerosene, graphite, sewing machine oil, motor oil, 3 in 1 oil or mineral oil. Clock oil is highly refined oil and it is engineered specifically for clock use .
Place the clock movement face down on a work table. Place one drop of synthetic clock oil from a clock oil syringe into each oil sink on the clock movement. Turn the movement over and place a drop of oil into each of the oil sinks on the other clock plate as well as the weight pulleys and the front plate posts.
For medium to light woods like pine and oak use OLD ENGLISH Light Wood Scratch Cover. Continue until you cover the entire case of the grandfather clock case. Let the scratch cover penetrate the wood for a few minutes, then wipe clean with another absorbent cloth.
Always have someone help you, and remove the pendulum to prevent it from swinging into a glass panel or otherwise damaging the clock movement or case.
The reason a clock pendulum often stops swinging, after being moved, is because the clock case now leans at a slightly different angle then it did at its former location. A clock is “in beat” when the tick and the tock are evenly spaced.
When the swing is raised and released, it will move freely back and forth due to the force of gravity on it. The swing continues moving back and forth without any extra outside help until friction (between the air and the swing and between the chains and the attachment points) slows it down and eventually stops it.