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Ron Altier

Grandfather clocks are a pain

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If you are thinking about building a grandfather clock

 

I built a grandfather clock from a kit from Emperor Clock in the 70s for my wife. I had few tools and little space, so a kit was the only way. I built one from scratch about 10 years ago for my daughter.

Both clocks require a yearly cleaning/lubrication. Moving one is also a task. You must remove weights, pendulum  and secure everything else. After you move the clock to do anything at all, you must level it so that the pendulum has balanced travel. All weights do not weigh the same and you must be sure you put the proper weight in where it belongs. When I see a clock in someone's home, it is usually not running, due to lack of attention. It costs to have them cleaned and cared for. Now that I am older and have problems with my hands, this maintenance is twice as difficult. Big hands in small places don't work well. Of course a dropped tiny piece always goes to the most difficult location. The older clock is worn and does not chime properly.             I'm thinking that it will stay that way:rolleyes:

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Not to mention that some of those mechanisms can get downright expensive.

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I got married in 1960 and wife gave me a Emperor clock kit in 1962 for Christmas but didn't put it together for about five years after that but its still running. Ron maybe you got too much oil on yours. I have never oiled this one yet.. One time some years later she was cleaning around it and knocked it over and put a big dent in the front of it but it didn't stop running. My sound board screws got loose and had to tighten them back up to make it sound good again is the only problem I have had so far. 

...My brother in law gave me a big Ridgeway brand he could not make run,, I filled the bottom with news papers and sprayed a can of WD 40 on all the gears and wheels and things that moved and it has never stopped now for about 15 years.

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I built two using a battery operated mechanism.  Both been running for 15 or more years and the batteries last two to four years.  Someone already mentioned the finicky mechanical ones are expensive.

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I've never heard of one running for 15 years with maintenance.  However there a couple of things that affect that.  A pricy movement has many more jewels in it and will run longer. The atmosphere around the clock (dust, etc) also plays a big part.  Lastly.........if you don't wind them they don't run..............a little problem my wife has.:D

 

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So what's with all this clock discussion...I thought you guys were retired?:lol:

Edited by Grandpadave52

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Grandfather clocks are to be looked at with admiration. Who needs them to keep time? You are probably wearing a wrist watch.

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We bought a Ridgeway in 95 and the guy who set it up said it needed cleaning and lubricating but did not say every year. It has never been cleaned nor lubed and is still on the dot.  Klockit used to have a cleaning kit but I cannot find it now.

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Amazon has clock oilers. To do it right, you need to remove the mechanism so the bering points, behind the face, are exposed. Takes longer to remove the clockworks than to do the oiling.

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25 minutes ago, lew said:

Those clocks are terrible for naps- their chimes wake you up!

Oh yeah, forgot about that, Lew, your right can't get to sleep before it changs again.

Herb

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8 minutes ago, Dadio said:

Oh yeah, forgot about that, Lew, your right can't get to sleep before it changs again.

Herb

Well, I guess I'm lucky- I take out my hearing aids :D

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Jointer, I was wondering why some clocks seem to go on very long times without care, So I found a video that could explains it. My original directions said to oil (I think) every year. This video says every 2 years and explains why clocks can run for decades and never be oiled.  He also said repair and replacement can be very  expensive. However if you have the skills to do it, it can be far cheaper than frequent oiling/cleaning by a pro (he didn't say that, but I'll bet it would cost a bunch more.)

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We found my Grand Fathers 6' hi clock under the hay in the back of the barn years later when we cleaned out everything and sold the place. I was just a small boy then but the clock was coming apart at the seams and the mice had a home in it. I think it went into the junk pile and was hauled off to the metal salvage place.

Herb

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11 hours ago, Ron Altier said:

Jointer, I was wondering why some clocks seem to go on very long times without care, So I found a video that could explains it. My original directions said to oil (I think) every year. This video says every 2 years and explains why clocks can run for decades and never be oiled.  He also said repair and replacement can be very  expensive. However if you have the skills to do it, it can be far cheaper than frequent oiling/cleaning by a pro (he didn't say that, but I'll bet it would cost a bunch more.)

So Ron... what is the answer?  Or do we have to watch the video?:rolleyes:

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