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8 Tips for the Care and Set-up of Grandfather Clocks

     Congratulations on your purchase of a Longcase Clock, or are you still deciding? I have put together a few tips to assist you in the care and set-up for a Grandfather Clock. Happy Discovery!

With the appropriate care and proper location, your Grandfather Clock (Longcase clock) will provide you with many years of reliable service.

As with any endeavor, complete your 'due diligence' before proceeding. These instructions for set-up and care of your grandfather clock are for informational purposes only. You will have directions arrive with you clock that are specific to your new clock. If not be certain to follow the directions from your neighborhood clock dealer.

Tip 1:
You should always keep your clock in a relative humidity of 40-65%. Never keep your clock in excessively dry or damp conditions. Because of central heating and air conditioning over the last 20 years, more damage has been done to antiques than at any time in previous centuries. (If your grandfather clock is not yet an antique, or if it does not happen to be worth $50,000 that does not matter. You and your grandfather clock deserve to have many wonderful years together.) Keep an eye on the humidity level for the room in which you have your clock. You can purchase a small inexpensive humidity gage, or a humidity gage that hangs on the wall and is a decorative addition to your room. It is recommended in dry conditions that you purchase a 'humidifier,' or if the conditions are exceedingly damp, you may be required to purchase a de-humidifier.

Tip 2:
Always use a Beeswax polish every few years, never use spray polishes on your Grandfather Clock, if it is an antique. These wood finishes were not built to survive with today's spray furniture waxes. You can consult a good furniture specialist in your area to discover the best products to care for the wood of your clock.

Tip 3:
You should oil the clock movement every year or so with a specialist clock oil. (Always follow the instructions that have come with your new clock.) This can be applied with an artist's brush. Oil should be applied to the pivot holes on the front plate and back plate, i.e. where the pinions of the wheels go through front and back plate. It is also advisable to oil the pallets and the pulleys that the weights hang on. You do not need to oil any of the gears in the movement. A few drops of oil should take care of the entire movement, do not over oil as this will attract dust and cause a great deal of wear.

Tip 4:
All weights are to be wound by inserting the correct size of key on to the winding arbor. This is very important! Your clock may arrive unwound, so on winding, the lines should follow the grooves in the barrel (if applicable) '8-day' clocks are usually wound clockwise. Clocks that have an '8 Day' schedule may either have one weight (typically regulator clocks) or two/three weights.

Grandfather Clocks that run on a 30 Hour schedule are generally wound with a rope or chain. This should be done once per day.

Check the set-up instructions that have arrived with your new Grandfather Clock. Always rely on these directions first!

Grandfather Clocks with a duration by month have an extra wheel in the train (See FAQs on Grandfather Clocks for Home); they are generally wound counter-clockwise. Check the set-up instructions that have arrived with your new Grandfather Clock. Always rely on these directions first!

Tip 5:
When setting the time never move the hands backwards. If you move the clock hands backwards past a striking section, you may cause damage to the movement. Always pause and let the clock strike each hour/quarter, etcetera, when setting the time. It is also a good idea to wind your clock prior to setting the time and starting the clock.

Tip 6:
If your grandfather clock has a calendar, these clocks allow for 31 days per month. In those months that have less than 31 days, you will need to adjust the calendar to keep it accurate. Depending on the sort of calendar you clock has, this can be done from the front (hand variety) or the rear (square or lunette variety).

The calendar disc on the latter sort is attached to the back of the dial. You can move the square or lunette type from the front, but you may leave fingerprints on the dial, that will leave a mark over time. (You can wear cotton gloves that can be purchased in the pharmacy of your local store.)

If the calendar does not want to move, wait for a few hours, and try again, it may be in mesh. Generally, the calendar can be moved by hand between 3:00 and 5:00 pm each day.

Tip 7:
If you notice a day after set-up the clock is running fast by a few minutes, the only thing that controls the timekeeping is the pendulum (assuming the minute hand is not loose). Stop the clock by grabbing the pendulum and move the nut on bottom of the pendulum counter-clockwise, in effect lengthening the pendulum. Generally one turn either way would make the clock gain/lose 1 minute per day. Up equals faster; down equals slower.

Tip 8:
If your clock is count wheel strike, occasionally the clocks strike may go out of sequence. This can happen if the clock has been left to run down. There is a lever on the movement, which you can lift to adjust this. (Consult your owner's manual.)

Alternatively if the clock is striking 4:00, but pointing to 3:00 and the time is 3:10 by the clock, move the clock hands past four quickly, and on to five before the clock has finished striking five. The clock will now be in sequence again, striking five and pointing to five.

Congratulations on discovering information about Grandfather Clocks. Keeping Discovering!

Article Source:

It is our mission here at Grandfather Clocks for Home to provide quality timepieces at affordable prices. Quality craftsmanship, dependable movements, excellent woodworking all combine to create a beautiful grandfather clock. These clocks make wonderful gifts for weddings, anniversaries, new homes, or graduations. My first experience with a Grandfather's clock was actually 'my grandfather's clock' in the farmhouse he had in Wisconsin. I still remember that longcase clock in the hall. I was a suburban kid from Illinois, and have the fondest memories of that clock and the fun times I had visiting the farm. .This tradition will last a lifetime. We are committed to providing you with the convenient, secure shopping you deserve. You will discover affordable quality Grandfather Clocks at Grandfather Clocks for Home Quality, Dependable Grandfather Clocks | Cuckoo-Clocks

Posted on 2011-07-23, By: *

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