Pendulum will not swing

1. First, make sure your grandfather clock weights been pulled up! This may seem like a dumb question, but many a clock owner has suffered an expensive grandfather clock repair house-call, when all that was necessary was to wind up the weights!

2. Are the grandfather clock hands touching each other? Touching hands are guaranteed to stop your grandfather clock! Look at the hour and minute hands closely. If they are touching, the time train may be jammed resulting in a pendulum that won’t swing. Grandfather clock repair secret: To repair, push the hour hand slightly towards the dial in order to clear the minute hand (but make sure it doesn’t touch the dial!). If they still touch, you can bend back the minute hand slightly towards you, allowing clearance.

3. Are the grandfather clock hands touching the dial glass? A grandfather clock minute hand that touches the case glass will stop your grandfather clock. To repair, you need to bend the minute hand towards the dial and away from the glass.

4. Have you recently moved your grandfather clock? Grandfather clocks don’t like to be moved! They get very temperamental when moved and show their displeasure by refusing to tick! Many a clockmaker has put his children through school repairing this problem for clock owners. The reason a clock pendulum stops swinging after being moved is because the clock case now leans at a slightly different angle then at its former location. Grandfather clock repair secret: Don’t pay any attention to whether your grandfather clock is absolutely perpendicular to the floor! And don’t use a level! Simply start your pendulum swinging, then listen carefully to the tick-toc sound. Push the top of the clock slightly to the right. Does the tick-toc sound seem more balanced? If not, push the top slightly to the left. When you hear an even, balanced ticking, secure the clock at that angle to your wall with a bracket, or shim your grandfather’s feet. Your grandfather clock repair is now complete and your grandfather is in perfect “beat”.


Wayne Berry, Certified Clockmaker
E-Mail: How to Repair Clocks

Last Modified: September 1, 2012
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