If Your Clock Does Not Run
- Make sure clock is fully wound.
- Make sure clock is ticking evenly. Make sure clock is on a stable surface and does not rock. If necessary shim one or two corners with cardboard (for a shelf or mantel clock) or move bottom of clock to left or right (for a wall clock).
- Make sure minute hand is not caught on hour hand.
- Always remove the pendulum before transporting the clock to prevent damage.
Strike Synchronization Using Hands
If the strike gets out of synchronization with the hands, wind up the strike spring (left winding square) then proceed as follows: Move the minute hand forward to two minutes before the hour. (The strike train makes a noise called the warning.) Move the minute hand backwards to 15 minutes before the hour. The clock will strike. Repeat until the number of hours struck is one less than the hour that the hour hand points to.
Strike Synchronization Using Wire
If the strike gets out of synchronization with the hands, wind up the strike spring (left winding square) then proceed as follows: Turn the minute hand forward to the next hour. When striking stops, push up (or pull down on some clocks) the little wire hanging beneath the dial and let the clock strike. Each time you push (or pull) the wire, the clock will strike the next hour. Repeat until the correct hour is struck.
Strike Sound Adjustment
The hammer which strikes the gong may have its shank bent slightly by hand to make the hammer head closer to or further from the gong to make it sound more pleasant.
Mantel Clock Setup
Place the clock on a table with the back facing you. Open the back door; hang the pendulum on the hook; close the door; carefully place the clock where it is to be used, on a stable, level surface; lift one side of the clock gently two inches then put it down to start the pendulum swinging.
Shelf Clock Setup
Place the clock where it is to be used, on a stable, level surface; open the front door; hang the pendulum on the hook (on many clocks the hook is behind the dial); give the pendulum a swing and the clock will start ticking.
Wall Clock Setup
Choose the proper size wood screw (typically a #8, 10 or 12) to fit the hanger at the top back of the clock, and long enough to go securely through the wall into a stud; secure the screw into the wall, angled upward at a 45 degree angle; hang the clock; open the front door and hang the pendulum on the hook (on many clocks the hook is behind the dial); give the pendulum a swing and the clock will start ticking; move the bottom or right until ticking is even (or if there is a beat scale beneath the pendulum, move the case so the pendulum points to zero when at rest); secure bottom of case to wall so clock is stable.
Setting the Hands
When setting the clock to time, move the minute hand, pausing at each hour (and half-hour for some clocks) for the clock to strike. Never move the hands counterclockwise past 6 or 12.
Winding – Eight Day Clock
Wind the clock once per week, preferably on the same day each week. If the clock begins to run slow or chimes slow before the week is complete, you can wind it up twice a week, for example, every Sunday morning and then Wednesday night. Turn the key with a smooth motion, stopping when the spring is tight (approximately 7 turns after one week of running). Never let the key snap back in your hand, always release it gently after each half turn.
Winding – One Day Clock
Wind the clock once each day, preferably at about the same time each day. Turn the key with a smooth motion stopping when the spring is tight. Never let the key snap back in your hand; always release it gently after each half turn. The left square winds the strike mainspring and the right side winds the time mainspring.
This type of clock will be able to keep time within 4 minutes per week. You will need to do the final regulation once the clock is in its permanent location to achieve this accuracy. To check the clock’s accuracy, set the hands to the correct time and then let the clock run at least 3 or 4 days. The main factors causing variations in rate are temperature changes and the lessening tension of the mainspring as it runs down. Once the clock is regulated to keep good time you will need to set the hands whenever the time is off by more than a few minutes – perhaps every week or two.
Regulating the Clock – Regulating Square
Many clocks can be made to go faster or slower by means of the small square on the dial. Turning it toward F speeds up the clock; turning it toward S slows it down. Turn the square only a small amount each time. The regulating square is turned with the small end of the winding key.
Regulating the Clock – Pendulum Nut
The clock can be made to go faster or slower by means of the nut at the bottom of the pendulum. Turning the front of the nut to the right speeds up the clock; turning it to the left slows it down (in other words move the nut up to speed up or down to slow down). Turn the nut only a small amount each time.