Grandfather Clocks

Burke

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This has nothing to do with poker. I’ve had a grandfather clock that I inherited in my house for a while. Nothing was set up so I watched some videos and did that today. It’s keeping time well, but unfortunately the chimes seem a little messed up.

Do you guys have a lot of experience with grandfather clocks. Just wondering. I like the look.

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trigs

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My aunt used to own one. Chimed once every 15 minutes and chimed the hour number on every hour. Tried to sleep over there once as a kid and almost lost my mind.
 

Burke

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Yeah this one does the same (or tries to with the chimes). Came from my grandparents house...I spent a night a week with them through high school even. Luckily I have no trouble with sleeping.
 

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My aunt used to own one. Chimed once every 15 minutes and chimed the hour number on every hour. Tried to sleep over there once as a kid and almost lost my mind.

Mine is that way and it doesn't have a night mode to silence the chimes. Its in our entranceway and is something weve gotten used to.

To OP, clocks are super sensitive and even though I'm a 99% DIYer we ended up calling someone out to look at it for a similar issue. I tried to get it working and managed to get it exactly 30 minutes off but ran into a snag and didn't want to fuzz with it as a chime hammer was also bent. Cost we like $80 or something, he oiled everything, cleaned it up, assessed the wear on the parts, fixed the hammer,and got our chime problem figured out. Its been 2 years and we haven't had a single issueeven though its a 35 year old clock.
 

abby99

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Had one for many years. No problems except for that one time when I pulled the weights up all the way. Learned the hard way not to do that.
 

Burke

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Mine is that way and it doesn't have a night mode to silence the chimes. Its in our entranceway and is something weve gotten used to.

To OP, clocks are super sensitive and even though I'm a 99% DIYer we ended up calling someone out to look at it for a similar issue. I tried to get it working and managed to get it exactly 30 minutes off but ran into a snag and didn't want to fuzz with it as a chime hammer was also bent. Cost we like $80 or something, he oiled everything, cleaned it up, assessed the wear on the parts, fixed the hammer,and got our chime problem figured out. Its been 2 years and we haven't had a single issueeven though its a 35 year old clock.

I need to do some research. From my very cursory set up I’m wondering if I can just not wind the left-most weight. That’s the one that controls the chimes on the quarter-hour it seems.
 

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Or maybe it’s the opposite side. Yeah I should hire someone
 

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I need to do some research. From my very cursory set up I’m wondering if I can just not wind the left-most weight. That’s the one that controls the chimes on the quarter-hour it seems.

Most definitely. There is an access panel usually in the back and each chain is connected to some gears within the mechanism. When we moved I had to take the weights and chains out so they didn't get damaged. Its easu enough to figure out which weight connects to which unit and therefore each sound. It's the precision of the mechanism when I started playing around with it that I didnt want to mess up.
 

dew4au

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Do you guys have a lot of experience with grandfather clocks. Just wondering. I like the look.

As a matter of fact, I DO!

My grandfather was a jeweler and a horologist. Even after retirement he worked on clocks to keep his mind sharp until he lost his vision. Needless to say I had a lot of clocks in my house growing up. We had a grandfather clock, much like yours, that chimed on the quarter, with a full chime at the top of the hour. We had a kitchen clock that also chimed on the quarters, and a hallway clock. It never bothered me growing up, because that's all I knew. When I had friends over, they thought the doorbell was ringing when the grandfather chimed.

When I would stay with my grandparents there was a clock in almost every room. It did keep me up sometimes, because it was just a little more than I was used to, but overall it was comforting. On most of the spring wound clocks he kept in the house there would be one spring that was dedicated to operating the striker. He wouldn't wind that one on all of them so they wouldn't all chime. The grandfather clock we had used one of the weights for chiming, so if you didn't want it to chime, you wouldn't pull the weight up.

I don't have a grandfather clock in my house, but I do have a kitchen clock that my grandfather restored for me. I honestly forget to keep it wound sometimes, but when I do wind it, it is very relaxing.
 

dew4au

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@dew4au very cool, thanks for sharing
Oh yeah, I forgot this bit...

His sons were not into horology, so he never taught them the art. He wanted to teach me in high school and so I spent some time with him working on clocks. It is one of the most challenging things I have ever experienced, and unfortunately I didn't stay with it. These days, it's easy to do a lot of DIY stuff with all of the manuals and references we have. With clocks there are rarely any manuals and each one is unique in some way. Over the years things have been done to the clock to fix it and the only things you have to go on are your comprehensive understanding of clock mechanics and witness marks left by the last person who worked on it. When it comes time to replace a part, it often involves taking a stock part and heavily modifying it to work in the particular application you need it for. I watched my grandfather work on a single brass gear for multiple hours with a jewelers file to get it to the right dimensions.

I say all of that to say; find a professional to work on your clock! It's way too hard for anyone other than professionals. It's a dying art, and one day it will be gone, but you can find folks out there who work on them. Be prepared to pay handsomely though...
 

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That’s a sweet clock!

I grew up with an old, nine-tube Herschede Sheffield in the entryway of every place we lived. It still keeps excellent time. I prefer the Westminster chime setting.

When I was little I’d stand on a chair to wind it and could barely turn the crank for the heaviest of the three counterweights. The old-timey brass key to the case door was one of my favorite “toys.”
 
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