What is Involved in Antique Clock Repair?

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  • Written By: Karize Uy
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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Antique clock repair can involve things such as replacement of old parts and reconfiguring the timekeeping. Sometimes, a thorough cleaning is in order, as dirt may be the cause of some glitches. In any repair situation, it is best to call in an expert repair person to do the job and restore the clock to its old-fashioned beauty.

Pendulum clocks such as grandfather clocks and cuckoo clocks are brought in for repair for many reasons, one of which is they have stopped running. Antique clock repair in this case can just involve cleaning, because all the accumulated dust can jam some parts. Antique clocks can be very sensitive, so just a minor bump or moving it to another position can cause them to stop working. A repair person may have to look at the clock from the inside to reposition any tilted parts.

Antique clock repair can sometimes be as easy as readjusting the swing of the pendulum, especially when the clock suffers from wrong timekeeping. This problem is common for pendulum clocks, since the pendulum can swing slower when the clocks need another winding. Clock owners should refrain from adjusting the pendulum themselves by reswinging it, as this can cause further inaccuracies. They should, instead, bring the clock to an expert, or better yet, ask the expert for a “house call” to avoid moving the clock.


Another usual problem for pendulum clocks is the striking of the chimes at the wrong time. Sometimes, it may not even strike at all, or the cuckoo in the cuckoo clock would just not come out. Clock owners can be lucky enough to fix this by manually moving the clock’s hands themselves, but it can be risky as it can loosen the hands. An expert should be the only person to do the antique clock repair, because only he has the know-how and the right tools. Other problems that need an expert’s touch are weights replacement, tight windings, and the hands getting stuck on each other.

Even battery-operated antique clocks, such as the two-bell alarm clock, may need some repairing from time to time. Some worn-out parts may need replacing, such as a corroded battery container, or a rusty spring that moves the hammer from side to side. After working on some antique clock repair, some experts would even go the extra mile by restoring the clock and replacing old screws, varnishing the wood, or repainting the chipped painting.


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