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BELL-TIME CLOCKS

Bob Frishman

53 Poor Street, Andover, MA 01810
Phone: 978-475-5001    

Email: bell-time@comcast.net

Set-Up and Care

Please refer to the following suggestions for care of your clock if it is powered by either coiled mainsprings or hanging weights; if spring-wound, then disregard references to weights. Feel free to call or email for additional details or clarifications.TRANSPORTING  -  Carry clock upright. Remove pendulum and weights before moving your clock more than a short distance.PLACING  -  Clock must be level -- side to side and front to back -- and “in beat” with an even-sounding tick. A wall-hanging clock may be secured with a screw through its backboard; often you will find holes drilled there for that purpose. On weight-driven clocks, make sure that the cables or cords run within the grooves of their pulleys.STARTING -  Gently swing the pendulum and listen for even ticking. Short-long ticking indicates the need for levelling or adjusting, otherwise the clock may soon stop.WINDING  -  Turn the key or crank in the direction permitted (you will not be able to turn the key the wrong way) and continue until completely wound and no further turns are possible. Clocks wound only part-way will lose power and stop prematurely. While “overwinding” normally is not possible, you can avoid straining mainspring or cable ends by counting the turns to full wind when the clock first needs winding, then winding one fewer turn on subsequent windings. Select a regular day and time for winding. It is not necessary to run your clock continuously but long periods of dormancy may allow the lubricants to thicken and dry.SETTING  -  Use only the longer minute hand to set the time. On striking or chiming clocks, never push the minute hand backwards past the 12 or 6; this may damage the movement unless you have a modern clock which allows backwards setting. Some striking clocks may get out of sequence and strike an hour different from what the hour hand indicates, especially if the time is set without allowing each hour to strike fully before moving the hands ahead.   Some clocks have a hanging wire to trip the strike, without advancing the hands, until the correct hour is reached. Others  require you to slide the hour hand to the hour just struck, or repeatedly move the minute hand to just before the hour, than backwards until the strike sounds, again until the correct hour is reached. When moving the hands, take care not to bend them; bent hands may interfere with each other or rub the face or glass.ADJUSTING  -  Slow-fast adjustments are made by slightly raising or lowering the pendulum disk. Unless there is a “s-f” adjusting hole in the face, turn the small rating nut below the large disk to move the disk up or down its rod; “lower is slower” is the rule.MAINTAINING  -  Depending upon the clock’s age, care and environment, it will need professional cleaning every 3-10 years when it begins to malfunction. Never attempt to service it yourself with household oils or sprays; clocks need disassembly and special lubricants to be properly maintained.Back to home page

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