“Spring forward, fall back.” It’s that time again… fall back time!
It’s also probably time for your antique clock to have a regular check up. The delicate mechanism of an antique clock does not like changes in temperature and humidity. You may notice that your old clock is a little sluggish or has stopped completely now that cooler weather is here. Is your clock keeping accurate time? Is the chime in sync? Have you heard any sudden popping sounds inside the case? All these are signs of a sick ticker.
Fixing clocks is a job best left to a pro… a Clock Doctor… a geriatrics specialist for your beloved “grandfather.” Yes, antique clocks are indeed “the elderly.” They are at least 100 years old. And, just like people of a certain age, old clocks require a bit more patience and TLC at home than their younger counterparts. The best way to keep your antique clock working well is to consult a Clock Doctor to prevent and correct problems.
Specialized knowledge, nimble fingers, and perseverance are required to repair clocks. Parts for antique, handmade, or one-of-a-kind clocks are not available. So, the ability to design and fabricate parts with the skill of the original craftsmen is a must.
When your clock needs to go in for a check up, take precautions to prevent damage to the fine gears, levers, and other components inside. Mechanical clocks don’t like to be moved or transported… even within your home. A ride to the repair shop can be disastrous. Vibration, rough handling, bumping, and incorrect packing often cause quite severe damage to the clock movement and sometimes to the case. Here’s how to prepare your clock for a trip to the repair shop:
Always stop your clock.
Carefully remove the pendulum. Pack the pendulum and key together in a plastic bag to give to the pro.
Make sure your clock does not have a bumpy ride. Use appropriate boxes, padding, even seat belts for your clock’s safety.
Be ready to describe your clock’s symptoms.
Large wall clocks and tall case clocks (commonly called grandfather clocks) require house calls. The Clock Doctor will come to your home, carefully remove the inner components of your clock, and take them to his workshop to be repaired. After the work is completed he will return to install the mechanism, level the clock, and make sure everything is running smoothly.
Once repaired, your clock will give you many years of good service if given proper care at home. Appreciate your antique. Treat it with TLC. Place your clock out of direct sunlight and drafts. Make sure it is level. Wind it regularly but not too tightly. Follow all other instructions the Clock Doctor gives you. If you respect your clock’s age and give it a little attention, along with regular servicing, your treasured timepiece will have a long and happy life in your home.