John works on virtually any kind of clock: mantel, wall, standing (grandfather), and cuckoo. He works primarily on mechanical movements, but can also provide replacements for modern battery movements.
This is the most common service for a mechanical clock. The steps involved are:
Remove the movement from the case
Carefully examine the movement for excessive wear and other potential problems.
Fully disassemble the movement.
Completely clean the movement, including an ultrasonic bath.
Examine and, if needed, polish all pivots and bearings.
Reassemble and lubricate the movement with state-of-the-art lubricants.
Adjust the movement for proper timekeeping.
Beware of repairmen who take shortcuts with these procedures.
For grandfather clocks (and other clocks too large or heavy to move), we come to your house, remove the movement, weights and pendulum, and bring them back to our shop for repairs. When completed, we return and re-install the movement. Beware of repairmen who say they can do a proper job of cleaning and oiling a movement in the home!
House calls do incur an additional charge.
As with any mechanical device, parts can break or become too worn for useful operation. Here are some common repairs:
Installing bushings – The holes in which the “pivots” (ends of the gear shafts) spin can become worn. New bushings are installed so that proper gear alignment and reduced operating friction are restored.
Replacing springs – Mainsprings do not last forever. Even when they haven’t yet snapped, they can become “set,” losing their power to run the clock.
Fixing gears – Especially when a spring breaks, it can take gear teeth and other parts with it. Most gears can be repaired, but some may need replacement.
Replacing movements – Clocks with modern, commercially available movements may be easier and less expensive to repair by replacing the entire movement. However, this is almost never an option for an antique, since an improper movement will diminish the value and desirability of an old clock!
Repair, Refurbishing, Restoration, and Conservancy of Antiques
There are several ways to take care of an antique clock.
Repair implies simply fixing what’s wrong without significant intervention.
Some collectors like to refurbish a clock, replacing a worn dial with a new one, replating metal pieces, putting new veneer on wooden cases.
Restoration implies bringing a clock to as close to its original, but aged, state as possible. This might involve expert repainting of a dial or reverse-glass artwork, or careful treatment of an old, worn finish.
Conservancy is maintaining the clock in as close to as-found, original condition, with minimal intervention, consisting typically of conservative maintenance of the finish, and as near to invisible movement repairs as possible.
Whatever the needs are for your clock’s maintenance, I will be happy to advise you on the most suitable course of action.
Times of The Past Clock Repair