Chime Clock Repair

Written by linda stamberger
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Chime Clock Repair
Grandfather clocks have chimes inside that strike on the hour. (grandfather clock image by Paul Moore from

Chimes are integral parts of grandfather clocks. They are a distinguishing characteristic that make the grandfather clock unique and elegant. Chimes within a grandfather clock strike on the hour and have a set rhythm within the clock for functioning hourly. Grandfather clocks have a diverse amount of mechanisms inside that run together in synchronised order. If one part is out of sequence or damaged, the other parts of the clock fail to work correctly, affecting the chiming sequence.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Small pliers
  • Clean cotton gloves
  • Clock oil

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  1. 1

    Open the glass front of the clock with a pair of small pliers, if necessary. Stop the pendulum from swinging, so you can work on the clock. Grab the bottom of the pendulum to stop it from swinging and wear clean cotton gloves to eliminate finger prints forming on the pendulum. Remove the small hand on the clock face, which is the minute hand. Use the pliers to gently remove the nut holding the minute hand in place. Pull the minute hand forward, being careful as you pull, so the hand doesn't break.

  2. 2

    Turn the bushing, or raised dial section, with your other hand. The bushing is located in the centre. Turn it counterclockwise four to five times, unless the chimes sound sooner. Once the chimes sound, reattach the minute hand and tighten the nut, using the pliers to firmly secure the nut back in place. Do not over-tighten because the minute and hour hand will need to rotate freely in order to keep correct time.

  3. 3

    Set the clock time on the face, so that chimes will sound in the hour. Turn the bigger hour hand counterclockwise to the 12, after the minute hand has been set. Do not overwind the big hand and only wind around one time.

  4. 4

    Move the pendulum to either the left or right side to get it started again. Listen for a tick-tock sound, and make sure the chimes strike on the hour where the minute hand was set.

  5. 5

    Look over the rest of the clock if the chimes do not sound. Look inside the clock and examine the spring. Oil the spring pivots and gear wheels within the clock. Replace the spring, if necessary, with a new spring. This is especially important if the old spring is antique, malfunctioning or rusted. Make sure to oil a clock once every three years for maintenance.

  6. 6

    Check that the weights of the clock are in proper alignment. Weights will be marked on the bottom left, right and centre. Adjust the weights so that they are in their proper place.

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