How to Identify Clock Mechanism Parts

Written by patrick nelson
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Many clocks that look mechanical are in fact regulated by quartz. These are very accurate timepieces, and they don't have many parts. A true mechanical clock is regulated by its mechanism. Mechanical clocks have a number of key components, including those that create a distinctive chime.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Look at the clock face-on. The pendulum is the long bar with a weight on the end. You'll see it through the glass. It will be hanging vertically under the clock face. The pendulum regulates the timekeeping and can be very accurate. The pendulum swings and the swinging time is adjusted with a weight called a bob. The bob is below the large disc on the pendulum.

  2. 2

    Look at the weights. You'll also see them from the front. There will likely be three of them. The weights hang from a cable or chain and are behind the pendulum. Each weight is slightly different. The weights provide power. Power to the hour strike is usually the left weight. Power to the time is the centre weight and power to the chime melody is the right weight.

  3. 3

    Open the clock to look at the hammers and rods. There will likely be front doors or side panels that open. The chime hammers are at the top of the clock and the rods hang down. The hammers create the chime by hitting varying lengths of rods. The melody is created by the hammers hitting the rods in differing sequences.

  4. 4

    Check out the movement. It's the brass block with cogs and levers on it. The movement will be in the centre of it all behind the clock face. The movement controls the hour strike, the timekeeping and the chime. The pendulum hooks onto it and the chains hang down from it.

  5. 5

    Identify the crank. The crank will be the one item that is not attached. It's a tool that is inserted into the holes in the clock face to wind the clock or raise the weights.

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