How to Put a Western Chain Weight on a Grandfather Clock

Written by linda stamberger | 13/05/2017
How to Put a Western Chain Weight on a Grandfather Clock
Grandfather clock with pendulum and chain weights. (grandfather clock image by MAXFX from

A chain weight on a grandfather clock is part of the outer mechanism that keeps the clock running effectively. The weights on a grandfather clock work with a pendulum, which hangs in the centre of the clock front. The weights move with each pendulum swing, and work with the clock hand function to keep accurate time. Some antique grandfather clocks may need a replacement weight, or may have to be fitted with newer weights.

Open the side access panel of the grandfather clock. Look for the foam block, cable pulley or single cable. Use a screwdriver to open the side panel of the clock, if it is screwed in place, and examine the inner workings. Every part of the clock functions in synchronised order together, so various steps will need to be taken to ensure that the clock runs properly.

Remove any old weights other than a chain weight, if present. Take the new chain weight, and attach it to the pulley within the clock. Make sure that the cable is installed in the cable pulley before hanging chain weight. The chain weight will be hanging adjacent to the chimes and from pulleys and will need to be in its proper position so the clock works correctly.

Verify that the chain weight or weights are in the proper position, when installing. Look on the bottom of the weights to see the directional position, which will read left, right and centre. Adjust the weights accordingly and make sure they don't get tangled or hit other mechanisms inside while adjusting.

Check the other parts of the clock once the weight or weights have been placed in the clock. Check the face dial for the hand movements, since they work with the pendulum and weights. See if the hands are turning, and if the pendulum is ticking properly. Pull out the big hand a little so that it is not touching the face dial. Only do this if the big hand is touching the face dial.

Wind the minute hand counterclockwise, and turn the bigger hand to the right to set the time. Do not over wind the big hand. Wait for the clock to chime, then set. Listen for the ticking of the clock. If the clock ticks, and the hands move with the pendulum swinging, then the weights are working correctly.

Things you need

  • Small screwdriver

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