How to get a grandfather clock to chime in sequence

Updated April 17, 2017

Grandfather clocks chime in sequence, usually on the hour. The sounds the chime clock make often mimic classical music, or popular melodies. Various chime sequences can be set to play when the clock strikes. If there is a problem inside the grandfather clock, the chimes may not sound at all. Grandfather clocks need to be in sync, because of the intricate inner working mechanisms that enable the outer working mechanisms to function correctly.

Wind the grandfather clock every day, but do not overwind. Over-winding will tighten the clock, and possibly lock the hands in place, interfering with the chiming sequence. Never overwind an eight-day chime clock, which should be wound once every seven days.

Wind the hour hand anti-clockwise one time, and leave it on the 12. Listen for a ticking sound inside the clock to ensure that the clock is working correctly. Set the clock to chime in sequence on every hour by moving the minute hand to your right, to the next quarter-hour. Wait for the clock to make the chime sound. Leave the hour hand alone, because it will move on its own as you turn the minute hand. After the first chime, keep moving the minute hand to the next full hour. Let the chime complete the cycle of hour strikes, and continue until the clock is set at the correct time.

Examine the clock mechanisms inside, to see that all parts of the clock are in working order and running in synchronised order. Open the back of the clock with a small pair of pliers. Look at the clock spring, and oil the pivots with clock oil. Put a small drop or two of clock oil on the gears, where the parts touch.

Look at the outer mechanisms of the clock next. Remove the pendulum on the clock, and place it to the side. Examine the weights of the clock to see that they are in proper order. The weights will be marked left, right and centre. Adjust them if needed. Reattach the pendulum to the pendulum hook, and make sure that the pendulum on the clock is hung back up correctly. The pendulum bob should always have the shiny side facing front.

Fix the hammer inside the chime mechanism, if the chime sequence sound is off. Touch the shank -- located at the top of the chime rod -- with a small pair of pliers. Bend the metal about 1.25 cm (1/2 inch), taking care not to break the metal while bending. This bending of the shank will enable the top of the hammer to clear the chime rods, which may interfere with chime sequence when touching too closely.

Things You'll Need

  • Clock oil
  • Small pair of pliers
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Linda Stamberger began writing professionally in 1994, as an entertainment reporter for "Good Times Magazine." She has written online copy for The Volusia Community website and is the author of "Antiquing in Florida." Stamberger studied creative writing at Southampton College, where she won a partial writing scholarship.