How to Adjust the Chimes on an Old Ingraham Pendulum Clock

Written by max stout
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How to Adjust the Chimes on an Old Ingraham Pendulum Clock
Chime rods with hammers in a pendulum clock. (Uhrenpendel image by Marem from

Adjusting the chimes on an old Ingraham pendulum clock restores the natural tone and resonance played at quarter-hour intervals with an additional count strike at the top of each hour. Ingraham chime clocks have five chime rods and five striking hammers that require periodic adjustment due to normal wear. Ingraham pendulum clocks, which chime on the half-hour and hour, have a single hammer that impacts a spiral gong. You can adjust the chimes on an Ingraham clock with a pair of needle-nose pliers and peg wood rod.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Peg wood

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  1. 1

    Open the back access door of the Ingraham clock case.

  2. 2

    Stop the motion of the pendulum by placing your finger in its path. If possible, do this when the pendulum has completed its arc and momentarily stops to begin its swing in the opposite direction.

  3. 3

    Remove the pendulum from the suspension rod by lifting it up and away from the anchor hook. If the Ingraham clock is a single hammer and gong model, the pendulum does not have to be removed.

  4. 4

    Lift the chime hammers one at a time to a height of 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch using the peg wood.

  5. 5

    Drop the hammer freely by withdrawing the peg wood and listen to the tone produced. The hammer head should strike the chime rod and return to a position approximately 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch above the rod. If the tone is flat and quickly dissipates, or if the hammer does not contact the chime rod or gong, an adjustment is required.

  6. 6

    Raise the chime hammer that requires adjustment with the peg wood. Place the jaws of the needle-nose pliers in the middle of the hammer rod and bend slightly upwards if the tone was flat. Check the effectiveness of the adjustment as outlined in Step 5 and repeat as necessary.

  7. 7

    Bend the hammer rod downwards slightly if the hammer did not contact the chime rod. Repeat Step 5 until a satisfactory tone is produced.

  8. 8

    Replace the pendulum if it was removed. Set it in motion with a gentle push in either direction.

  9. 9

    Set the hands of the Ingraham clock to the correct time. Cycle the minute hand slowly back and forth between the 9 and 12 o'clock positions to reset the chimes.

  10. 10

    Advance the clock hands slowly beyond the 12 o'clock position in a clockwise direction to set the time after synchronising chimes.

Tips and warnings

  • Wooden or bamboo skewers work as well as peg wood for raising chime hammers.
  • Avoid touching brass clock parts with fingers. This promotes corrosion and discolouration.

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