How to Set the Chimes on a 31-Day Wind-Up Grandfather Clock by Patriotic

Written by linda stamberger
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How to Set the Chimes on a 31-Day Wind-Up Grandfather Clock by Patriotic
Grandfather clock hands set on the hour to chime. (grandfather clock image by MAXFX from

Wind-up Patriotic Grandfather clocks have similar mechanisms inside and run on a system of weights and pulleys, with the inner mechanisms functioning together in synchronised order. The mechanisms within the clock also enable the chimes to sound and the outer mechanisms---such as weights or chains---to function. All of the parts of the clock must be in working order for the chimes to function once they are set.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pliers

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  1. 1

    Open up the Patriotic Grandfather clock case, located on the front of the clock. Use a pair of pliers or gently open the glass with your fingers. Place your hand on the bottom of the pendulum to stop it from swinging. Remove the minute hand on the clock, which is the smaller hand. Take a pair of pliers and carefully remove the small nut that holds the minute hand. Pull gently on the minute hand, so that it does not break when being removed.

  2. 2

    Turn the raised section, which is called a bushing, located in the centre of the clock face. Turn it to the right, or counterclockwise. Turn it 5 times, or until the chimes sound. Put the minute hand back in place and tighten the nut by hand. Tighten the nut with pliers, being careful not to over-tighten. Start the pendulum. Listen for the tick-tock sound and for the chime to strike on the hour set. Wind a Patriotic Grandfather clock once every 31 days.

  3. 3

    Check the other sections of the clock to make sure it is running correctly, if the chime still doesn't sound. Open up the back of the Patriotic Grandfather clock and examine the spring. Remove the spring, oil it in the pivots with clock oil and then reinstall it. Place a few drops of clock oil on the gear wheels to keep them from getting stuck. Oil the clock once every 3 years.

  4. 4

    Check the weights on the clock to make sure they are not tangled. The weights may interfere with the chimes sounding if they become tangled or if they are in the wrong place. Look at the bottom of the weights to see in which direction the weights go. The weights will be marked left, right and centre. Place the weights in their proper place accordingly.

  5. 5

    Set the time on the clock face to have the chimes sound on the hour. Turn the hour hand---which is the bigger hand---counterclockwise to the 12. Do not overwind. The clock hand should only be wound around the clock face one time.

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