Antique clock repairs, servicing and restoration.
We thought it was worth using this blog to remind you of the importance of servicing your clocks regularly.
It is easy to forget that clocks are machines, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The tick that you hear is a tooth in a brass wheel, called the escape wheel, landing on the steel face of the pallets which rock back and forth with the pendulum. Most longcase clocks tick 60 times a minute, that equates to 3,600 times an hour or 86,400 times a day. Over a year your clock will have ticked over 31 million times, 31,536,000 to be precise. We recommend clocks are serviced every 8 -10 years. A clock coming in for a service after 10 years will have ticked a staggering 315 million times which is why servicing is essential to maintain good timekeeping and extend the life of your clock. Fine antique clocks have only lasted this long because they have been regularly serviced by their previous owners.
The image below shows an important table clock that recently came in for a service just in time with the gut line about to break. Had it broken whilst the clock was going it would have caused a huge amount of damage.
So what does a service entail?
First of all your clock is carefully dismantled, then dirt and contaminated oil is cleaned from each individual part by hand. Every part is inspected for wear. The pallets have a small amount of oil on them and over time this oil becomes contaminated with dirt and dust in the atmosphere and drys out. The contamination causes wear on the steel faces of the pallets which impairs the function of the escapement. During a service the pallets are polished and if the wear is very bad a thin layer of new steel is put on the pallet. The pivots which can become worn and scored are polished and the pivot holes which can become worn and oval in shape are rebushed. Small brass bushes which are thin tubes of brass are fitted to make the pivot holes snug once more around the pivot. New high grade Swiss oil is applied, along with new gut line if necessary. Your clock is carefully reassembled and then put on test for timekeeping, strike and date work. After a week on test your clock is ready to be retuned to you, good for another 10 years.
Take a moment to check and see when your clocks were last serviced, you may be surprised to find it is longer ago than you thought. We are happy to offer a socially distanced collection and return service for our UK customers and International collection and return can also be arranged. All our work is quoted in advance and guaranteed for 2 years.