How To Clean A Clock Movement At Home?
- Joe Thomas
How Do You Clean a Clock Movement at Home? To clean a clock movement, you must disassemble it and remove any dust and filth. If necessary, pry open the back of the clock using a screwdriver. Now, the movement should be visible. If a pendulum is present, it should be removed.
How does one grease a clock mechanism?
How to Apply Clock Oil A mechanical clock, such as a grandfather clock, mantel clock, or other mechanical clock, utilizes mainsprings and levers to keep the time and keep the clock running. Certain components of the clock require oil every two to three years in order to function correctly.
- If the clock is not oiled or if it is oiled poorly, it may cease to function properly.
- It may even malfunction.
- Using a synthetic clock oil kit, you can oil a clock in only a few minutes.
- Remove the clock’s hood by sliding it forward or pulling it off the clock’s base to uncover the clock’s inner workings.
If you are working on a clock that employs weights, remove just the time weight (usually on the right) and not the strike weight from the chain. Disconnect the pendulum from the pendulum support. Maintaining pressure on the action by holding the weight cable and removing the strike weight.
- Take out the mechanism from the casing.
- Remove the hands from the motion.
- Loosen the holding pins and remove the movement plate by pulling it off.
- The clock movement should be placed face-down on a work surface.
- Place one drop of synthetic clock oil from the syringe into each oil sink on the clock movement.
Turn the movement over and add a drop of oil to the oil sinks on the opposite clock plate, weight pulleys, and front plate posts. Examine the gears and pinions of the clock, especially under any brackets or levers, for concealed pivot points. Place a drop of oil on any pivot points, gears, or pinions with two or more non-gravity-driven functioning mechanical elements.
How and where to lubricate your clock You’ll hear a lot of horror stories about how often a clock should be refurbished in order to maintain its optimal condition. As long as it is kept properly greased, a clock should not need to be stripped and cleaned more frequently than once every 10 years, according to my opinion, unless it is a really precious and original piece.
- Proper and frequent lubrication is essential.
- Failure to oil the clock will result in eventual wear, such as the enlargement of a pivot hole ( Image 1 ).
- It is not a fatal issue, since the hole may be re-bushed and returned to its proper location ( Image 2 ).
- But if left unchecked, a worn pivot hole causes the wheels to progressively drift apart until the teeth do not contact correctly (Image 3).
Eventually, the force of the mainspring will bend the teeth’s tips (Image 4) as the wheel spins out of control. This is a more significant issue, as a new wheel must be cut and installed on the barrel. Failure to maintain the pivot holes lubricated can also result in damage to the respective pivot, or possibly the loss of the pivot, as seen in Image 4 on the left.
Drilling out the arbor and installing a new pivot, and typically re-bushing the pivot hole to match, is another costly repair. An oil service every three years, however, should help maintain the functionality of your clock and might save you a considerable amount of money without placing the clock at danger of major harm.
You might save even more money by lubricating your clock yourself, but you must use the proper clock oil. And you must know where (and where not) to place the oil. Don’t use 3-in-One or even worse, WD40. Both mineral and vegetable oils degrade with time, but current clock oil is synthetic and hence considerably more durable than mineral or vegetable oils.
Additionally, clock lubricants include rust inhibitors to safeguard the clock. Pour a small amount of clock oil into a smaller dish and dip a clean steel pin into it so as not to overdo it; then, apply the oil on the pin. Alternately, you might get a pocket-sized clock oiler. AF (Albert Froidevaux & Fils SA) is a Swiss company that specializes in horological instruments.
The A&F oilers resemble hypodermic syringes (Image 5) so that they may reach the required clock parts without contaminating other components. I generally have several spares, so I’ll send you one for £8. (UK only). However, it should only be used on pallets and small to medium-sized pivots; big pivots, such as winding arbors, must be lubricated.
- Where should you apply the oil? The wheels (or gears) of a clock are attached to shafts (arbors), and each end of the arbor is reduced in size using a lathe to form the pivot.
- These pivots hold the wheel between the brass plates at the front and rear and are manufactured tiny to reduce turning friction.
Some pivots, such as those used in miniature clocks such as carriage clocks, have a diameter of less than one millimeter. Apply the oil to the pivot holes in the brass backplate; often, the holes are cupped (countersunk) to produce a ‘well’ that will hold the oil, and the end of the white metal (steel) pivot will be visible in the center.
On an 8-day watch, there are at least four. On a striking clock, they will exceed double that amount. Leave the clock face down and allow the oil to infiltrate while doing so. Don’t overdo it. If you put too much oil in the countersink, some oil will drain out, and the osmosis process will progressively take out the remaining oil, leaving the countersink nearly dry.
Only apply oil to the pallets of the escapement to allow the teeth of the escape wheel to pass through with little friction. Do not lubricate the wheel teeth or pinions. The challenging aspect is repeating the process on the front plate. Do not attempt to lubricate the front pivots between the plate, since the countersink will not hold the oil.
What is used to clean antique clocks?
Cleaning a Vintage Wood Clock Case – Many vintage clock cases are grimy and discolored due to years of dust accumulation, polish buildup, and sometimes even smoke damage. Nevertheless, the original finish is likely still present. The objective is to remove dirt without destroying the exquisite appearance.
If you are unable to locate a product designed particularly for cleaning clock casings, Mr. Clean works quite well. (Never use a cleanser with a pH close to 7.0, since it will continue to erode the surface after cleaning.) Apply Mr. Clean to a super-fine steel wool pad, soft-bristle brush, or cotton swab, and scrub gently in a circular motion until the wood grain returns.
Once the original finish has been restored, routine cleaning and polishing will keep its shine. The casing can be cleaned by simply wiping it with a soft cotton towel to remove dust and surface grime. Apply a wood finishing wax of your choosing using a cotton towel or soft-bristled brush for polishing.