The weight on the right powers the chimes, the weight on the left powers the hour strike and the centre weight powers the time and pendulum (which regulates the time shown by the hour and minute hands.) On each swing of the pendulum, the pendulum weight drops slightly. When the minute hand reaches the quarter hour, the clock chimes, and the right hand weight drops. And finally, on the top of the hour, the chimes play, the right hand weight drops slightly, then a lever is tripped, the clock strikes the correct hour, resulting in the left weight dropping.
Every quarter hour, the time train causes the chimes to strike, which in turn triggers the left strike weight to fall at the top of the hour. So it follows that if the time train centre pendulum weight will not drop, then the chime and strike weights won't drop either. The first thing you need to do is get the pendulum swinging again. For help in this type of grandfather clock repair read the Pendulum stops swinging.
Here, the pendulum is swinging and the clock hands are moving, but the chime is not operating. And as shown above, if the chime is not operating, the strike will not operate either! First thing to check is whether the chime lever on the grandfather dial is properly centered over a chime and not in the "off" position. Next, take off the side panel of your grandfather clock and check to make certain that the steel chime retard bar has not been lowered onto the chime hammers, causing the chimes not to operate.
Here, both the time and quarter hour chimes are operating, but the hour strike is not. On this type of grandfather clock repair, open the side panel and check to make certain that the steel retard bar has not been lowered onto the strike hammers causing them not to operate, and that the hammers are operating freely. Next, check and make sure that the trip lever from the chimes is operating properly and releasing the strike train.
The grandfather clock moon dial began appearing on English tall clocks during the early part of the 18th century.
Tall clocks during this period were made by hand, and many a wealthy squire delighted in displaying a beautiful tall clock in their manor capable not only of telling time, but also the phase of the moon, at a glance!
The grandfather clock moon dial is actually a highly accurate lunar calendar displaying the different phases of the moon during the lunar month.
A lunar month consists of one repetition of the complete lunar phase cycle, which is equal to 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3 seconds. You will see 29.5 engraved above the rotating moon dial on most grandfather clocks.
The primary phases are the new moon, first quarter, full moon, and last quarter. You can find their dates and times published on calendars, in almanacs and newspapers.
Modern grandfather clock moon dials consist of a round disk displaying two pictures of the moon. A one half rotation of the disk occurs every 29.5 days, comprising one lunation.
To set-up your moon dial correctly, first determine what phase the moon is currently in. Then press lightly against the moon dial with your fingers and at the same time rotate the dial to the right to the correct position. You can check by looking out the window at night.
If your grandfather clock chimes play in the correct order every 15 minutes, but are not in sync with the time shown, there may be nothing wrong with the chime mechanism! First, be aware that the majority of grandfather clocks manufactured within the last 50 years have a chime correction device that should automatically recycle the chimes back in sync with the minute hand when it reaches the top of the hour. If your clock doesn't have an automatic chime correction device, or if it is not operating correctly, you can manually correct the problem by turning the minute hand back fifteen minutes, then forward past a quarter hour. Continue to do this until the number of chimes match the quarter hour the minute hand is pointing to. For example, Westminster chimes should play 4 notes on the first quarter, 8 notes at half past, 12 notes at three quarters, and 16 notes at the top of the hour. If the problem still persists, the problem may be that the minute hand has been installed on its arbor in the wrong direction. Remove the nut holding down the minute hand with a pair of pliers, pull the minute hand off, rotate it to the quarter hour indicated by the number of chimes played, then reinstall the nut.
At City Clocks we will be happy to advise you on your Grandfather Clock maintenance.
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