Home Tips Fun Stuff Music Boxes About Us

Troubleshooting Tips
Transporting Clocks

DON'TS -- Some things to avoid while caring for your clock

Troubleshooting Tips

Before you try to maintain or repair your clock, remember that they are complicated, possibly valuable mechanisms and should be repaired by experts only.

Be certain your key-wound or mechanical clock is FULLY wound. Contrary to popular belief, over-winding most clocks is very difficult, if not impossible. You may think your clock is malfunctioning, when it is actually in need of a periodic winding. Difficulty winding a clock may be an indicator of several problems that may need professional attention, but it may also be a normal characteristic of your clock's mainspring.
Clocks should sit or hang level . Mechanical clocks must be run on a level surface and set in beat: that is, the "tick-tock" sound must be rhythmic and even. Clocks must also be level from front to back, as well as side to side.
Use only fresh batteries in quartz movement clocks. If you have a quartz clock make sure that the battery is fresh and inserted correctly. The same advice applies to other battery-operated functions in some clocks, including lights and electronic chimes.
Take your clocks in for maintenance service regularly. All clocks run better and last longer when they receive regular maintenance. Clocks should be oiled and adjusted at regular intervals recommended by the manufacturer or repairman.
If you cannot make your clock run after following these suggestions, bring it to the experts at Williamsburg Clocks. Trying to fix it yourself may cost you a lot more in the long run!

Top of page

Transporting Clocks

Transporting and shipping clocks with weights and pendulum When you move a clock equipped with weights and pendulum, you must remove them and pack them separately. A pendulum is attached to the clock's movement with a fragile spring that has some sort of hook mechanism. Gently lift the pendulum off the spring before moving the clock for service or to a new location. In some clocks, you can secure the pendulum in place with tape applied to the bottom. Call us if you have questions about how to secure a pendulum

Carefully remove weights from the their cables or chains. Remember -- these weights are often much heavier than they look.

Take particular care when transporting Cuckoo Clocks and follow and packing instructions that go with the clock. Usually, you should pull the weight chains all the way to the top and secure them in place with a lightweight wire or pipe cleaner.

Do not bring winding keys or removable decorative attachments to the clock, such as crests, domes, spindles, or others.
Transporting and shipping cuckoo clocks When transporting a cuckoo clock, follow packing instructions that accompany the clock, OR follow these steps:
  1. With the cuckoo clock hanging on a wall, remove the pendulum.
  2. Pull the weights all the way up to the top.
  3. Remove the weights and write down the number stamped on each one.
  4. Thread a pipe cleaner, or other lightweight wire, through each one of the loops on the bottom of the clock. Secure the ends so that the pipe cleaner cannot slip out.
  5. Remove any detachable or loose decorative accessories, such as a crest. Figures and trim that are affixed firmly in place should remain.
  6. Gently lay the clock in a padded box with chains loosely coiled.
  7. Include the pendulum and a note that indicates the number recorded on each weight. You need not send the weights unless instructed to do so.
If you are shipping the clock to us, include note with the weight numbers and a description of the clock's problems. Then, pad the clock on all sides before sealing the packing box.


Call us at 757-564-0107 if you have any additional questions about diagnosing problems or preparing a clock to transport or ship.

Top of page

DON'TS: Some Things to Avoid While Caring for Your Clock

DON'T use anything but clock oil on a clock movement. NEVER lubricate a clock's movement with any oil that is not designed for clocks. In particular, avoid "WD40" and other like household lubricants. As temporary solution, these lubricants can mask real problems and add to the dirt that must be cleaned away. Eventually, the wrong lubricant becomes gummy and causes even more damage to the movement's parts, such as teeth and pivots.
DON'T try to repair or maintain high quality or specialized clocks. High quality clocks with complex mechanisms, such as Atmos clocks, are durable but delicate. Such clocks require expert attention. Never attempt to repair or maintain an Atmos clock.
DON'T be rough with delicate winding mechanisms. Anniversary clocks have a weighted spinning pendulum that is hung from a fragile suspension spring. DO NOT start an anniversary clock by spinning the pendulum more than about half a turn. Rotating the pendulum more than a half turn twists, and may break, the suspension spring, requiring a repair and replacement of the spring.

Top of page