Frequently Ask Questions

1. How often should my clock be oiled?
Your clock should be oiled every 7 to 10 years depending on the quality of oil used. The oil we use is VERY expensive but worth every penny. Never use lubricants that are not designed for clock use. Do not use sprays or oil every joint and gear in sight. "Never use WD-40". Clock movements usually need to be removed from their case for proper oiling of all critical points. For tall case clocks, such as grandfather clocks, we offer on the site service at reasonable rates.
2. How often should my clock be cleaned?
Your clock should be professionally cleaned every 8 to 10 years. Having your clock cleaned will assure you of keeping your heirloom in top condition for years to come. While oiling your clock is a good prevention against early wear and tear, cleaning it will remove all the dirt build-up that destroys good movements. It is also a good time to have the clock inspected, springs checked and replaced, if needed.
3. My pendulum clock doesn't keep time. How do I correct it ?
If your pendulum clock is running too fast, you need to lower the pendulum disc (bob). To do this, simply turn the adjustment screw (below the disc) to your left. If your clock is running slow, turn the adjustment screw to your right. This will raise the pendulum disc. In either case, make gradual adjustments until your clock is keeping good time. This procedure may require several attempts.
4. Can I over-wind my clock?
NO! Just don’t wind up weight driven clocks until they hit the bottom of the seat board. Stop winding 1/8” to ¼” from seat board (the place the movement sits).
5. Is it okay to turn the clock hand backwards at the end of Daylight Savings Time?
With most modern clocks it is okay to move the minute hand backwards or forward an hour to adjust for DST. With antique clocks it would be advised to stop the clock for an hour and then restart it. Quartz clocks can be adjusted unless they are chiming clocks. We recommend changing battery every year and that is the time to set the clock back if it is a chiming clock.
6. What procedures should I follow to move my clock?
If you are moving your clock to another location within the same building, you should be able to safely move your clock. If you have a pendulum clock, always remove the pendulum. If there are weights remove them too. Some chiming clocks have hammer stop levers, depending on the distance of the move, it would be advisable to press these against the supporting arms of the hammers. Carefully move the clock to the desired position, reposition the hammer stop levers, check that the clock is level, install pendulum and weights, restart clock.
7. I moved my wall clock off the wall, now it won’t run. How can I get it back running again?
Check that the clock is level and re-start. If you moved your clock without removing the pendulum first, you may have caused it to get out of beat. Our first advice is to call a professional to get your clock back in beat. If you want to attempt this yourself, here's some advice. Pendulum clocks are put in beat by adjusting the crutch in the appropriate direction to obtain even ticking. With the pendulum removed and the clock level, move the crutch from one side to the other while listening to the tick tock sound. Note which side requires the least lateral movement of the crutch from dead center to get a tick. It is in that direction that the crutch must be repositioned in relation to the verge to bring the clock in beat.
8. There is no clock service in my area. How do I find someone to work on my clock?
Two answers: 1. I would be pleased if you would ship me your clock or movement. I would be happy to provide service to you and take care of your needs. 2. If you have a Grandfather clock, you would be better served, to find someone in your area. If you have someone that is able to remove the movement, from the case, or you have, an older Grandfather clock, that some will slide straight out from the case, after you have removed the weights and pendulum. In this case you will be able to ship me the movement, weights, & pendulum etc.
9. Do you make house calls?
Absolutely. We do make house calls for grandfather and grandmother clocks, and large wall clocks.
10. Are house calls free?
No, there is a charge for house calls, and the exact cost depends on the type of grandfather clock you have, and distance that you are located from my shop.
11. How much does a house call cost?
I do not post prices online, because every customer will more than likely have a different style of clock. If you call me or e-mail me, I'd be most happy to present my house call charges to you. The shop phone number and e-mail address are on my home page. I will describe in detail the services I provide. I will explain what you can expect from my services and from your clock and will answer any questions you may have. An appointment can be scheduled at that time, if you so choose.
12. When can you come to my home (or office)?
As soon as I can! House calls are currently done on Fridays, anytime from mid-morning to early afternoon, subject to my (and your) availability, and at a time that is convenient to both of us.
13. Sunday appointments are available.
Please note that major holidays, and several "family" Sundays per year, are days on which I am not available. But regardless, you'll receive an appointment that's convenient for you and that is, in general, done within the first week you call.
14. Do you charge extra for weekend, or for early-evening appointments?
No, of course not. If needed, we can do some evening calls, if you work late.
15. Can I bring my clock to you?
Yes if it's a wall or mantle type clock. If it is a grandfather clock maybe not. Most grandfather clocks are too large to reasonably transport, and are too large for me to move or for my shop to handle, so in most cases the answer is "no". I also ask you to call ahead, so that I know when to expect your visit.
16. If I remove the clock mechanism myself can I bring it to you. Can you repair it for me and I will do the installation myself?:
This is a reasonable request to make, but unfortunately my experience with this arrangement requires that the answer be "no". I am happy to repair your grandfather mechanism if you bring it in, but the completed repair must be delivered and installed by me during a "house call" for the warranty to apply.
17. Will you travel to my town?
Probably! Important! If you don't think you're within my service area, please inquire, instead of simply assuming that I won't. I have traveled outside of the greater Chicago area many time, so just call and ask.
18. Can you repair my grandfather clock?
Yes. We specialize in modern grandfather clocks, that contain German-made mechanisms, such as: Howard Miller, Sligh, Ethan Allen, Trend, Ridgeway, etc. Also, we repair Antique grandfather clocks as well, so We have repaired thousands of clocks over the past 50 years. When it comes to Antique clocks, We will only clean and overhaul them as required. We will not ever try to install a new movement in its place.
19. I thought grandfather clocks were supposed to last forever. It’s been less than 20 years. Why is my clock giving me problems? Don’t grandfather clocks last forever?
Unfortunately, no. Modern grandfather clocks, if operated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, have a life expectancy of about 10-15 years before developing major internal mechanical problems and failing to run, or to run well. Sometimes they can last as long as 25-30 years before failing, but this is rare; usually they're worn out and in need of major repairs by the time they reach age 15. So if your grandfather clock is 10-15 years old (or more), and if it's not running properly (or at all), this is completely normal and is caused by normal wear-and-tear.
20. Clocks that are hundreds of years old and still running have not been running continuously for hundreds of years:
They have been repaired a dozen times (or more) during their 200-year or 300-year lifetimes. Those clocks needed their first repair at some point, just like your clock may need right now…and as the decades added up, those old clocks needed repairs over and over again. During 2021. Big Ben has been stopped for major repairs. It will take 15-20 months to complete.
21. I can’t believe that grandfather clocks only last 15-20 years before needing repairs.
Believe it or not. In 15 years of 24/7 operation, your grandfather clock will have "ticked" more than 470,000,000 (470 million) times, and will have chimed more than 500,000 (one-half million) times. Such use causes wear-and-tear over the years that will cause the clock to perform poorly at first, but that will later cause it to simply fail in service. (Try running your automobile 24/7 for 15 years, and see what happens!).
22. My grandfather clock is over a 150 years old. Can you repair it?
Yes. We can, and we love working on true antique clocks. I will say that it can be very time consuming on some clocks. See the note above in #20. Some of these old clocks require parts to be hand made from time to time. You just never know what kind of a challenge you will find.