How to Fix Seth Thomas Grandfather Clocks

By Brian Adler
Fix a Seth Thomas Wall Clock

Seth Thomas was one of the most famous makers of grandfather clocks. From 1806 to 1853, the company produced thousands of the mechanical clocks. Afterward, Seth Thomas expanded its production line to include a wide variety of wall and mantel clocks. The company stopped making grandfather clocks approximately 20 years ago and is currently undergoing a reorganization.

Check the pendulum on the Seth Thomas grandfather clock to make sure it is swinging freely. Mechanical grandfather clocks depend on the pendulum to regulate the time. Each swing of the pendulum advances the gears inside the clock.

Wind the clock. If the pendulum still does not swing, check the hands of the clock. If the hands are touching each other, push the hour hand gently toward the clock face. If the hands still touch, gently bend the minute hand away from the clock face.

Examine the swing of the pendulum. If it moves, and then stops, or if it swings erratically, the clock is probably off-balance. Gently tilt the clock to one side and restart the pendulum.

Watch the swing of the pendulum. If it stops again or continues to swing erratically, try tilting the clock in the opposite direction. Tilt the clock at various angles, on each side, and front and back, until the pendulum runs smoothly and regularly.

Note the clock position in which the pendulum swings freely. Place a wedge underneath the clock in the place needed to maintain this angle. If a wedge alone will not hold the Seth Thomas grandfather clock in the proper position, try lifting the clock slightly up against the wall.

Use a screwdriver to attach a bracket to the wall at the appropriate position. Additional brackets may be needed depending on the angle required. It may also be necessary to employ a combination of wedges and brackets.

Tip

Wedges can be replaced with thin pieces of wood, or even cardboard, if the Seth Thomas grandfather clock only needs to be raised very slightly.

Warning

Always insert bracket screws into wall studs, or similar strong points, to prevent the bracket from being torn out of the wall.

About the Author

Brian Adler has been writing articles on history, politics, religion, art, architecture and antiques since 2002. His writing has been published with Demand Studios, as well as in an online magazine. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Columbia University.