How to Change the Chime on a Seth Thomas Antique Clock

By Linda Stamberger ; Updated April 12, 2017
Seth Thomas mantel clock.

Seth Thomas antique clocks are mantel clocks, with winding mechanisms responsible for the chime function. The clock must be wound regularly to ensure that the chimes sound correctly. Inner and outer mechanisms on the clock allow the clock to function, and they run in a synchronized fashion. If one part of the inner mechanism is not functioning properly, other parts of the clock may not work. If a mechanism on the outside of the clock is faulty, it may interfere with the chimes sounding, so all parts of the clock must be checked to ensure proper functioning of the chimes.

Look at the clock face. The clock face should say 7 or 8 day clock. Wind the Seth Thomas antique clock once every 7 or 8 days. Look at the back of the clock for three big holes, and insert the key into the hole on the far right to wind. Turn the key to the right, and continually twist the key until the key stops on its own. The clock is now fully wound, and the key can be removed.

Insert the key into the left hole and wind to set the chimes to sound on the hour. Turn the key until it can be no longer be wound. Place the key in the center hole to adjust the time on the clock face. Turn the key counterclockwise, while looking at the front of the clock to set the time.

Take the clock winding key and insert it into one of the two smaller holes for speeding the clock up or for slowing it down. These key winding holes also affect the chime settings; turning the chimes off or on while repairing the rest of the clock mechanisms.

Make sure to turn the chimes back on after adjustments have been made and the clock has been wound. Use a skeleton key in the same size if the original key is missing, or take the clock to a professional clock smith to have them wind the clock for you and make a substitute key. You can keep the chimes turned off if you want the clock to be silent.

Wind at least once a week if there is no marking on the clock face. Wind the bigger hour hand on the clock counterclockwise and rest it on the 12, after setting the minute hand on the hour you want the clock to chime. Do not over-wind.

Things Needed

  • Clock winding key
  • Skeleton key

About the Author

Linda Stamberger began writing professionally in 1994, as an entertainment reporter for "Good Times Magazine." She has written online copy for The Volusia Community website and is the author of "Antiquing in Florida." Stamberger studied creative writing at Southampton College, where she won a partial writing scholarship.