How to Repair Rhythm Clocks

By Linda Stamberger
A Grandfather clock needs maintenance to maintain rhythm.

Rhythm clocks are run on sequence, with an inner set of intricate mechanisms that enable the clock as a whole to function. The rhythm of the clock is the natural tick-tock sound, and the swinging of the pendulum in the front of the clock keeps the pace of the clock. The pendulum can be set at different levels to move the clock faster or slower. Most Grandfather clocks have this rhythm, with inner and outer mechanisms that work together.

Open the front of the clock, if it is enclosed behind glass. Use your fingers to slide the glass casing open, or use a small pair of pliers if need be, making sure not to break the glass. Stop the rhythm clock pendulum from swinging by holding the bottom of the bob in place. If one part of the clock is off kilter, then it may affect the rhythm of the clock in general. Rhythm clocks need to be examined and properly adjusted in various sections to ensure that the clock works correctly.

Put on a pair of white cotton gloves before handling the pendulum, to eliminate fingerprints that can aesthetically ruin the pendulum. Adjust the weights on the clock by putting them in their proper place if tangled. Look on the bottom of the weights to see where they are marked. Look for the left, right and center markings, and adjust them accordingly.

Use the pliers to remove the small hand, by first removing the small nut that holds the minute hand in place. Pull the minute hand forward, and off the clock face. Place a small drop of oil where the small hand was joined to the big hand, and reattach the small hand. Tighten the nut back in place making sure not to over tighten, so that the hands move freely around the clock face and keep proper rhythm.

Set the time on the clock face to ensure that the chimes sound hourly, along with the rhythm. Turn the small minute hand counterclockwise, and set it on the hour you want the clock to chime.

Turn the bigger hour hand counterclockwise to the 12, making sure not to over-wind. Turn the bigger hand only one time. Start the pendulum swinging again to get the rhythm started. Move the pendulum to either the left or the right side. Listen for a tick-tock sound, and for the striking of the chimes on the set hour.

Things Needed

  • Pliers
  • Clock oil
  • Cotton gloves

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.