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Medford Clock Shop

Answers to Common Questions

  1. How old is my clock?
  2. My clock chimes the wrong hours.
  3. How do I adjust the speed of my clock?
  4. Can I turn the hands backwards?
  5. How often do I have to wind my clock?
  6. When should I get my clock serviced?
  7. Do you sell clock parts?
  8. What is my clock worth?
  9. Can I oil my own clock?
  10. Can I wind my clock too tight?

1. How old is my clock?

Without actually seeing a clock it is almost impossible to date, altough certain types of clocks were very poular during certain time periods. Tambours (camel backs) were popular in the 1920's, black mantles were popular in the late 1890 to 1910's. Sometimes it is possible to date from the actual construction of the movement. (assembled with nuts, screws or tapered pins.

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2. My clock chimes the wrong hours.

Most clocks can be put back into "sync" simply by turning the hour hand to the correct hour. When turning hold the hour hand by the center or as close to the center as possibe to avoid bending, and rotate in either direction.

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3. How do I adjust the speed of my clock??

Most pendulum clocks have a rating nut on the bottom ot the bob. Turning clockwise (to the right) shoud speed the clock up. Other clocks have a small hole in the front of the dial. The small end of your key should fit this square arbor. Turning will adjust the rate. Remember to reset the correct time following any adjustment. Do not expect the clock to "catch up" to the correct time.

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4. Can I turn the hands backwards?

Each clock is different. Most rack and snail clocks will permit the hand to go backwards. If in doubt, try rotating the hand backwards and if significant resistance is felt STOP.

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5. How often do I have to wind my clock?

Most antique clocks were either 30 hour or eight day, although there were certain clocks that would last 15 days, 30 days or even a full year between winds. Eight day clocks are designed to be wound once a week. If you are only getting 5 days he mainsprings are probably worn out and need to be replaced.

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6. When should I get my clock serviced?

I recommend getting a clock oiled at 2 year intervals and completely overhauled every 10 years.

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7. Do you sell clock parts?

I have many new and original parts for clocks. If you need something please try to describe it thoroughly and I will try to locate the item. Many parts for old clocks are not available and have to be made.

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8. What is my clock worth?

Certain clocks do have established values. These are determined by the many different clock auctions, what people are willing to pay, and other means. Many other clocks are sentimental. No value can be put on these.

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9. Can I oil my own clock?

Yes, but it's not as easy as it sounds. Try to contact your local clocksmith to obtain the correct oil and possibly some hints as to the correct procedure. Under no circumstance spray the movement with any lubricants. (silicone, WD-40 etc.)

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10. Can I wind my clock too tight?

A clean and properly clock cannot be wound too tight. Dirty and gummy mainsprings can bind up however if wound too tight. If your clock is partially wound and will not run there is another problem.

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Medford Clock & Barometer, Dixontown Road, Medford, NJ 08055
Phone: (609) 953-0014, Fax (609) 953-0411
E-mail: jim@medfordclock.com
Copyright 1999 - 2003 Medford Clock Shop. All rights reserved.