A Simple Guide to Setting up an 8 Day Grandfather Clock
Place the clock into situation and make sure that the case is level and absolutely solid with no movement, this is very, very important. If there is a large skirting board you may need to screw a piece of similar size wood across the back of the case to allow the case to stand level without leaning back.
Place the dial & movement onto the clock. Carefully place the hood on and make sure the dial is positioned centrally with the hood door. If it is, remove the hood. Be very careful that the dial cannot fall forward through the glass as you remove the hood.
On the back of the movement you will see a long strip of metal with a loop at the end, this is called the pendulum crutch. You must slide the pendulum inside the case door and up through the loop. Above the loop is an extruding metal piece with a slot cut into it. Slide the thin strip of metal that is at the top of the pendulum (called the feather) into the groove and gently lower it so that the tip of the pendulum falls into place. The pendulum should now hang without touching the back of the case, if it doesn’t, lean the clock forward by wedging behind the backboard.
Take hold of the pulleys on the gut lines and turn them upside down with the line running around the pulley. The hook should now be at the bottom for you to hang the weight on. Carefully let the weight move round until the gut line is not twisted. Repeat for both sides. Be very careful to check that the gut lines are still wrapped around the large spools, it is very common for them to slip forward and fall off the spools preventing the clock from functioning properly. If they have slipped off, carefully feed just enough gut line back up through the seatboard (what the clock movement is sitting on) to allow you to reposition the gut line back onto the spools.
Now simply rock the pendulum. You should now hear a steady, and even, tick, tock, tick, tock. The ticking must be even, not tick, tock………tick, tock……..etc. If this is the case, you need to bend the crutch at the back of the movement (that the pendulum loop is attached to). Very carefully bend it to the left. You bend it by resting one finger against the middle of the wire, and gently press the bottom loop in the opposite direction, thereby bending it in the middle, not at the top. If the ticking is now worse, you must bend it the other way, if it is a little better, then bend it the same way until the ticking is even. To set the time, simply move the minute hand, letting the clock chime through the hours, until you reach the right time. NEVER move the hands backwards through the 12 o'clock position on the dial, this can cause serious damage, and always let the clock chime as you go through each hour. Contrary to some other online setting up guides, you CANNOT just remove the right hand weight to stop the clock from chiming, this will definitely cause damage. If you wish the clock to stop chiming, simple bend the strike hammer away from the bell at the top, so even though the clock chiming is still functioning as normal, the hammer does not strike the bell and thus no sound will be heard
If the clock is losing time, at the bottom of the pendulum is a nut which is moved up to make the clock run faster (ie if it running slow and losing time), or down to make the clock run slower. Please remember that when antique clocks are moved, they do take time to settle down, adjusting may take quite a while until you get it spot on.
Finally, one final check to see that the clock is level, stable and solid, and that the gut lines are not twisted or have slipped off the spools..
Put the hood on and enjoy your clock!
S J Bean Dial Restoration
15 Newark Road
LN6 8RB UK