Grandfather clocks

Grandfather Clock Maintenance: A Brief Guide to Add Time to Your Life™

10.26.07

A question asked of 1-800-4CLOCKS almost all the time is how often to both oil and clean my mechanical grandfather clock. There is no question that oiling and cleaning at appropriate intervals both make the grandfather clock run more smoothly continuously throughout its life, and increase the clocks longevity. Without oiling and cleaning at defined times, not only will the grandfather clock not perform as well over time, but the life expectancy of the movements, or at least certain critical parts inside, will most certainly be shorter.

Having said the above, 1-800-4CLOCKS also gets many requests for oiling kits, and each time the person is asked if they know what they are doing when it comes to oiling a clock. The simple reason is that if one puts too much oil in or on the grandfather clock, or in the wrong places on the movement, one can really cause a major problem for the clock in the present and the future.

Just as you want to make sure you or your auto mechanic know what they are doing when working on your car, you want to know that whomever is servicing your clock is not just randomly “throwing oil into an automobile engine.” The analogy of a car’s engine to a grandfather clocks movement is not a bad one — both have inner metal workings in need of both oiling and cleaning.

OK, so how often!!??!! We will tell you what is generally recommended by 1-800-4CLOCKS for high-end mechanical grandfather clocks like Howard Miller Grandfather Clocks, Hermle Grandfather Clocks, Ridgeway Grandfather Clocks, Bulova Grandfather Clocks and Kieninger Grandfather Clocks. Oiling is recommended every 2-4 years, and a complete cleaning every 5-8 years. The same for Antique Grandfather Clocks and Grandmother Clocks. Many experts will recommend more frequent oiling and cleaning of grandfather clocks. Few will recommend much less over time. It is suggested, however, that any time your mechanical grandfather clock is appearing sluggish or losing time (or has stopped running, as an extreme example), a cleaning and or oiling may be in order (after ruling out more obvious causes, e.g. leveling your clock, or making sure it is in beat).

With proper maintenance, a grandfather clock will last many many lifetimes, and will be a treasured heirloom that can be passed down to future generations.

Howard Miller Shreveport Triple Chime Grandfather Clock 610-790Howard Miller Shreveport Triple Chime Grandfather Clock Model 610-790

9 comments so far

[...] the clock of my dreams, I want to preserve it to the best of my ability. I want to learn how to do proper maintenance on it to keep it in the best possible working condition. Maybe one day I will be able to hand it [...]

[...] better about maintaining it for sure, especially if I want it to last that long. The site’s grandfather clock blog has some great tips on how to maintain your clock. I didn’t realize oiling was recommended [...]

[...] of her clock online I came a crossed a blog dedicated to grandfather clocks! I found the post about grandfather clock maintenance extremely helpful, and was drawn to many other interesting articles about grandfather [...]

[...] was reading up on the maintenance for grandfather clocks on the blog–and will need to look into the oil kits and such for my clock. A beautiful, [...]

[...] pick out a grandfather clock that expresses who they are and adds to the atmosphere of their home. With proper maintenance, you clock can last a long, long time and be a very beautiful element in your [...]

[...] how to take care of it to make it last for many generations. They have a great blog and I found this post about grandfather clock maintenance that is SO helpful! Posted by Administrator [...]

[...] home, but more than that they make great heirlooms. That is how our family has chosen to use our grandfather clock. With the craftsmanship contained in this clock, it will be passed down for many generations to [...]

[...] he loves the mantel clock he bought when he was in Germany on business. Unfortunately, it’s over 20 years old and he’s been told that the mechanics need complete replacing – it’s not a simple [...]

Within your tips on maintenance, don’t forget to mention to take safeguards against termites. Houses that have developed cracks in the foundation will eventually become termite infested. If the grandfather clock has a hollow cavity at it’s base, the termites will quickly find a home there. Then, it is a matter of time before the clock case is damaged beyond repair. (I speak through experience). I just thought I would share this with grandfather clock owners. It could be a very helpful tip for someone. —Gary H.



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