Nowadays, grandfather clocks are valued not only for their aesthetics but also for the practicality that was added in the modern days. In the last few decades, grandfather clocks acquired many types of special features. Grandfather clocks of any style and movement can come with chime volume adjustment, a moon dial, finished in different colors and crafted from various materials.
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Chiming is one of the reasons why people love grandfather clocks but not everyone enjoys hearing a melody during a night or maybe it is too loud for a space. The chimes play on each quarter hour one note while the full chime melody will be played on the hour and followed by count the hour.
Most grandfather clocks have an automatic or manual chime shutoff option giving an opportunity to turn on or turn off the chines and the strike at any time of the day or night. It is possible to set the chime to play continuously or there is a lever on the dial to disable the chimes when needed. Some grandfather clocks have an option to play the chimes only on the hour or to stop chiming between the late evening (from 10PM) and the early morning (to 7AM) or set the clock only to count the hour. There is also a volume control to adjust the volume to the personal preferences depending on the hearing abilities or on the size of the room. Additionally, if the grandfather clock has dual-chime or triple-chime movement, there is a lever to switch between the melodies. These features prevent you from touching the brass while adjusting chimes for your comfort.
Most grandfather clocks with mechanical movement will have a functioning astrological moon dial. The moon dial slowly moves clockwise following the 29.5 day lunar cycle. The design of the moon dials varies from a simple image to elaborate detailing. All moon dials have an image of the moon that moves showing the lunar date and position of the moon in the sky. For example, it is the new moon phase when the image of the moon disappears and the moon image will appear at the top of the dial on the 15th day. The moon dial operates together with the clock movement and needs to be set only once.
Grandfather clock cases are crafted from different timbers. The first grandfather clocks were made of Oak as the main construction material to hold the long and heavy pendulum. Olive-wood and Walnut were used to make the most exclusive grandfather clocks while the less expensive pieces were made of Pine.
Nowadays, Oak, Walnut, Mahogany and Cherry are the most popular materials among the manufacturers. Some grandfather clocks have special intricate carvings or burl accents and inlays that are made from veneers. Some grandfather clocks use a combination of a few hardwoods and veneers. For example, the J.H. Miller Grandfather Clock by Howard Miller features sixteen different species of hardwoods and veneers, some of them are very rare.
The finish colors of grandfather clocks vary depending on the manufacturer. There is no strict traditional finish for grandfather clocks as it normally followed the trends of the finishes on furniture from the same period.
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