How Does a Grandfather Clock Work?

How Does a Grandfather Clock Work? - Premier Clocks

Grandfather clocks are a conventional variation of pendulum clocks that are still being very popular. The height normally ranging from 5.9 to 8 feet and carved ornamentation designs make grandfather clocks stately timepieces. But what is more important about grandfather clocks is that they have outstanding accuracy in timekeeping. In this blog post, Premier Clocks will look into how a grandfather clock works and why they have great time accuracy.


The Parts of a Grandfather Clock Mechanism

Before we dive into the grandfather clock functioning, we need to have some idea about grandfather clock mechanism parts. 

  • Escapement: comprising pendulum, anchor and gears.
  • Dial and Hands: indicate the time.
  • Weights: store (potential) energy and provide power to the hour strike, time, and chime melody.
  • Pendulum: provides the ability to regulate and adjust the time keeping.
  • Power Gears: take and use energy from the falling weights.
  • Timekeeping Gears: drive the clock hands.
  • Rods: create strike and chime sounds.

If you would like to have more information, Premier Clocks has written a detailed blog post about theTerminology and Parts of a Grandfather Clock.


How a Grandfather Clock Works

At the heart of every grandfather clock is the movement. Even though there are different types of grandfather clock movements, the main purpose of any movement is to control time keeping, the hour strike and chimes. 

The Short Description of a Grandfather Clock Functioning

In short, a grandfather clock works because the pendulum swings back and forth by the gravity force while the weights drop at a certain speed providing the power to turn the hands on the clock. The pendulum is connected to the escapement mechanism to control the turning of a gear at specific pace.

The Detailed Description of a Grandfather Clock Functioning

Here is the more detailed description of how movement mechanism of a grandfather clock works.

  1. The pendulum takes one second to swing into position. It is attached to gears with special-shaped teeth each time the pendulum swings the anchor releases one ‘tooth’ this tooth nudges the pendulum in the right direction transfers enough energy to overcome friction keep the pendulum swinging.
  2. The escapement gears are attached to a weight drum wound up by chains or cables. Every second, the weight drops a littlereleases the energymoves the seconds hand. The escapement gear is also connected to a gear train with more weights drive the minute and hour hands. Winding the grandfatherclock raises the weight back upcreating and storing more potential energy to drive the pendulum.


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