How to Set a Grandfather Clock

How to set a grandfather clock - Premier Clocks

If you are the lucky owner of your first grandfather clock and you would like to set it up by yourself, you will need to follow a certain order of steps. Here are the initial steps that you need to do.

NOTE: To perform the following steps we suggest wearing cotton gloves or using a soft cloth when handling parts.


Step 1. Locate the Box with Grandfather Clock Parts

When you receive a grandfather clock, the first thing you need to do is to locate a box at the bottom of the shipping carton. This box contains:

  • a key to fit your grandfather clock door
  • a crank which will be used to wind your grandfather clock (only for cable-driven grandfather clocks)
  • weights which operate the grandfather clock movement 
  • a grandfather clock pendulum will be placed within the shipping carton and packaged in a separate box


Step 2. Place the Grandfather Clock

Move the grandfather clock to its final location. Once in place, you need to ensure that the grandfather clock is positioned square and firm on the floor so that it will not fall over. Your grandfather's clock cabinet must be leveled for maximum stability and proper alignment, as the clock may not operate if it is not level.


Step 3. Level the Grandfather Clock

There are four (4) levelers under the cabinet on each corner that can be screwed in (up) or out (down) to make adjustments. Place a level alongside the grandfather’s clock cabinet from front to back and side to side, adjusting the levelers until level. It may be necessary to periodically check your cabinet after initial set-up, (especially if the clock is on carpet), as it might settle after original leveling.

Level the Grandfather Clock - Premier Clocks


Step 4. Access to the Grandfather Clock Movement

You can access the grandfather clock movement, chimes and cables in three possible ways:

  • through the front door(s)
  • through the top side panels (or side doors on some clocks)
  • through the back access panel 

The top side panels are held from the inside by tape (may be removed permanently) or a plastic clip (may be turned).


Step 5. Prepare the Grandfather Clock Parts
For Cable-Driven Grandfather Clocks

Remove the cardboard sleeve, from around the chime rods and pendulum guide, by holding the cardboard sleeve at points ‘A’ and ‘B’ and pulling straight down. Pull straight down and off the ends of the chime rods and pendulum guide.

Prepare the Grandfather Clock Parts For Cable-Driven Grandfather Clocks - Premier Clocks

Remove the foam pads from between the chime hammers and chime rods. You should be careful to avoid bending the chime hammers. The chime hammers will be free to move after the cardboard sleeve has been removed, thereby allowing easy removal of the foam pads.

DO NOT REMOVE THE STYROFOAM BLOCKS from above the cable pulleys. This is one of the most critical points in the entire set-up operation. Removing the styrofoam blocks at this time could cause the cables to overlap and bind the movement. You can remove the styrofoam blocks AFTER they become loose through normal operation, which typically occurs after eight (8) hours of run time.

For Chain-Driven Grandfather Clock

Remove the plastic retainer from the chime rods by carefully tilting and sliding the retainer down off the ends of the chime rods. 

Remove the foam pads from between the hammers and chime rods. You should be careful to avoid bending the chime hammers and chime rods. The chains have been packed for shipment in a bag and are located near the grandfather clock movement. Pull the bag free and cut the string with scissors. Allow the chains to hang.

CAUTION: Take great care not to pull the chains through the movement or off the sprockets while removing the plastic retainer from the chains. 

Carefully remove the plastic retainer by sliding the retainer down off the chains. Remove the spring clip from the back side of the movement by first pulling one end free.

Prepare the Grandfather Clock Parts For Chain-Driven Grandfather Clock - Premier Clocks


Additional Step for Grandfather Clocks with Illuminated Cases

Some clocks have lights illuminating the inside of the clock case. Check that all packaging materials have been removed from the light bulb before operating the light.



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1 Response


June 23, 2022

Thank you for the clear instructions! My grandfather clock is set and ready to keep the time

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