Traditionally, grandfather clocks are made with a mechanical movement that works without external power and needs to be wound. Mechanical grandfather clocks can be chain-driven or cable-driven. Both types have weights that must be raised every seven days to ensure that the clock continues running and keeping time.
The cable driven grandfather clock has weights that are suspended by cables. These cables are used to return the clock's weights to the top position. The grandfather clocks have 3 weights with different purposes. The right weight is powering the chime melody, the middle weight drives the pendulum, and the left weight is for the clock striking mechanism.
Each week the weights need to be adjusted to the top position or the clock will stop. The weights that are suspended by cables with pulleys should be raised by using the crank (also called the key) that is provided. The weights should be raised once a week as the weights are dropping almost to the bottom while powering the grandfather clock.
Step 1. Open the grandfather's clock upper door and find winding holes on the dial
Step 2. Insert the crank into the crank holes located in the dial face
Step 3. Turn the crank counterclockwise
Step 4. Wind all three weights and close the grandfather clock door once you wind all three holes
DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking!
Learn more about the advantage of the cable driven grandfather clock here
The chain driven grandfather clocks use chains as a wind mechanism to set the weights in the correct position. There are 3 chains, one for each weight with separate purposes. The weight on the right is responsible for the chime melody, the weight in the middle powers the pendulum, and the weight on the left drives the hour striking and counting mechanism.
The weights must be raised every seven days or the clock will stop. This type of grandfather clock movement needs to be wound manually when they are near the bottom by the end of the cycle. The manufactures suggest performing the weight adjustment wearing cotton gloves or using a soft cloth to protect the chains from tarnishing the brass.
Step 1. Open the grandfather's clock front door and find the heaviest of the three weights (the heaviest weight is the largest of the three, and it is on the chain that winds the time mechanism)
Step 2. Lift the end of the chain with the weight and at the same time pull the other end of that chain down
Step 3. Pull down on the loose end of the chain until the weight is approximately 2” (5 cm) from the bottom of the wood movement mounting board
Step 4. wind all three weights and close the grandfather clock door once you wind all three chains
IMPORTANT: PULL STRAIGHT DOWN ON THE CHAIN
DO NOT lift up on the weights as this could cause the weights to come unhooked from the chains.
Learn more about the advantage of the chain driven grandfather clock here
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