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  1. #1
    muffin
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    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    I just purchased my first antique mantle clock. It's a Sessions Elton model. It was working fine in the shop. But in setting it up at home I can't get the pendulum to swing for more than a minute.

    Is there something I'm not doing properly in the set up or does it need professional attention?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    muffin
    Guest

    Default antique mantle clock set up

    I just purchased my first antique mantle clock. It's a Sessions Elton model. It was working fine in the shop. But in setting it up at home I can't get the pendulum to swing for more than a minute.

    Is there something I'm not doing properly in the set up or does it need professional attention?

    Thank you.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    Hi Muffin,
    Welcome to the board. Your clock probably just needs leveling. Put a level on whatever you have the clock sitting on. It should be a sturdy piece. If it is not level, try shimming one side of the clock until you get a good healthy beat. Make sure it is level from front to back also so that the pendulum is not hitting anything. Hope you did not move it without taking the pendulum off. That could get it "out of beat". I'll let the experts take it from here. I am just feeling chatty today.

    Good luck and enjoy your clock. (It probably won't be your last, but I won't warn you of the dangers.)

    Missy

  4. #4
    muffin
    Guest

    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    Thank you for the suggestion, missy! It wasn't level, so I moved it to another location and the bubble is between the lines in all directions and it still won't work. :frown:

    And, yes, thankfully the shop owner removed the pendulum before I transported it.

    Any other ideas?

  5. #5

    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    Hello muffin, the clock needs to be level 'front to back' also. The beat must be even. You want to hear an even time interval between the tics. Tic---tic---tic, not tic-tic---tic-tic---tic-tic. Hope that's clear to you. If the clock is level both ways and the beat is not even, then take it back to the shop and ask them to level it there and put it 'in beat'. Watch how they do it and next time you can try it yourself. Good luck, MAC.
    Mike C.
    aka clock whisperer

  6. #6
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    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    Muffin,
    Another small thing to consider. Have you tried winding the clock? Did the shopkeeper wind it before you left with it? When the pendulum is removed from a well adjusted clock, it will run quite rapidly. If it was a while before you set it up, it could have wound down if it was close to that point before it left the shop.

    Missy

  7. #7
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    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    Muffin:

    Another thing to remember as well is this:

    Don't overwind it. If you wind it very tight, sometimes the springs cannot overcome the friction and will not run.

    Let us know how you make out. Chris

  8. #8
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    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Chris:
    Muffin:

    Another thing to remember as well is this:

    Don't overwind it. If you wind it very tight, sometimes the springs cannot overcome the friction and will not run.

    Let us know how you make out. Chris </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
    If that happens, it means it needs a service - there is no such thing as 'overwinding'. If you wind too far, and you would need to be like a gorilla to do so, something will break.
    If the clock stops when you wind it fully, it is because the spring(s) are stuck together with sticky gunge.
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  9. #9

    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">If that happens, it means it needs a service - there is no such thing as 'overwinding'. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Mike is absolutely correct. When someone's clock won't run the first thing they tend to say is "I wound it too tight". Additionally, quite often they are trying to wind it in the wrong direction. (Even though the winding key won't turn but one way).

    Regards,

    Richard T.
    Best,
    Richard T.

  10. #10
    muffin
    Guest

    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    (sigh) Thank you for all of your suggestions. I did wind each side but a quarter turn - but I hardly have the strength of a gorilla, more like Curious George!

    And apparently this monkey can't level the clock properly. It seems to go tic-toc-tic-toc then after a minute it clearly goes tic-toc---tic-toc (like the poor thing is limping, then galloping, then it stops).

    I'm using a level from Home Depot on the top of the case. Is there a more sensitive tool I should be using? I'm checking side to side // front to back // and diagonally.

    I'm wondering too if I have to be super particular how the ball is placed on the pendulum.

    The shop from which I purchased the clock is closed until Thursday. If I don't figure it out by then I'll give her a call.

    Thanks again for your help.

  11. #11
    Registered user. Viv Rose's Avatar
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    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    The crutch may need adjusting.

    To test this set the clock going and lift one side slightly. If it improves and evens out the tic tock then pack a bit of folded paper under that side. If it makes it worse then try on the other side.

  12. #12

    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    muffin,
    Try what Viv Rose has just said. Just put the level aside for a moment. Being as level ,front to back as you can keep it---then try lifting each end of the clock(one at a time). While you are doing this -your ears will be your tool. You are listening for a definate, smooth , tick-tock. If you find it and it runs there--then you can temporarily scotch the end with something as a temporary fix. Then as Viv said --it will need a crutch adjustment to make it run level.

  13. #13
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    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    Yep - muffin - you have described the clock being 'out of beat' perfectly! Any clock repairer worth their salt, before selling a clock, would make sure the clock was adjusted to be in beat and level. Then, the buyer would only have to ensure the clock was level - no coins, bits of card and the like.
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  14. #14
    Registered user. Viv Rose's Avatar
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    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    My recomendation to pack it up on one side or the other was intended to be temporary since it was stated that the shop was closed until Thursday.
    It sounded like they really wanted to enjoy the clock.

  15. #15
    muffin
    Guest

    Default antique mantle clock set up (RE: muffin)

    OK, I've been gradually piling old Christmas cards one by one under the left-hand side of the clock. With my last attenpt the clock now been running for a little over 30 minutes and it's still ticking!

    Yay! I thought I had been suckered. Apparently my first mistake was buying the clock from an antique shop rather than a clock shop. Fortunately it only cost $120.

    But, it sounds like my Christmas card methodology is an unacceptable permanent set-up. How much can I expect to spend to have a professional repair this? And I would tell them that it is "out of beat" and the crutch needs to be adjusted?

    Chris, I see that you are in Easton. We're neighbors! I'm in Southeastern Massachusetts as well. Do you have any shops you'd recommend - I'd like to find an Ansonia...

    And Missy, I think I know what you mean about this clock only being my first...

    Thank you all so much for your help! This place is great!

    muffin

    PS It just gonged on the hour!

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