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Why do clocks apparently need time to settle down

ChrisCam

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Dec 9, 2017
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Hi Guys,
Almost embarressed to ask this but several clocks after travelling (for instance a clock I have bought via the post to service at some point in the future) have worked for a few hours sometimes a day or more then stop. The thing is after a few days sometimes a week or so they often have kept going without any good reason. Is there a sane reason for this?

Regards
Chris
 

ChrisCam

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Dec 9, 2017
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You answered your own question when you said that you bought them to service at some time.
I should have said that having bought an old clock I would expect to have to service it. But yes you are right it must be in need of servicing and once stopped it firms up a little, then may loosen up when going again for a while. That's the theory then...sounds good to me.
Chris
 

Uhralt

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Sep 4, 2008
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If a clock has not been running for some time the old oil/dirt mixture in the pivot holes has become quite stiff and may stop the clock from running. When the clock has been running continuously (or on and off) for some, time this mixture becomes less viscous and is also transported partially out of the pivot holes. That will reduce the friction somewhat so that the clock may continue running. Overall this indicates that the clock needs a service.

Some weight driven antique clocks, especially those with wood frames, like Black Forest clocks, will change the shape of the frame when hanging on the wall under the stress of the weights. It may take some time to get back to the favorite shape if they have been off the wall for a while.

Uhralt
 

leeinv66

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And remember the clock movements we work on are made of dissimilar metals. Brass and steel expand and contract at different rates, so a tight bushing in a cold climate can become a too tight bushing in a warmer climate. Just saying.
 

Les harland

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Apr 10, 2008
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I have seen that "problem" with a watch
Some time ago I bought an Enicar military watch about seventy years old
It lost about four hours in the first twenty four hours it ran
The next day around two hours reducing every day until after a week it became a superb timekeeper

I think clocks and watches are like humans, they become more cussed with age
 
Last edited:

ChrisCam

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Dec 9, 2017
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Thanks for replies Guys the only additional thing I can think of is when a clock is transported it is often put in a box laying on its back. thus all end plays and teeth position on gears can shift.This also can happen during be transported even if placed upright. There may well be sweet spots for meshing gears. This plus as Uhralt says case movement and viscosity of grime are all factors apart from the obvious crutch / pendulum adjustment and climatic differences. Clocks may not like being transported.

Regard to all
Chris
 
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Donnybrook10

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Apr 5, 2021
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bodies in motion tend to stay in motion...bodies at rest tend to stay at rest. Add age and wear to that equation and you have your answer. Just like our joints, they don't get better with time. Identify and repair any out of spec wear, give good cleaning and fresh lube and she should be good to go.
 

shutterbug

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After a movement is serviced and new bushings installed it usually takes a few days for the clock to adjust to the new parts. During that adjustment time it might hiccup a time or two or even stop. It's not too unusual. It's a good idea to run movements through two weeks of constant running before deciding its ready to go home.
 

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