The Swing Of The Pendulum Of Your Grandfather Clock

By: Andrei Myers

How well do you know your grandfather clock? Knowing how your tall clock works will make it easier for you. It's like having your husband around all the time.

How well do you know your grandfather clock?

Everyday you glance admiringly at your new 7-foot tall clock. It has brightened up your living room, making the room homier. It was the perfect touch. You never had this so good when doing your own interior decorating.

But do you know everything about your clock? If you can point out the pendulum bob and the cable pulleys, then you know something. If you can't tell the difference, it's time to skim through the manual of your grandfather clock.

The swing of the pendulum

If you think your time counter is just an accessory to be admired, you're dead wrong. This type of clock tells the time accurately and keeps time within a minute per month. The gears inside the clock are controlled by the swinging pendulum year in and year out - and of course will wear and tear without proper care.

The pendulum (made from brass and steel) of your clock is suspended from secure cables, and moves back and forth - influenced by gravity. This regulates the clock and alerts the system to release the power of the right rate. The longer or shorter the pendulum is, the slower or faster the swing.

The swinging pendulum is counting time. This is complemented by mechanical systems of gears, levers, spring, and catches. The movement of the mechanical levers, wheels and gears are controlled to calculate the accurate tick of the second, minute, and hour hands. You can adjust the swing of the pendulum slower or faster by just adjusting the ball of the pendulum slightly.

Chimes

At the hour, the spring driven hammers will strike the tubular bells. Some grandfather clocks will allow for the selection of melodies. If your clock has three melodies, you can change the melody when the minute hand is set in the safe time area.

When the chimes stop, you can move the minute hand counterclockwise. If there is some resistance, better call the supplier to do the job for you. Never attempt to touch the chime lever when the clock is chiming or you will damage the chime system. You can follow the illustrated manual that came with your grandfather clock.

Weights

Observe that there are three weights in the case of your grandfather clock. The left powers the hour strike, the center is for time, and the right weight is for the melody.

These weights, attached to a chain or a cable, should be raised every 7 days or the clock will stop. For cable driven weights, a crank will be available. For chain driven weights, the loose end of the chain is pulled down.

There are more things to learn to appreciate how the system inside works. In time, you'll be comfortable with your clock. In the meantime, don't mess with your grandfather clock, just let the pendulum swing.

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