Chimes on grandmothers clock

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:37 PM GMT

Question

John, I have a 1975 Hamilton grandmothers clock. The clock keeps perfect time, but the chime has stopped working. I can hear a small audible click when the minute hand passes through the hour, 1/4-hour, 1/2-hour, and 3/4-hour mark. I believe this small click was normally followed by the chime, but now there is no chime. I made a visual inspection of the internal mechanism by removing the inspection door of the back of the clock hood, but I don't really know what I'm looking at, although nothing appeared to be obviously broken. Thanks, Marc

Answer

Marc, you are correct about the click. It trips the chime mechanism to start, but evidently it is stalling out. The only thing I can suggest for you to do is to check the alignment of the chime hammers to see if any of them are out of alignment at rest. One could be jammed. The way to unjam it is to carefully move all the chime hammers back in the direction they normally lift prior to striking. Or check the weights to see if the heaviest is on the chime side. Have the chimes been slowing down before the complete failure? This is usually due to the lubricants becoming gummy and/or worn parts. Has the clock been serviced in the last 7 to 10 years? If not, it could be time. This symptom is common with a clock that has not been periodically maintained. It might be best to have an experienced clockmaker look at it.

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