Grandfather clock stops

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:38 PM GMT


There ae wo brass cylindrical weights that are hanging by chains in the clock cabinet. They seem not to have any roles for clock operation. Actually I guess they are hanged to the wooden frame around the clock. To carry th eclock, after I bought it, we unscrewed the weights and have screwed it back now. But the clock has some problem. After I win it, and move and release the pendulum,I hear a good tick toc and the clock works fine for around 30 minutes and stops. Do the weights have any roles? Other than that we have not taouched anything. The clock is not old. Seems like 1980's. Thanks


I assume you wound the clock. As you have figured out the weight are there just for looks. It probably has a korean movement. If it is wound up(try winding clockwise and counter clockwise) then the clock could be out of beat, which means the tic toc is not even when it does run. To put in beat you would need to shift the clock to the left or right depending on which way it is out of beat. Other than that it is impossible to say why the clock does not run without seeing the clock.



I recently inherited a Ridgeway grandfather clock (from my grandfather's estate) and I have a problem with the clock stopping after 10 - 15 minutes of starting it (manually swinging the pendulum). As the clock runs, it keeps time reasonably and the chimes work very nicely. The only problem is the pendulum stopping after a short while. I am unsure as to how long it has been since it was serviced last.

I was thinking that it might just need cleaning, oiling and tuning. If so, is this something that I could do myself (I am a tinkerer and enjoy repairing all kinds of things around my home)? If so, how would you recommend going about this? If you think that the problem may lie somewhere else, please let me know.

The inside of the clock (as well as the documents that came with the clock) lists the following information:

Dial - Q1 Model - 154 Movement - HL Finish - MHG4 Serial - 112678

Thank You, Glenn Otto

P.S. If you need pictures, please feel free to let me know.


Glenn, it's difficult to determine the problem with a clock if we don't have any history on what has happened since the last it was running properly. I will copy a list of steps to check some things out. Do this and then get back with me if it still won't run.


If a clock movement is in operating condition but not working, I would check the stability of the clock in that it doesn't rock or wobble on the floor. It should be relatively level. The level is not critical, as setting the beat (below) will correct for this.

Next, verify that the weights are hung correctly. On most clocks the weights vary in weight. The general rule is that if two weights are equal, the third weight, if it is heavier, goes on the right side (as you face the clock). If the third weight is lighter, it goes on the left. Is the pendulum hanging configuration correct? This means that the suspension spring, hanger, verge and pendulum are all connected properly with nothing broken, especially the suspension spring. When the pendulum swings, it should be "in beat", meaning that when the pendulum swings you hear an even tick....tock....tick....tock. If it is uneven, like tick..tock......tick..tock, the clock will probably stop. Most later model movements have an "auto-beat" mechanism. The beat can be set by holding the pendulum over to one side next to the case and releasing it. It will automatically correct itself. If it does not have this feature, the escapement crutch will have to be slipped manually. If required, I can give you instructions for that. I will need the model of the movement. This can usually be determined by all the information found on the back plate of the movement. Also check to see if the hands are catching on each other or the dial. Look at the chime and strike hammers to see if they are all in alignment at the rest position. Sometimes jammed hammers or the drive mechanisms will stall the clock.


This includes cleaning, inspecting, oiling and adjusting. In the inspection, the movement is checked for adjustments, broken or worn parts. If there are any broken or worn parts, we go to the third level. If all parts are okay, a good clock oil and grease is used. In most cases the movement should be removed from the case to have access to all the lubrication points. Clock lubricants can be bought from clock suppliers. Using lubricants for other applications can cause problems, as some lubricants are not compatible with others. This even applies to different clock oils. After lubricating, the operation is checked for final adjustments. I recommend maintenance be performed every 7 to 10 years.


This requires that the movement be broken down and all parts inspected and repaired or replaced, and then reassembled lubricated, adjusted and tested. I do not recommend this except by an experienced clockmaker.

If you have any further questions, get back with me.


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