Hands and weights of early 1900's grandfather clock

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


QUESTION: I let the weights get to low and when I wound up, the cord messed up. There is a door in the back, but I cannot get to the wire and circle to hold wire. So I have all of the screws off the face, except the hands. It looks like a pin that sticks out on opposite side and a nail in the middle. How do I get the hands off? How do I fix the wire?

ANSWER: Hi Barbara,

The hands are held on by a taper pin. Determine which is the larger end of the pin and just pull it out with a small pliers. Be careful not to lose the washer which is behind the taper pin. When you reassemble the hands, you will have to push the washer back far enough to see the taper pin hole, because it is spring-loaded.

There is a part called the click which keeps the cable drum wound. This is a pawl which locks into a tooth on the saw-toothed ratchet wheel. You pull the click away from its notch in the ratchet wheel just enough to release the ratchet wheel, being careful not to pull too hard and damage the clickspring which keeps the click tight against the ratchet wheel. You can then pull down on the cable and unwind it from the drum. Be very careful not to pull on the cable if it is off the drum and wrapped around the drum shaft. In this case and for any tangles, of course, you will have to straighten them out before continuing pulling out the cable.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Well, I got the pin off, broken. Oh well I will have to find a new one. I cannot figure out the click. I see a few different rods with teeth the ends. I attached a picture of the front of the clock with the face off. Will this help?


Hi Barbara,

I apologize for the delay in getting back to you, my computer has been down.

Taper pins are available in assortments from any clock supply house, and should be no problem replacing.

The click can be difficult to locate, especially on the center cable drum. It is usually mounted on the large flat gear (the great wheel) which forms one end of the drum. There is another gear (the ratchet wheel), slightly smaller than the great wheel and flush against it or close to it. this gear is distinguishable by its saw-tooth shaped teeth. The click will be a small brass pawl, the pointed end of which engages the teeth of the ratchet wheel to keep the drum wound. The clickspring is a long, arc-shaped steel spring which holds the click tight against the ratchet wheel. You can often find the click by following the clickspring to its end.


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