Ridgeway grandfather clock

Last Edited By Krjb Donovan
Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014 07:39 PM GMT


We just received a Ridgeway Grandfather Clock. The approx. age is about 30+ years old. The clock does not keep operating, but stops ticking. When it does operate the "tick,tock" is not evenly timed.

I assume that it most likely needs to be cleaned and adjusted, but how do I go about it.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Clock information.
           Ridgeway and Tempus Fugit on the clock face,
 Movement is, "o" Movement, 8 Day-Key Wind-5 Rod Westminster Chimes. stamped with;   Graveley Furn. Co. Inc.      
                       Martinsville, Va. USA
                       Made In Germany
                       No (0) Jewels
                       PL 65 cm


Don, it could very well need cleaning, but if the beat is uneven, that could be the main problem.

Ridgeway was part of Gravely and then became a part of Pulaski Furniture and finally bought out by Howard Miller. With the PL 65cm, the movement could have been manufactured by Jauch, but I'm not sure right now. It is rather rare to see a key wind grandfather floor clock, but there were some made. I am going to include the steps for determining why a clock is not running. Check these things out and if it doesn't resolve the problem, get back with me.


For Floor Clocks If the clock 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 would need a good description of the verge and hanger mechanism or a photo of the back of the movement to give you instructions for that. 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.

For Mantle or Wall Clocks The clock should be stable and not wobble or rock. There should be an even beat. If not, wall clocks can be set in beat by moving the bottom of the clock to one side or the other. Some wall clocks have the auto-beat adjustment. Mantle clocks can be shimmed up on one side or the other to obtain an even beat. These methods work if the beat is not off too much. If the out-of-beat condition of these clocks are excessive, other adjustments have to be made.


Usually, the first symptom of a clock failing is that the chime and/or strike mechanisms slow down and then fail altogether. At this point the clock needs to be serviced. 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.


The left and right weights are not moving down, consequently no chiming. How do I release these weights. Can I remove the weighs and pull on the chaims?


Hi Rosalie, There is an assembly inside the gears called a click that will only allow the gear to turn in one direction. A clock repair person will know where it is but it is not always easy to reach. Sometimes the movement has to be removed from the case to get to it. That is the only way to let the weights down without running the clock. You are right, when the clock does not chime the outside weights will not move down. The problem is inside the movement rather than in the weights. In this situation the first thing to do is oil the clock movement. Often this is enough to get the clock chiming again. Here is a link to my youtube video on clock oiling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9YrBcKiHA4


Dear Mr Guthrie, I moved my 5 year old Ridgeway Martinsville grandfather clock to a new home. When we arrived at the new location the right cable was hanging straight down with the pulley and a metal tip at the end of the cable. How can I fix or reattach the cable or do I need to have a professional fix this? I can not figure out where the cable was attached. Can you send me a diagram or picture of the repair if I can do this myself? Thank you in advance for your assistance


I don't know of any diagrams that detail this. The best advice I can give you is to look up to the underside of the movement and observe the connection of the center & left cables. You should see the end of the cable fitting into a steel cross plate at the bottom of the movement. Place the metal tip on the right side into the cprresponding cross plate and move it to the small diameter hole. You should then be able to hang the right hand weight.


I recently acquired a 1987(?) Ridgeway grandfather curio clock, serial # 89002140, dial q5, model 338, mvmt cc/bc, set up 020689. The center weight cable appears to be tangled on the spool, the weight is in the highest position. How can I untangle the cable?


Meredith, a cable usually become tangled because the clock is wound with no weight or tension on the cable. In most cases this fix requires the services of an experienced clockmaker. But I will go ahead and explain what has happened and what I do to correct the problem. The cable can be tangled in two ways. One is that the cable is crossed on the drum and binding under the clear plastic guard (if present). The other way is that the cable has come off the drum and wrapped around the winding arbor (shaft). Unfortunately, the center drum is difficult to see, which makes it difficult to determine how it is tangled. With the weight in the highest position, it might be so that the weight cannot be unhooked. I run across this situation occasionally and have to carefully dismantle (unscrew) the parts of the weight to remove it. Then, if the cable is just crossed, a tool is inserted to release the ratchet and the cable is pulled off until it is untangled. If the ratchet is in an unreachable position, the movement will have to be removed to access it. If the cable is around the winding arbor it has possibly been crimped and will have to be replaced, which again requires that the movement be removed from the case. I'm afraid I cannot give you an easy fix that you can do yourself, unless you are have the ability to remove, replace and realign the movement. If you have any other information based on what you have told me, get back and I can possibly walk you through doing it yourself. The Village Clocksmith Old Prattvillage Prattville, Alabama


How do I hang the pendulum in my grandfather clock?


Jeff, generally the top hook on a pendulum hangs on a strap about 6" long called a hanger or leader. The hanger attaches to a suspension spring which is secured to a horizontal post at the top back of the clock movement. The hanger also interfaces with another arm coming out of the back of the clock called a crutch. The bottom of the crutch usually has a piece at the bottom which looks like a small nail or a type that looks like a small sewing machine foot. If any of this is not hooked up correctly, missing or damaged, I would need to see a photo of the back of the movement, or if you can give me the information found on the back of the movement, I can probably identify it and send you a photo of the way it should be configured. Please reply to my shop email address below with the photo or description and I can reply with the information/photo.


QUESTION: I purchased a used grandfather clock from a friend and it stops after running 12 hours,generally 10:30 to 10:30.It only stops at 10:30 no other time.

ANSWER: Is the clock chiming and striking correctly? Check to see of there is room between the hour hand and the minute hand. Let me know what you find.

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

QUESTION: Yes it is striking and chiming correctly and yes there is space between the hour hand and minute hand. Thank you so much.


This is an unusual time for the clock to stop. The face may have to be removed to see if something in the levers is causing the clock to stop. The other possibility is a bent hand shaft. The way to check for this is to turn the minute hand backwards and watch the shaft from the side. If the hand shaft seems to go up and down as you turn the hand the shaft is bent, causing friction, and will need to be straightened out.


I just purchased a used Ridgeway Grandfather clock model # 210 with HL movement. The chain fell off the middle weight and I want to put it back on but don't know how. Also, do you know where I can get information on this clock. Seller said they purchased it years ago; how many I don't know? Thank you.


You will need to remove the movement from the case. Before removing ,secure the other two chain with bread ties or just plain soft wire. That done you turn the movement upside down. You will see the cog wheel the chain must be strung onto. Remove the hook from the end of the chain and start feeding it over the cog wheel, use a plain old fashion pencil with an eraser on the end to slowly turn the cog wheel, rotate then clock movement as you feed so the chain does not feed over the axle of an adjacent gear. As soon as the end of the chain is visible, coming over the cog, hook it and pull it down. Using another bread tie secure the chain so that it does not come off. That done you can place the movement back into the case. Be sure to restore the hook to the chain. This job takes patience.


QUESTION: I have a ridgeway grandfather clock and the chimes stoped working and the repair man said the lever that chnges from chime to silent is wore out and the clock could be overhauled. I wonder if i can buy an whole new works for the clock the model no is SJJ LDiaJR3 Movement HJ Serial IAJ2588J Model HJHB-MKB movement BINI89H 00AH

ANSWER: I need some very specific information from you. The information I require is stamped upon your clock movements brass backplate. Copy down this information and send it to me. NO OTHER INFORMATION WILL SUFFICE!! That information will provide data to acquire a precise replacement. Truthfully I think you are looking at this very objectively. I urge all my customers to consider a new higher grade movement as opposed to repair. You end up with a much better clock than when it was new at a lower cost. I can't resist making a comment. I have never heard of chime on off lever wearing out. Send me the requested data and we will see what we can do. ---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: The model no on the backplate is SJJ Movement HJ HB/MP Serial NO 2588J Dial R3


Contact Mark Butterworth at Butterworth Clocks, Inc of Muscatine Iowa 52761. Mark is the largest distributor of mechanical clock works in the USA. He has an 800 number, but I do not have it in my current files. He is also available on WWW.


inside of the clock head

QUESTION: I founda an old clock at a second hand store and was hopeing you could help me find anything out about it.Idont want to know how much its worth.I dont know much about them other than i have always loved them,and always wanted one.It doesnt work,but that could be human eror.The model #is 139, serial #is 12159. out side is in excelent condition,and i want so bad to get it working,its beautiful.I hope you can help.

ANSWER: all the numbers refer to the Ridgeway case only. I know lots about the movements that are the clock but little about all the cases furniture companies made over the years.

You "found it"--does that mean you bought it and for how much? 

three weights?

what does "doesn't work" mean?? No tick? No chimes? No strike? what ? photos? markings on the back of the mechanism itself?

where are you located?

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

QUESTION: I bought the clock. I paid 150.00 for it.It does have three weights. We can get it to tick, tock,chime,and play pretty tunes. We just cant keep it going. Later this evening when we get home I will have my husband help me and we will get what numbers and photos for you. Im in Taylorsville Indiana.on the clock face it says tempus fugit if that helps. but it probably doesnt. lol Thak you very much

ANSWER: most probably a simple balance issue with the swing of the pendulum-- read up here and my thing on balance or beat, below: http://www.howardmiller.com/uploaded/SupportMaterials/Manuals/FloorClockManual.pdf

-The pendulum assembly begins at the top with a 1" two legged suspension spring pinned to a brass post sticking out of the back of the rear movement plate.

  Next a silver(probably) suspension leader about 5" long that hooks onto the bottom of the suspension spring and passes through the "foot" shaped forked brass piece (and must be in the center of the fork slot and not be rubbing front or back) that connects into the inside of the movement. Newer movements have a horizontal bar that fits in the brass suspension leader slot.
  Lastly the top of the pendulum hooks onto the bottom of this suspension leader. NOW if all is correctly assembled, swinging the pendulum will get it ticking. The sound of the ticking must sound even or balanced on either side. Not over-swinging one side or the other. 
  If it is not sounding even, then push with your hand the top third of the pendulum over to the side that has the excessive overswing. You may feel some resistance but gently push a bit more then try the sound of the ticking after swinging the pendulum freely. 
  If the sound is not improved in the balance then do more pushing -if it is now sounding like excessive swing in the opposite direction then push the pendulum to the other side till it sounds a pretty even tick. Clock should run then. .(There is a little slip clutch that you are adjusting when you push the "L" shaped foot to either side.)
  There are a hundred things that could be wrong- you have just taken a tour through the repair of what is wrong 98% of the time!

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

QUESTION: When I tried to adjust the swing of the pendulum to even out the tick-tock it would not move so I used a little too much force and broke the suspension spring. I noticed that there is set screw at the top of this mechanism that has marks on it that looks like someone has been tampering with it. It is at the top of a pyramid shape cross piece and it looks like it is not fastened in an even position to me. Is that screw supposed to be loose enough to allow it to move around this bar but tight enough to cause friction. Also can you sell/ship me a new suspension spring or if they are not too expensive a couple of them so that I have a spare. Inside the back of the clock I found instructions for what you are describing to me, also there is an empty package for a suspension spring with instructions on how to install it. On the package it says that it is common for this piece to break in shipping. Also I tried to go to the link that you sent me and it keeps telling me that it is unable to connect me to it. Is there another link that you might be able to send me with literature or diagrams on repair/adjustments. If I run the hands around manually to set the time I can hear mechanism click but it does not chime I can make it chime if I trip the lever that turns it on.Also occasionally if I manually turn the minute hand it binds up with the hour hand does this sound like it will have to be taken apart to get a better look inside I am an auto mechanic and I'm pretty good at fixing things but I'm reluctant to open this thing up without some kind of a repair manual. It looks very delicate inside and don't want to make things worse by messing with something I'm not familiar with any help from you is greatly appreciated I can not take a clear picture of the set screw I was talking about because I can barely see it but I will send some photos of what I can. Again thank you for all of you'r help. Brian


try this:


the hands are binding? like physically catching on each other or something internal?

the suspension spring hangs in a slot in a pencil size brass post that hangs off the top back of the mechanism- there is either a pin or a knerled-headed screw that pins the top of the suspension spring in the slot in the end of the suspension post.

try the howard miller manual above and then come back with questions- the heaviest weight goes on the right, BTW, in order to run the chimes properly.And do not mess with the pyramid shaped cross piece.

Suspension spring is probably for a Hermle movement (would be nice to read the back of the movement for this info) if so any clock shop has them or here:



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