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Furniture > American > Antique > Clocks > Clock Maintenance

Clock Maintenance

The most necessary thing to keep a clock in running order is to have it plumb. This does not mean setting the case on a level by trueing it up, but placing it so that the beats or sounds of the wheel teeth striking the verge are equal, that the vibrations are equal, in fact.

When a clock stops you should see if the shelf has warped or sprung so that the clock has got out of beat, and the verge does not hold the wheel-teeth.

Another important point is to see that the rod hangs in the centre of the loop in the crutch wire which is connected with the verge, for if it rubs the front or back end of the loop the friction will cause it to stop. Set the clock case a little backward or forward as may be needed and this will be prevented. If the crutch wire gets bent or misplaced so that it rubs against the dial, this will cause the clock to stop. The least impediment of this kind will cause a clock to stop.

Sometimes a dial warps so that the sockets of the hands rub, and this many times causes a clock to stop. It may be remedied by paring off the centre of the dial on the side required.

Soft verges are another cause of a clock's stopping.

The teeth will dent into the face of a verge and cause a roughness which brings the clock to a stop. The verge should be so hard that it cannot be cut with a file. They should be polished nicely, the lines of the polishing going parallel with the verge, for if they go at right angles they will cause a roughness and might cause the clock to stop.

If a clock creaks do not suppose it to be dry. The noise comes from the loop of the crutch wire touching the rod; a drop of oil will remedy it. Do not have your clock cleaned or oiled too often. If you see any signs of your clock stopping, like a faint beat, or if on a very cold night they stop, take the dial off, and the verge from the pin, wipe the pin the verge hangs on, the hold in the ears of the verge, and the pieces which act on the wheel; also the loop of the verge wire where it connects with the rod, and the rod itself where the loop acts.

Previous to taking off the verge, oil all the pivots in front; let the clock be wound up about half way, then take off the verge, and let it run down as rapidly as it will to run out the gummy oil; then wipe off the black oil that has worked out and it is not necessary to add any more to the pivots. Then oil parts as above described connected with the verge, and be very sparing of the oil, for too little is better than too much. Never use anything but watch oil. The best watch oil is made from porpoise jaw.

It may be necessary occasionally to oil the pulleys on the top of the case which the cord passes over. If this is not done the hole becomes irregular and part of the power is lost to the clock.

These directions apply to the old-fashioned clocks referred to in this book, and have been condensed from directions given by Chauncey Jerome.

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