How to Assemble and Setup Your Grandfather Clock
by: Michael O'Brien
A quality grandfather clock can represent a significant investment. The proper care and maintenance of your new grandfather clock can ensure generations of enjoyment. Many grandfather clocks take on the status of an heirloom and are often passed down from generation to generation. Properly setting up new grandfather clock can protect your investment, ensure the clocks accuracy, enhance your home decor and add years to the life of your clock.
Location, Location, Location
This old axiom about retail shops certainly applies to choosing the right location for your grandfather clock. Often referred to as long case or tall case clocks grandfather clocks can be quite large. Before deciding on whether to purchase a grandfather clock, make sure that you have a proper location for it.
Always avoid placing your clock in an area where it is exposed to direct sunlight. This is true whether or not the room is climate controlled. Exposing your clock to direct sunlight can cause the finish to fade or yellow. Do not place the clock near heating or air conditioning vents.
Avoid high traffic areas in your home, especially if you have small children about. Now this does not mean that you have to hide your prized clock in a dark corner. Simply find a location that reduces the chances of the clock being accidentally damaged.
Read the Instructions
Assuming that your clock is not being delivered and setup by a professional and you are doing the job yourself, there are some steps you need follow. Most manufacturers will supply assembly and setup instructions with their clocks. Failing to follow the manufacturer’s instructions can damage the clock and possibly void any warranty. Read through the instructions and thoroughly familiarize yourself with the assembly, setup and operation of your clock.
Assembling Your Grandfather Clock
Since some grandfather clocks can be quite heavy you may want to have someone help you. Carefully remove any packing materials and take an inventory, making sure that the chimes, pendulum and other parts are at hand. Before handling the clock or the components, some manufacturers and professional installers advise wearing cotton gloves. Wearing gloves will keep skin oils from being deposited on the glass, chimes, pendulum and other metal parts.
Do not begin assembling your grandfather clock until it has been moved to its final location. In order for the clock to run properly, it will need to be straight and level, so be sure that the floor around the clock is stable. This is especially true if you are placing the clock on a carpeted floor. In order to provide a stable surface for the clock, you may need top place wooden shims or carpet protectors under the clock.
Setting Up Your Grandfather Clock
Again, it is important to follow the assembly and setup instructions. Once the chimes, pendulum and other components have been assembled, you can move to the functional part of the installation. Failing to follow the proper steps can cause serious to the clock and void the warranty. Avoid taking shortcuts and instead follow the setup instructions step by step.
Moving the hands when setting the time must be done carefully. Never force the hands or you may damage the movement. If your clock has a moon phase dial, the same advice applies. Make adjusts slowly and carefully and never use force. Winding the clock should be done using slow turns while avoiding over-winding the mechanism.
Once the clock is operating properly, you may notice that it is running too fast or too slow. The time is controlled by the swinging of the pendulum. At the bottom of the pendulum you will find an adjusting rod that either lengthens or shortens the pendulum. If the pendulum is too short the clock will run fast, too long and the clock will run slow. The setup instructions will show you how to properly adjust the pendulum.
Other Grandfather Clock Features
Some grandfather clocks have multiple chime tones, automatic nighttime shutoffs and chime mute features. The automatic nighttime shutoff feature is very nice for those of us who, while enjoying the beautiful tones or the chimes, do not want the clock chiming at three in the morning.
Regular Care of Your Grandfather Clock
After your clock is properly setup, remember to follow a regular schedule of cleaning and maintenance. If you have questions about the proper care and cleaning of your grandfather clock, always consult the manufacturer or a qualified professional.
About the Author
Michael O'Brien is Staff Writer for Grandfather Clock Sale.com