• We want to encourage those of you who ENJOY our site and find it USEFUL to DONATE and UPGRADE your membership from active member to donating or premium membership. If you want to know the differences in membership benefits, please visit THIS PAGE:

    https://www.hobby-machinist.com/premium/

    Donating memberships start at just $10 per year. These memberships are in fact donations that help pay our costs, and keep our site running!
    Thank you for your donation, God Bless You
  • June Project of the Month (Click "x" at right to dismiss)
[4]

Clock oil

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

jocat54

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2011
Messages
502
Likes
292
#1
We have a grandfather clock that has never been cleaned or oiled. (about 12 years old-Ridgeway).

The chime and strike quit working and I messed with the chime selector lever and it is all working again but know that it needs some TLC. I know nothing about these clocks other than what I could find to read on the internet---but being the cheap guy I am I'm going to pull the movement out and clean and oil it.

My question is about oil, I read where you should only use synthetic clock? oil and others say mobil 1 5w20 is good. What do ya'll recommend? I'm really leaning toward the mobil 1 -----just because I have some on hand.

What is clock oil? I couldn't find anything on my searches for any specs on it.
 

dwdw47

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2013
Messages
42
Likes
1
#2
Hi jocat54: I have been collecting and repairing clocks for 40+ years and found using the synthetic oil (still using the tiny bottle that I started with) is the only way to go unless you can find whale oil! What you decide to use is what you chose. If its a collectors piece don't go cheap!
The best thing is to clean the movement by taking it completely apart, taking pictures of every step. The reason being is to get the microscopic dust particles out and not washed into the bearing from the reservoir (it collects the dust and holds it that alone wears the pivot and the bearing).
Inspecting the pivot holes is important as they wear oval changing the gear centers. You will need a strong magnifying glass and a couple jewelers loups to see the bearings and reservoirs You'll see what I mean about the dust that is attracted to that point, it will look like a donut.
If you elect to only oil the movement, Don't over oil! Use a needle point to fill the oil reservoir it only takes a fraction of a drop to fill the oil reservoir cup around the bearing/pivot any more and you will have the oil run out and down the frame. You'll be worse off with oil attracting loads of dust everywhere.The movement will have no oil left by the capillary action drawing it out.
Last thought about oiling bearings how much oil would you need to oil a 1" shaft and a bronze bushing? a couple drops for a shaft that moves at 1 rpm! scale it down to a shaft about .030 in diameter! just a thought.
Thank You
dwdw47






We have a grandfather clock that has never been cleaned or oiled. (about 12 years old-Ridgeway).

The chime and strike quit working and I messed with the chime selector lever and it is all working again but know that it needs some TLC. I know nothing about these clocks other than what I could find to read on the internet---but being the cheap guy I am I'm going to pull the movement out and clean and oil it.

My question is about oil, I read where you should only use synthetic clock? oil and others say mobil 1 5w20 is good. What do ya'll recommend? I'm really leaning toward the mobil 1 -----just because I have some on hand.

What is clock oil? I couldn't find anything on my searches for any specs on it.
 

BRIAN

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Messages
1,129
Likes
658
#3
For clock oil in the USA try. milehiclocksupplies.com or clockworks.com.
Regards Brian.
 

chris2

Swarf
Registered Member
Joined
May 18, 2012
Messages
3
Likes
0
#4
Jocat54
I have had success cleaning without dis-assembly using the compressed air in cans that was meant for computers then oiling. However dwdw47 is correct ,the proper way is to disassemble and clean
I am not going to say anything about clock oil because I have seen it start a fire storm on other boards. Good luck, Chris
 

JeffInMonterey

Iron
Registered Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2013
Messages
11
Likes
0
#5
We have a grandfather clock that has never been cleaned or oiled. (about 12 years old-Ridgeway).

The chime and strike quit working and I messed with the chime selector lever and it is all working again but know that it needs some TLC. I know nothing about these clocks other than what I could find to read on the internet---but being the cheap guy I am I'm going to pull the movement out and clean and oil it.

My question is about oil, I read where you should only use synthetic clock? oil and others say mobil 1 5w20 is good. What do ya'll recommend? I'm really leaning toward the mobil 1 -----just because I have some on hand.

What is clock oil? I couldn't find anything on my searches for any specs on it.
I, too, have been working on antique clocks and watches for many years. Probably the reason that the left and right weights are not going down or the chimes not working, is that if the quarter chime stalls (due to friction, lack of oil, etc.) then, at the hour, the hour cannot chime because the quarter chime is not working. They are inter-related. Remember that a gear train has a lot of power at the lower end of the train, near the power source. However, this torque is reduced substantially at the top of the train. There is very little torque available. The slightest dryness or increase in friction can cause a clock to stop. Mobil1 is fair for the lower pivots (bearings), if you need to use it, however it is too high a viscosity for the pivots (bearings) higher up in the gear train. Your best bet is to go to the hardware store and buy a small bottle with a needle applicator that has a light weight synthetic oil. Now you need to know what to oil and oil very sparingly. After 12 years of no maintenance, I can guarantee you that several of the bearing holes are badly worn. Without disassembling the clock movement, the bearings can't be inspected or cleaned properly. This wear is very common in clocks of this age. If you only oil the clock, you may get a little more life out of it. Eventually (soon) the clock will stop altogether, due to lack of oil, dirty and dried out oil and poor quality bearing surfaces. The movement can be either repaired or often they can be replaced.
 

Kmacken55

Swarf
Registered Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2012
Messages
2
Likes
0
#6
We have a grandfather clock that has never been cleaned or oiled. (about 12 years old-Ridgeway).

The chime and strike quit working and I messed with the chime selector lever and it is all working again but know that it needs some TLC. I know nothing about these clocks other than what I could find to read on the internet---but being the cheap guy I am I'm going to pull the movement out and clean and oil it.

My question is about oil, I read where you should only use synthetic clock? oil and others say mobil 1 5w20 is good. What do ya'll recommend? I'm really leaning toward the mobil 1 -----just because I have some on hand.

What is clock oil? I couldn't find anything on my searches for any specs on it.
You may find some value in this link, I've utilized this oil with success, I would not use 5w 20
Two schools of thought on oiling clock, some don't as the oil attracts dirt in to the jewel points. If you oil it, then you
need to oil it every 5 - 7 years.

Good luck

http://www.howtorepairclocks.com/index.html
 
[6]
[5] [7]
Top