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toolroom

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#1
I have a Waterbury grandfather clock built in early 1900. It stopped and I had it repaired. The horologist returned after 99 days to install the works into the cabinet. I asked about the cleaning and oiling, and he said that you NEVER oil a clock!
I had an older friend, long deceased who was a watchmaker, and we would chat about the differences in our trades (I am a machinist) on wristwatches and pocketwatches he dis assembled cleaned and assembled with a tad bit of extremely light oil.
The question of the day is... Why don't large clocks require oil especially with those very heavy weights, whereas a small timepiece requires oil?
I stopped the clock, never to use it again. Am I being BAMBOOZLED?
 
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f350ca

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#2
I have a 30 year old grandfather clock (young by your standards) that recently quit. A chap who built clocks joined another forum I frequent so I asked him about cleaning and oiling, He thought there would be permanent damage from NOT oiling it in 30 years. He's going to step me through cleaning and repairing it if I ever get to it.

Greg
 

jocat54

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#3
We have a Young Grandfather clock (20-25 years). It started working erratically a few years back, so I started reading up on them and it all pointed to a good cleaning and oiling.
Which did fix it so far.
It was a real PITA.
 

RJSakowski

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#4
Many years ago, in the Physics department of the university that I attended, they had a pint container of whale oil clock oil. Supposedly it was used because it did not have a tendency to polymerize with time as other oils did. It was a very light oil which was used for a certain physics experiment. Needless to say, whale oil would be a very rare commodity these days.
 

Dave Smith

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#5
I have a large Butternut wood grandfather clock that my dad built in 1970 that has never been cleaned or oiled but has never stopped----Dad didn't make the works but said to never use wd 40 or it would gum up and cause problems---He cleaned many clocks for people and used light thin kerosene for cleaning and lubricating---he made over 100 clocks for people and installed the works----He said that it was very difficult to clean clocks that people brought to him that sprayed wd 40 on them----after 46 years of running good, I will clean mine and use a very light thin oil or kerosene for lubrication---I think the trick is to oil very precise and very little-----Dave
 
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f350ca

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#6
Probably 40 years ago my great aunt gave me her mantle clock, that she had owned for probably more than that many years. People had liberally oiled it with 3 IN 1 oil for her many times. Finally it quit. I took the movement out of the case, it was encrusted with dried out oil. So I got the bright idea to put it in the now unavailable GUNK carburetor cleaner. After a short soak I pulled it out to find a gelatinous glob filling the entire movement, but the brass side plates shone like new. Had to completely disassemble it to clean it up at this point. The bearings for the escape wheel were worn oval but the gears till meshed. There was an old jeweller in town who fixed watches and clocks, went to him for advice. He gave me some proper clock oil for the movement and said I'd have to uncoil the main springs and wipe them clean then coat them with a fine layer of light grease. Used that white assembly grease if I remember correctly.He said a quick fix for the worn bearing was to drill two holes and stretch a stainless wire that the shaft could run on and pull the gear into alignment. Somehow I managed to get it all back together. It ran for countless years, till I quit winding it, been sitting on the shelf since. Will have to give it a go and see if it still runs.

Greg
 
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