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Mike
Mike, Consultant
Category: Clock Repair
Satisfied Customers: 2980
Experience:  I've been active in clock repair for 14 years - NAWCC member.
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How to unwind an overwound clock?

You cannot over wind a spring driven clock. This is misinformation that has
been handed down through the generations. If you wind a clock completely to
the end and it does not work; something else such as wear, dirt, or old sticky oil
is preventing the clock from running. It is not because you "over wound" or "wound the clock too tight". First you can try to run your clock manually by moving the minute hand clockwise stopping to let the clock chime this will relax the chime mainspring if your clock has chimes, moving the pendulum back and forth will relax the mainspring that controls the pendulum but will take some time to do so. Without disassembling the clock and using a special tool called an unwinder that I use in my shop. If the clock is not running correctly after winding it might be time to have it cleaned and re oiled. If you wind a clock completely to the end and it does not work; something else such as wear, dirt, or old sticky oil is preventing the clock from running.

Clock movements are delicate and important features of any clock.
When the movements are dirty, it causes the components to move sluggishly or unevenly. This makes the clock run slower and, in some cases, may even keep the clock from working. Cleaning a mantle clock is a process you should undertake once every five to 10 years to keep the interior mechanisms working properly and to remove any dirt or buildup trapped inside the clock. If you would like to try to clean your clocks movement yourself this is how I do it in my shop.

Instructions:

Things You'll Need:
Screwdriver
12mm brush
Rubbing alcohol
Warm water
Hairdryer
Clock oil

1. Remove the back of the clock with a small screwdriver, like those designed for eyeglass repairs if needed.
Once you expose the inside of the clock, take out any parts that relate to the floating balance and any plastic gear levers you see if you have any. Set those in a safe place during cleaning.

2.Dip a 12mm paintbrush in rubbing alcohol and slowly brush it over the pinion teeth and pivots. The rubbing alcohol completely cleans the clock movements, and then naturally evaporates. Wipe the interior clock movements a second time with the paintbrush and more rubbing alcohol, making sure you clean all areas.

3. Rub the alcohol-soaked brush over the wheels and pinions. Unwind the springs inside the clock with an un-winder. Wipe down the springs with warm water, knocking loose any dust or debris stuck on these areas. Check the clock movements carefully for any spots you may have missed.

4. Direct a hairdryer at the back of the clock and turn it to the lowest setting.
Slowly move the hairdryer around the back of the clock, using the low heat to dry the clock movements. Once the clock movements are completely dry, turn the hairdryer off.

5. Apply a thin layer of clock oil to all movements inside the clock, including the pivots. The only areas that don't require oiling are the gears and pinions. Place a small drop of oil on the movements; the clock will spread that around during regular movement.

If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself if you want, I can find a clock repair company in your area just let me know your location and by what major cities and I'll find a few in your area. Thanks 

Read full interaction below »

Resolved Question:

How to unwind an overwound clock?

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Clock Repair
Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.

What type clock do you have? Grandfather, mantle, or wall?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have a mantle clock.

Expert:  Mike replied 5 years ago.

You cannot over wind a spring driven clock. This is misinformation that has
been handed down through the generations. If you wind a clock completely to
the end and it does not work; something else such as wear, dirt, or old sticky oil
is preventing the clock from running. It is not because you "over wound" or "wound the clock too tight". First you can try to run your clock manually by moving the minute hand clockwise stopping to let the clock chime this will relax the chime mainspring if your clock has chimes, moving the pendulum back and forth will relax the mainspring that controls the pendulum but will take some time to do so. Without disassembling the clock and using a special tool called an unwinder that I use in my shop. If the clock is not running correctly after winding it might be time to have it cleaned and re oiled. If you wind a clock completely to the end and it does not work; something else such as wear, dirt, or old sticky oil is preventing the clock from running.

Clock movements are delicate and important features of any clock.
When the movements are dirty, it causes the components to move sluggishly or unevenly. This makes the clock run slower and, in some cases, may even keep the clock from working. Cleaning a mantle clock is a process you should undertake once every five to 10 years to keep the interior mechanisms working properly and to remove any dirt or buildup trapped inside the clock. If you would like to try to clean your clocks movement yourself this is how I do it in my shop.

Instructions:

Things You'll Need:
Screwdriver
12mm brush
Rubbing alcohol
Warm water
Hairdryer
Clock oil

1. Remove the back of the clock with a small screwdriver, like those designed for eyeglass repairs if needed.
Once you expose the inside of the clock, take out any parts that relate to the floating balance and any plastic gear levers you see if you have any. Set those in a safe place during cleaning.

2.Dip a 12mm paintbrush in rubbing alcohol and slowly brush it over the pinion teeth and pivots. The rubbing alcohol completely cleans the clock movements, and then naturally evaporates. Wipe the interior clock movements a second time with the paintbrush and more rubbing alcohol, making sure you clean all areas.

3. Rub the alcohol-soaked brush over the wheels and pinions. Unwind the springs inside the clock with an un-winder. Wipe down the springs with warm water, knocking loose any dust or debris stuck on these areas. Check the clock movements carefully for any spots you may have missed.

4. Direct a hairdryer at the back of the clock and turn it to the lowest setting.
Slowly move the hairdryer around the back of the clock, using the low heat to dry the clock movements. Once the clock movements are completely dry, turn the hairdryer off.

5. Apply a thin layer of clock oil to all movements inside the clock, including the pivots. The only areas that don't require oiling are the gears and pinions. Place a small drop of oil on the movements; the clock will spread that around during regular movement.

If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself if you want, I can find a clock repair company in your area just let me know your location and by what major cities and I'll find a few in your area. Thanks

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