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How to get grandfather clock chimes to work?

Customer Question
How would I get the...

How would I get the chimes to work on my Colonial Mfg. Col serial no. 704633 tall grandfather clock? The pendulum and the time work.

The moon and boat oil painting does not rotate around. Is there anything I can do to fix these problems, personally?

Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Clock Repair
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Answered in 2 hours by:
3/15/2012
Clock Repair Expert: Mike, Consultant replied 6 years ago
Mike
Mike, Consultant
Category: Clock Repair
Satisfied Customers: 3,390
Experience: I've been active in clock repair for 14 years - NAWCC member.
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Hi! Barry, My name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you.

For your chimes there are several things to check. First make sure the chime selector lever is not off, next make sure the retard bar is not down over the hammers if so lift it off, next try to manually run your clock by moving the minute hand clockwise stopping to let the clock chime if you hear a click like it wants to engage to chime its either the lever or retard bar. Also check to see if the hammers move lift the hammers to make sure they move freely. Sometimes on the face of your clock depending on the model there will be the chime selector lever just make sure it is properly positioned.

Repair the moon dial if the sequence is incorrect. Determine exactly what phase the moon is currently in. Open the face glass of the grandfather clock, press lightly against the moon dial and rotate gently towards the current moon phase. Depending on which model you have sometimes there is a pin that when pushed in releases the moon dial so it will start to rotate after you set the dial to the proper position of the phase of the moon or just by pushing on the dial itself will release the dial to start rotating.

The moon dial is designed to show the shape of the moon as it appears in the sky, the number alongside it being the lunar date. The numbers on the dial are of the Lunar Calendar and NOT the calendar date. A lunar month has consistently twenty nine and a half days in every month and these are usually lettered in Arabic (English) numerals. The Full Moon always occurs on the 15th day of the Lunar Calendar. If it were a full moon today, the image of the moon on the dial would be centered below the 15 on the dial. There are two moons on the dial and it makes no difference which one is under the 15. Grandfather clock moon dials consist of a round disk displaying two pictures of the moon.

A one half rotation of the disk occurs every 29.5 days which is one lunar cycle.

If your Grandfather Clock has a moving moon dial feature, follow these instructions. To set moon dial, apply slight pressure with your fingers to the front of the moon dial. Rotate the moon dial Clockwise until the moon is directly below the number 15 on the dial. If the moon dial will not rotate, wait 6 hours and try again. Never force the moon dial as it should move easily.
1) Using an almanac, lunar calendar or the chart below to determine the date of the last full moon.
2) Position the moon dial so the moon is under the 15 on the dial.
3) Count the number of days past the last full moon on a calendar.
4) Turn the moon dial Clockwise one click for each of the number of days past the last full moon.

The moon dial is now set and will indicate the proper moon phases as long as the Grandfather Clock operates continuously.

Example:
Let's pretend today is the 20th of any month.
Your almanac or lunar calendar says the full moon occurs on the 25 of this month. (this means the full moon is 5 days away..right?)
Set your moon dial on your Grandfather Clock so the moon is under the 10 on the dial which is 5 days before the 15th day the the dial which is the full moon.

If the Grandfather Clock stops for more than 24 hours, the moon dial will also stop, and must be reset when the Grandfather Clock is started again.

Full Moon Calendar

MOON DIAL

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago

I need to know the answer using vocabulary that does not include words I do not understand like chime selector button and retard bar; if using those words, please describe how they look and where they are located.

Clock Repair Expert: Mike, Consultant replied 6 years ago

Hi Barry, The chime selector lever is a lever that controls the chimes You can set it to be off all the time or on all the time or just off during the night time hours. Most of the time it is located on the face of the clock and sometimes on the side of the clock depending on what model you have. The serial number I can't tell which model it goes to that is why I posted pictures of Colonial Grandfather clocks for you to view. A retard bar is a bar that can be lowered onto the hammers which produce the chimes when striking the chime rods. The bar is located inside the back of the clock above the hammers. If the bar or lever is on the hammers lift or slide the bar off. Check to see if the hammers move freely they are also found inside the back of the clock.

Look at the melody chime hammers that strike the rods (usually on the right of the movement) to see if any of the chime hammers are in a position other than at rest. If you see one or more out further than the others, the hammers have become jammed. Pulling back on them and releasing might get it started again. Look at the strike hammers (usually on the left of the movement) and check for the same symptoms. As a clock ages the oils and lubricants become gummy
and the chimes start slowing down and then finally come to a stop or it may become dry and the same problem may happen.

It may need cleaning and oiling as they should about every 5 years. If you elect to try cleaning the movement yourself These are the steps that I use to clean the movement.

Recipe for Brass
For clocks that are made of brass, use this recipe: 1 tsp. of salt, 1 cup of white vinegar and enough flour to create a paste. First, dissolve the salt into the vinegar and then add the flour.
Rub it on as you would with any other type of cleaner, but be gentle with the parts.
Rinse the parts off with water, rubbing them dry and making sure there is no residue or water left.
This recipe will not damage brass, and gloves are not required.

Instructions
Things You'll Need
Screwdriver
Compressed air
2 lint-free cloths
Clock cleaning solution
Cotton swabs
Clock oil

1. Remove the back of the clock using a screwdriver, if required. Inside, you should see numerous gears, springs, and weights. If your clock is equipped with a pendulum, remove it.

2 Point the compressed air nozzle at the gears and spray bursts of air into the movements to remove fine dust and particles. Angle the nozzle in different directions to ensure you hit hard-to-reach areas.

3 Dip your lint-free cloth into clock cleaning solution. Do not over saturate.
Begin carefully wiping all visible gears to remove excess oils and grit. Over time,
oil combined with grit can hinder the movement of the gears. Ensure large, visible particles are removed.

4. Dip a cotton swab into the clock cleaning solution and gently rub areas that you were unable to reach with the cloth.
Be sure to remove any particles left behind with the cotton swab. After cleaning,
rub a clean cotton swab over all visible parts to remove any excess cleaning solution.

5 Check the movement of the gears to ensure they are working smoothly by gently turning the gears with your fingers.

6 Dip a lint-free cloth into clock oil. Do not use WD-40 or any other oil.
Clock oil is specially blended to lubricate clock works without gumming up the parts. Gently lubricate all moving gears using a lint-free cloth. Dip a cotton swab in clock oil to access areas that you cannot reach with the cloth.

7 Replace the pendulum if your clock requires one. Replace the backing of the clock using a screwdriver if needed.

If you do not want to service the clock yourself my advice,is to see a reputable repairman in your area.If you want I can find a clock repair company in your area
let me know your location and by what major cities and I'll find a few in your area.

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago

I found the retard bar to set the Moon face; it is a lever right behind the face of the clock which ratchets into the grooves of the Moon dial. I cannot find the chime selector. There doesn't appear to be anything blocking the chimes from working. I can easily move the hammers. There is no minute hand on the face of the clock. There is a string that drops down along the left front side of the clock down to the base. The string appears stuck/jammed.

The clock had a small, piece of 2 1/2' flat squares (one with a pin hole and the other with a pin). There are 2 thin pieces of aluminum connecting them. One of the aluminum pieces is broken. It was alongside the inner side of the clock, when I opened the side cabinet. Any advice on setting and getting the chimes to work with this information?

Clock Repair Expert: Mike, Consultant replied 6 years ago

Hi Barry,

Yes your need to unstick the string and if the aluminum piece is broken my advice is to see a reputable repairman in your area. If you want I can find a clock repair company in your area let me know your location and by what major cities and I'll find a few in your area.

Thank you for using Just Answer.

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