Things a Clock Repair Shop Should Not Do to Antique Clocks

  • Do not use screw-in or screw-on bushings. A clock must be taken apart to properly install bushings in worn pivot holes.
  • Do not routinely replace mainsprings. A new mainspring can be as likely to break as the old, original one. If the original mainspring has been operating well for 100 years, it is likely to continue operating well, as long as it has no obvious cracks or other damage, and is strong enough. For a delicate clock (such as French) a new mainspring may be necessary occasionally. For the American 8 day open spring clock, which is typically over-powered, the original spring is undoubtedly strong enough, and may be too strong!
  • Do not install a .018 inch thick mainspring in an American open spring 8 day clock. Thinner springs such as .0165 inches thick should usually be used. See the American Clock Mainsprings section for more information.

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  1. I have several Seth Thomas/ Plymouth movements that have cork washers located on the support arms that have disintegrated. I have temporarily replaced with felt washers. I have looked in several of the parts houses and can’t find replacements. ?is there a reliable source for thee washers?

  2. Hi Dennis,

    The easiest thing to do is to move the hour hand forward to the correct hour, then use the minute hand (going frorward) to set the clodk to the correct time. The hour hand is a friction fit on its shaft and should move if you grasp it at the center (to avoid brending it). If it is too tight, let me know and I’ll suggest a different method.


  3. My wife just inherited a Welch Tulip Clock made in Forestville Conn. The clock runs well but the chime is an hour ahead of the time. How can this be fixed?

  4. Hi, I operate a clock repair buisness and I have a Chelsea shipsbell quartz, 2″ x 2″ glued to dial. batery pack mntd. to case. New 2117 Hermel will not fit, too long with bat, on each side. any suggestions? thanks. bob, Millbury MA,

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