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"The Clock Fixer" Repair of Antique and Modern Clocks

The Clock Fixer - Repair of Antique and Modern Clocks

Repairing clocks in the Denver metropolitan area for over 40 years. This site is a collection of clock repairs performed thru the years.  The intent is to provide a detailed perspective of what constitutes a complete clock rebuild.  Most major repairs are documented on this site.  These blogs are also used to let the customer know in detail what was repaired.  This is a valuable tool in explaining the intricacies of a repair by providing pictures and video along with a text explanation.

Service area includes Parker, Castle Rock, Aurora, Littleton, Lone Tree, and the surrounding areas. We do house calls!

Specializing in:
Early American, German, and English clocks (Hour & 1/2 hour strike clocks)
Cuckoo clocks (both 1, 2, & 3 weight)
400 day/Anniversary clocks
Grandfather clocks (Certified Howard Miller & Ridgway service center)

Tall clocks, Shelf clocks, Wall regulators, School clocks, American banjos, Mantle clocks, Advertising, Animated, Anniversary, Banjo Beehive, Black Ma…

History of Ridgeway Clocks

Ridgeway began as The Gravely Furniture Company in 1926 and started producing grandfather clocks exclusively in 1960. This makes Ridgeway the oldest continuously produced grandfather clock brand in the United States.

Pulaski Furniture Corporation acquired Gravely Furniture Company in 1985, renaming it Ridgeway Clocks, though the name "Ridgeway" appears on some clocks prior the acquisition.

Zeeland, Michigan based Howard Miller Clock Company acquired Ridgeway Clocks in November 2004 from Pulaski Furniture Corporation. Miller also owns Germany based Kieninger, which manufactures the movements that are built into each Ridgeway clock. The clock-making work moved to Zeeland in the spring of 2005.

Gustav Becker Wall Clock Time & Strike Movement

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In for repair is a Gustav Becker wall clock.

This particular Gustav Becker was made in Silesia Poland as can be identified by the stamp on the back plate of the movement. 
For more information about Gustav Becker Clocks follow this link more information about Gustav can be found by this 2nd link.
Back to the clock
A very nice looking clock.  The customer reported that the hour hand was loose, the clock was not striking the hour or half hour, and was not keeping very good time.  The clock was placed on the wall and tested to verify the customer's observations.  Sure enough 100% accurate!

Upon further inspection, i.e. removing the clock movement from the case found that the movement was very dirty and has been repaired before.  The previous repair consisted of rebuilding worn pivot holes.  There were 14 of them.  Inspecting these holes revealed that there was slight wear but in general very good.

A couple images of the front and back plates

And a closer look of the plates with the w…

What does a general movement overhaul entail?

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Below is a abbreviated list of items either checked or repaired in a general overhaul
1.  All wheel pivots are checked for roughness.  There were not pivots that needed polishing. 2.  Inspect all clicks for wear.  All three chain wheels  had good clicks and springs. 3.  Inspect all pivot holes for wear.  Found 11 pivot holes that needed rebuilding.  The original hole was cut out and a new piece of brass was installed.  This new piece of brass was then reamed out to the exact size of the pivot.  Then the hole was polished and hardened for a longer lasting repair.  The outside of the hole both inside and out was beveled for a smooth fit.  After the pivot hole was rebuilt, the wheel was placed between the plates and spun.   The wheel must spin smoothly or else the clock will not operate correctly.  Every wheel hole tested  great. 4.  The escapement wheel was inspected for wear.  In better clocks there is not usually a problem here.  This is what was found with this clock. 5.  Pallets we…

How to Adjust an Antique Clock

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Mechanical clocks are inherently inaccurate and therefore cannot be compared to electronic clocks. People have to keep in mind that antique clocks are often hundreds of years old. Each antique clock was made by hand without using electric tools and without the aid of computerized machines.
Today, modern mechanical clocks are manufactured with machines that can cut gears with incredible precision. In contrast, antique gears were cut using hand tools and often took many hours to make. With that being said, an antique clock that is accurate to within a couple minutes per week really needs no adjusting.
Every time your clock pendulum makes a complete swing back and forth, two teeth on the escape wheel are released and the minute hand advances - ultimately one sixtieth of a minute. The faster the pendulum swings, the faster the minute hand will turn.
A basic principle of physics is that the length of a pendulum will determine how fast it swings. A shorter pendulum swings faster than a lon…

Gustav Becker Clock History

Gustav Becker (1819-1885) was a dedicated and successful German clockmaker. In 1850, thoroughly trained in clockmaking in Germany and in Vienna, he established a small clockmaking shop in Freiburg, Silesia (not the Black Forest Freiburg.) He struggled to produce clocks with an unskilled labor force until a design award in 1852 gave him the prestige to attract the quality of workers needed for success in this new industry. The firm prospered, and won many quality and performance awards worldwide from the 1860’s to the 1890' s Until about 1880, virtually all Gustav Becker clocks were weight powered regulator wall clocks. Then, spring powered clocks were introduced and many new styles followed. Several million clocks were produced and sold by the end of the trademark's use in the mid 1930's. Gustav Becker died in 1885, but the strength of his enterprise carried his name forward. The trademark and production survived an 1889 consolidation of Freiburg clock making companies int…

French AD Mougin Statue Clock

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In for repair is a time and strike AD Mougin French clock.  The repair symptoms include the clock stops and the strike is flat.

A closeup of the makers stamp:

AD Mougin was a well-known French clock maker working in the mid nineteenth century.

He is known to have made clocks in the French clock making region of Montbeliard (which is close to the Swiss border) and is also listed as having premises on the Rue de Turenne in Paris.

He won two gold medals at exhibitions for his clocks and used these as the basis for his trademark which contain the ‘Deux Medailles’ . This trademark can usually be found stamped on the back of his clocks.  An interesting link on dating these clock can be found <<here>>

The clock was setup and observed for a while.  This was done to observe what the clock was doing and more importantly not doing.  Both repair reports were confirmed.  The movement was removed from the case and some the external levers and gears were removed.  Here is a short video o…

Quad Quartz Clock Instructions

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Quad Clock Instructions This state of the art quartz chiming pendulum movement has a very high quality Tubular Chime sound.  To demonstrate the quality of this movement, here are a couple sample chime links to this movement: Westminster Chime SampleAva Maria Chime Sample

This movement plays both the melodies above either every quarter hour or just on the hour.  There is also an option to play just a gong sound on the hour.  A very advanced mechanism.

This document provides important information about the care and feeding of these movements. One very Important note on these movements:  Never turn the hands backwards. If setting the time from the back of the clock, turn the time set knob on the back of the movement Counter Clockwise only, if setting the clock from the front, turn hands Clockwise only Connect the speaker to the movementRotate handshaft clockwise until you hear a faint click sound. Insert hands at 5:00Insert the proper C cell batteries into the movement. Note that the positive…