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How to Release the Chain on a Weight-Driven Clock

Weight-driven clocks use chains meshed with sprockets to provide the torque that operates the time, chime and strike mechanisms. Grandfather clocks and cuckoo clocks are popular examples of weight-driven clocks. When the clock mechanism needs to be disassembled for repair, the weight chains need to be released from their respective sprockets. Releasing the chains is a task you can accomplish in 10 minutes with a minimal amount of tools and basic mechanical know-how.

Step 1

Stop the motion of the clock’s pendulum. Grandfather clocks with brass pendulum bobs should be handled with a soft clean cloth. Cuckoo clocks are wooden and can be handled with bare hands.

Step 2

Remove the weights from the chain hooks using the cloth. Place a small piece of masking tape on the bottom of each of the weights and indicate their position with a marker. “L” is for left, while “M” is for middle and “R” is for right.

Step 3

Remove the weight hook from each of the chains using needle-nose pliers to open the chain link that holds the hook. Remove the hook and the open link from the weight chain.

Step 4

Pull the weight chain down slowly with one hand while providing a slight resistance with the other. When the last of the chain enters the mechanism, continue to pull slowly until the chain is released from the sprocket.

Step 5

Repeat the last two steps as necessary.

How to Wind a Chain-Driven Grandfather Clock

Grandfather clocks add a certain warmth to a home that few other pieces can match. Chain-driven grandfather clocks have three chains, with a weight on one end of each chain. Each chain is responsible for a particular function of the clock. One is for time, another is for the hour chime, and the final one is for the quarter chime. It is necessary to wind these clocks once a week to ensure that they continue running and keeping time. Winding a chain-driven grandfather clock is a simple process once you know which chain operates the time mechanism.

Step 1

Open the front door of your grandfather clock. This gives you access to the chains and weights. Find the heaviest of the three weights. The heaviest weight is the largest of the three, and it is on the chain that winds the time mechanism.

Step 2

Grasp the center of the train end of the time chain. The train end is the one without the weight. Place two fingers over the top side of the weight on the chain. Do not hold the weight or support it. Your fingers are there merely to guide the weight.

Step 3

Pull the train end of the chain down slowly. This pulls the weight up and winds the chain-driven grandfather clock. Continue pulling the chain down until the top of the weight is 1 inch below the bottom of the clock face board.

Step 4

Wind the remaining two chains in exactly the same way as the first. Close the grandfather clock door once you wind all three chains.

Credited to:ehow


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