FAQ & Glossary sets out some of the frequently asked questionsthat have been received. If you do not find your answer there, Clocks & Chimes are always happy to respond to customers after sales queries. Also included is a glossary of clock terms
~ Glossary of Terms
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is kiln drying timber?
Kiln dried timber is timber that has gone through an automated process of removing moisture, through the use of heat and airflow in a controlled environment. To achieve low moisture content needed in timber used for cabinet making.
2. What are the benefits for you, the customer?
The benefits of using kiln dried timer to make your furniture are:
~ dimensional stability and less risk of distortion
~ fungi and moulds cannot survive on dry timber
~ a smoother finish
~ improved performance of finishes such as lacquers, waxes and stains
~ improved strength
~ lighter weight
3. How to Identify Solid Hardwood Furniture?
If you’re not sure whether a piece of furniture is solid hardwood or an imitation masquerading as the real thing, examine the construction. How are the pieces of wood joined together? Dovetail joints, for example, are generally a good sign of quality construction. Another indication is gluing. Solid hardwood furniture, particularly panels, consists of many pieces of wood glued together edge-to-edge or end-to-end with continuous glue lines. Put your finger on a glue line and trace it across the top surface, over the edge and to the underside. If the line disappears, chances are it’s not solid hardwood but rather plywood, block wood or MDF with a veneer covering. (Copyright©2001-2006 Hardwood Manufacturers Association)
Setting Up & Operating Your Clock
4. Selecting a location
When selecting a location for your clock the following criteria should be observed: Select a location where the clock can be set up level and securely.
Locations with direct sun light, close to radiators or other heat sources and/or draught should be avoided.
The sound and loudness of the clock can be influenced by size of room, wall construction (solid or dry wall) other furniture, and sound absorbing materials (floor coverings, drapes, etc.).
5. Setting up the clock
Your Clocks and Chimes clock arrives in a solid packing case with accessories, depending on the model. All original packing materials should be saved for future use when relocating or moving.
It is recommended that soft cotton gloves or a dry soft cloth be used when handing parts.
Safely remove the clock from its packaging and place it close to its final location, using more than one person if required. Ensure that the clock is positioned securely.
Remove packing materials. Access to the movement, chimes/bells and cables is obtained through the front door or the top access hood.
Hang the clock using the hanging point(s) on the back of the clock. Once hung, the clock must be level to operate properly. Use a water level to ensure the clock is level both side to side and front to back.
Hanging the pendulum – Remove the pendulum from its box. Some pendulum discs have a coloured, protective plastic film, carefully remove this film before hanging the pendulum.
Prior to hanging the pendulum, check that the pendulum extension is correctly positioned; attached to the two pins of the suspension spring and that the verge pin locks into the upper guide slot of the pendulum extension.
First check the suspension spring. If it is damaged or bent, it must be replaced. While holding the pendulum extension with one hand, slip the pendulum through the slot on the pendulum extension, and lower the pendulum until it is hanging securely on the pendulum extension
Hanging the weights – Check the weights to ensure that they are tightly assembled. Hang the weights on the cable pulley(s) or hooks.
6. Setting the time
Before setting the time, make sure that the automatic night shut-off, if applicable, is turned off and the respective selector lever is not in the position «NIGHT OFF». Moving the hands while this option is in operation could damage the chime mechanism. For combination cable-key wind or key wind movements the springs have to be wound prior to setting the time.
To set the time, move the minute hand counterclockwise (backwards) until hour and minute hand are at the correct time. When moving the minute hand counterclockwise as described, the clock will not chime. Never move the hour hand when setting the time. The hour hand will move automatically.
If after setting the clock on time, it does not chime properly, this is not a defect. Let the clock operate 1 to 2 hours. The movement has a self correcting feature which synchronizes the chimes with the time. The synchronization can be speeded up by moving the minute hand back 2 more hours and then turning it clockwise (forward) as described next.
Should you elect to move the minute hand clockwise (forward) when setting the time, it is recommended that you let the clock complete each strike cycle (quarter, half, three quarter and full hour depending on model). The strike release will only function if the minute hand is moved slowly past the respective release points.
Switching to day light savings time or back to regular time is done by moving the minute hand forward or backward one hour. If your clock gains or loses time after several hours of operation, see section on adjusting the pendulum for instructions on how to regulate the timekeeping of your clock.
7. Setting the Moon Phase Dial – See the following post: http://www.clocksandchimes.co.uk/shop/2017/02/12/moon-phase-dial/
8. Starting the clock
Open the front door of the clock and place your hand on the side of the pendulum disk.
Move the pendulum from the centre to the far left or right, so that the pendulum bob just touches the side of the clock case or side glass, and release. Due to the built-in automatic beat adjustment, the tic sound of the clock movement will become perfectly even within a couple of minutes. Should this not be the case, please repeat the start procedure moving the pendulum to the other side of the clock case.
Pushing instead of just releasing the pendulum or an incorrect positioning of your clock (see section 5) can result in damage to the side of the clock case or side glass.
9. Setting the strike/chime mechanism
Never change (switch, turn on or off) the strike and/or chime selection while the clock is striking/chiming or the minute hand is positioned directly before the release points (quarter, half, three quarter and full hour depending on model). This could severely damage the mechanism.
Clocks equipped with J key wind movements have to be switched from «SILENT» to «WHITT.» first and the Whittington chime needs to be completed before selecting another chime.
Depending on the movement your clock is equipped with, different chime options are available. To select a chime option, use the selector levers positioned to the left, right or on both sides of the dial.
Some clock models are equipped with selector rods on the side(s) below the dial or radial switches with small selectors in the top left and right of the moon phase dial.
Details of the strike/chime lever positions for kieninger movements are set out in the documentation for your clock and can be found in the movements section of the Kieninger web site.
10. Winding the clock
The weights or springs of your clock should be wound regularly and evenly. Leaving the strike mechanisms unwound can lead to jamming of the time mechanism. As a general rule, silencing the chime mechanisms should be done by using the function(s) of the chime selector levers, only (see section 8).
When winding clocks without maintaining power the automatic beat adjustment can shift out of alignment. The clock should therefore be re-started (see section 7) and the time be re-set (see section 6) after winding is completed. When winding the clock, and if possible, use your free hand to stabilize the clock case.
Cable movements – Insert the crank key provided into the crank holes located in the dial face as far as possible. Depending on movement the time, and if available, the melody chime and hour strike mechanisms are wound clockwise or counterclockwise until the respective weight stops or is approximately 2″ from the bottom of the wood movement mounting board.
To determine which way to wind an arbour , slowly apply pressure to the key turning it clockwise, if it does not budge, change and repeat anti clockwise.
Never wind the clock without having weights attached or lift the weights by hand while cranking. This could result in the cables becoming tangled and jamming of the movement.
Cable-key wind movements – Insert the crank key provided into the crank holes located in the dial face as far as possible. The time mechanism is wound counterclockwise until the weight stops or is approximately 2″ from the bottom of the wood movement mounting board. The quarter hour and hour strike mechanisms are wound clockwise until a noticeable resistance develops.
Never wind the clock without having weights attached or lift the weights by hand while cranking. This could result in the cables becoming tangled and jamming of the movement.
Key wind movements – Insert the winding key provided into the winding holes located in the dial face as far as possible. All key wind mechanisms are wound clockwise until a noticeable resistance develops.
11. Adjusting the pendulum
The length of the pendulum determines the running speed (timekeeping) of your clock. The longer a pendulum the slower is its swinging speed.
To change the running speed, move the pendulum bob up or down and, thus, shorten or lengthen the effective length, that is the distance between cent er of gravity of the pendulum and pendulum hook.
The pendulum bob can be moved up and down by turning the adjustment nut. Depending on pendulum type, this adjustment nut is above or below the pendulum bob.
Before you make any change, observe and note the timekeeping of your clock over a longer period of time, for example one week.
lyre and Wooden pendulums – The adjustment nut is located below the pendulum bob. Turning the adjustment nut as seen from above counter clockwise will shorten the effective pendulum length and the clock will run faster. Turning the adjustment nut clockwise will lengthen the effective pendulum length and the clock will run slower.
Please make sure that the pendulum bob remains fully seated against the adjustment nut and pull it down as needed. Remember to reset the time after adjusting the pendulum bob. top of page
12. Automatic night shut-off
The Kieninger movements in Clocks & Chimes clocks have automatic night shut-off between 10:00 P.M. and 7:15 A.M. (for quarter hour strike movements) or 10:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M. (for half hour strike movements)
If your clock does not strike or chime during the daytime, its movement is in the night cycle. You need to move the clock hands back 12 hours to go into the day cycle.
Before doing so the the chime selector lever has to be set on «SILENT». Moving the hands while the night shut-off is in operation could damage the chime mechanism.
If after setting the time, the clock does not chime properly, this is not a defect. The movement has a self correcting feature which synchronizes the chimes after 1 to 2 hours.
13. Care and maintenance
Your Clocks and Chimes clock with its Kieninger movement, requires minimum care and maintenance: Remember to wind the clock as required by the movement. (i.e. every eight days for an eight day movement.) It is a point to note that the weights are an attractive aspect of the clock’s aesthetic appeal, so winding every four/five days will keep them in the central area of display.
Keep the door closed.
Check periodically to ensure that your clock is hanging level and securely.
If applicable check the weights occasionally to ensure that they are still tightly assembled (hooks and/or loops), are properly hung and (where applicable) the cables run in their guides.
Include the clock in your housekeeping routine, clean and polish your clock cabinet as frequently as you do your other furniture. However, take extreme care working on and around the clocks dial and moving parts, to avoid damaging the hands or the movement.
Every 2-3 years you should oil the movement with a fine clock or sewing machine oil.
Kieninger recommends that your clock movement be oiled (synthetic oil No. 859 by Etsyntha) every five (5) years, by a qualified person, and thoroughly cleaned every ten (10) years. Extreme environmental conditions (air humidity and quality, temperature, etc.) may necessitate more frequent oiling and/or cleaning.
14. Relocating the clock
When relocating or moving the clock all weights and the pendulum have to be removed from the clock to avoid unnecessary damage. Before removing the weights, cable movements have to be wound up completely and secured to ensure they don’t unravel during transportation.
Once the cables are secure, remove the pendulum and the weights and pack them so that they are protected form damage, ideally in the original packaging (see section 5).
At the new location, repeat the setup of the clock as previously described.
15. Clock is running too slow or too fast
Adjust the pendulum length as described in section 10 above.
16. Clock doesn’t chime or strike
If your clock does not chime or strike, this can have several causes.
If you have just set the time on the clock, or changed the setting of your clock, leave the clock for a couple of hours to rectify itself before chiming properly.
Ensure that the melody/night silence selection lever is not in the ‘silent’ position or halfway between melodies.
Ensure the movement in not being obstructed and all the packaging has been removed from around it.
For models with night silence, make sure the clock is not in night silence mode, or is not twelve hours out of sync (i.e. silent during the day and chimes/strikes in the evening and during the night).
On multi chime movements, move the chime selection lever from it’s present position to one of the other melodies.
If applicable make sure that the weights hanging in the correct location. Check the label on the bottom of each
17. Clock does not strike the correct hour
If after several hours of operation your clock does not strike the correct hour, the hour hand is not positioned correctly. Grasp and move the hour hand alone, forwards or backwards, to line up with the hour the clock is striking. Rotating this hand independently will not damage the clock or affect the chimes.
18. Clock does not chime at the proper time
If the clock chimes more than one minute before or after the proper time, the minute hand should be removed and adjusted. When performing this operation be careful not to scratch the hand nut, hand or dial. When the clock starts chiming, stop the pendulum and record the exact time.
Using a special tool or pair of pliers, carefully remove the mall nut that holds the minute hand in place by turning the nut counter clockwise while at the same time holding the minute hand with your fingers near the small nut.
Remove the hand from the shaft by pulling it straight off. This hand is not screwed so should come off easily.
On the back of the hand there is a small raised bushing with a square hole that slides directly onto the shaft. By firmly holding the bushing with a pair of square nosed pliers or with a square shafted bradawl and moving the minute hand back or forth you can adjust the position of the hand in relation to the square bushing, and so, it’s position when put back onto the dial.
Turn the clock hand forward or backward the distance necessary to correct the time.
Replace the hand onto the shaft and tighten the nut finger tight. Make sure the hand shows the correct time you recorded plus any corrections you made.
Restart the clock and re-set the time by moving the minute hand only backwards, or, if forward, wait for the chiming sequence.
Note: due to the square hole in the bushing, the minute hand can be placed onto the dial in four different positions. So if the clock is chiming 15, 30 or 45 minutes before or after the correct time, removing and repositioning the hand to the correct time is easily done.
19. Clock ‘sounds’ wrong?
If the clock sounds wrong when striking or chiming, the area to investigate is the chime bars and hammers. The chime tone of gong rods, tubes or bells may be affected by hammers resting on them, touching insufficiently or striking incorrectly. Although the hammers were set at the factory, it is possible for them to get out of adjustment during transport. There are different procedures for adjustment depending on types of chimes. Gong rods: Do not bend or try to adjust the gong rods as they break off easily. The volume and sound cannot be adjusted on a gong rod.
The hammer arms are made of brass and can be safely adjusted. If necessary, bend the hammer arms so that each hammer rests approximately 1/8″ from each rod. Ensure the hammers do not interfere with each other while moving.
The hammer heads should touch the cent er of the gong rods just below the tapering. For adjustment loosen the little screw on the back of the hammer head and slide the hammer head into the desired position.
Securely tighten the screw afterwards.
Coil gong: The same procedure as for gong rods is applicable.
Bells: The same procedure as for gong rods is applicable.The best bell sound is achieved when a hammerhead hits the edge of the bell.
If the chimes and hammers are not the cause of the ‘wrong sound’ then check that the clock is level and stable. If it is not, the swinging pendulum could catch another part of the clock and produce a sound.
20. Clock stops or will not run
Although it is not recommended that you repair your own clock, you should check and correct with the use of this section the following items before contacting Clocks & Chimes. In any case do not attempt any adjustment not described in this section or you do not feel confident in making.
Check that all the packaging has been removed.
If applicable to the movement, make sure that the weights are hanging in the correct location. Check any label on the bottom of each.
Re-starting your clock, if you have not already tried this.
Ensure all weights and/or springs wound sufficiently?
Ensure the clock been set up level side to side and front to back, and that the pendulum is totally free of any obstruction and not touching the weights or chime rods.
note: if the pendulum is hitting the weights or chime rods, the clock is not level and stable.
Make sure that a pulley has not come off the cable and the cables are sitting on the reel correctly.
Ensure the hour is not touching the minute hand, the second hand (if fitted) or the clock’s dial?
note: if the hour hand is touching the minute hand, the hour hand should be pushed very gently closer to the dial. If the hour hand is touching the second hand, pull the hour hand away very slightly ?
21. Repair and service
Every clock made by Clocks & Chimes is subject to an individual inspection before dispatch to the customer and is covered by an unqualified guarantee against defective workmanship or materials for a period of 12 months from the date of purchase. (see Terms page)
Before pursuing repair/service, ensure that all instructions provided with your clock have been carefully followed. These instructions will provide detailed information to answer most questions. Procedures to obtain repair and/or service while under warranty – In the unlikely event that your clock appears to be malfunctioning or requires repair, please call Clocks and Chimes. Usually most problems can be quickly resolved without returning the clock for repair or service.
Have a copy of the original bill of sale or other proof of purchase, the product identification information in the table below (from your clock documentation) and a brief description of the problem available.
Clocks & Chimes model:
Kieninger movement type:
Serial number of movement:
Return authorisation is required from Clocks and Chimes prior to the return of any product or component for repair, which is not returned in its original packaging. Your clock will not be accepted otherwise.
Procedures to obtain repair / service out with warranty – Clocks & Chimes outsource the repair and servicing of clock movements and are happy to arrange this for customers whose warranty has expired. Please note however, that the cost of of this service will most certainly be higher than aquiring similar services from your local Horologist.
Glossary of Terms
ACCESS DOORS: Hinged doors or panel inserts on the sides of clocks which allow access to the movement. Access doors may contain glass panels which allow the movement to be viewed, or cloth panels (baffles) sometimes covered with decorative fretwork which permit strike and chime sounds to emanate from the case (see fret).
ALARM: A noise or sound made by a clock at a specific time such as a bell, buzzer, chime or melody.
ANCHOR ESCAPEMENT: An escapement developed in 1647 by William Clement which made possible the use of longer, more accurate pendulums.
ARABIC NUMERALS: The number symbols (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,etc.) commonly used for computation and on many clock faces.
ASTRONOMICAL DIAL: A representation or simulation of the actual movements of celestial bodies (moon, earth, planets) on the face of a clock.
AUTOMATIC BEAT ADJUSTMENT: (a Kieninger patent): Ensures a perfectly even tic sound will develop after the over swing period of the pendulum is completed.
AUTOMATIC NIGHT SHUT-OFF: (a Kieninger patent): When activated, is automatically shut-off the chimes or strike between:
• 10.00 P.M. and 7.15 A.M. (movements with quarter hour chime);
• 10.00 P.M. and 7.00 A.M. (movements with half hour strike).
AUTOMATIC NIGHT SHUT-OFF: Similar facility, from other manufacturers, to Keininger’s Automatic Night Shut-off
BAFFLE: A name sometimes given to a cloth piece which is stapled and or glued to the back of the access doors or frets allowing chime and strike sounds to flow out. Also known as a grill cloth.
BANJO CLOCK: The eight day banjo clock was patented by Simon Willard in 1802. The basic proportions of this wall clock which resembles a banjo are still used today.
BASE: The bottom or supporting portion of the clock case.
BAULISTER: A split turning often applied to case surfaces.
BEAT: The tick or other sound made as the e tooth of the escape wheel engage against the pallet face of the escapement with one complete swing of a pendulum. A clock is said to be In-beat if the pendulum swing on each side of its low point is equal and the temporal spacing between the ”tick” and ”tock” are also equal, with an even sounding tick tock as the pendulum swings.
BELL STRIKE: A clock chime that does not sound on the quarter and three quarter hour – only at the half hour with a bell and at the hour when it strikes the amount of hours.
BEVELED GLASS: Glass used on the sides and front of a clock case which has its outside edges ground and polished at an angle greater than a right angle-providing a beautiful decorative effect. Double and triple bevels are also used which have two and three angles respectively.
BEZEL: The grooved rim into which the crystal (glass face) in a watch or clock is set.
BIG BEN MELODY: The melody produced every quarter hour by most grandfather clocks. It is patterned after the hour strike of the famous Victoria Tower in the Palace of Westminster London, re named in honour of Queen Elizabeth in 2012 the ‘Elizabeth Tower’
BIG BEN The Great Bell: (note E natural) Is thought to be the named after Sir Benjamin Hall, Chief Commissioner of the Works at the time the bell was installed. The current 2nd Bell was cast in 1858 at Whitechapel Bell Foundry and restored after cracks in 1863.
BIM BAM: A clock chime that does not sound on the quarter and three quarter hour – only at the hour and half hour with a bim bam sound.
BOB: The disc shaped weight at the bottom of the pendulum. The bob is usually made of brass. An adjusting speed nut at the terminal end of the shaft raises or lowers the bob slightly which adjusts the speed of the clock, a rough guide would be 1 turn adjusts the clock by 30 seconds or so in a 24 hour period.
BONNET: See pediment.
BOW TOP: A rounded or curved pediment shape.
BRACKET CLOCK: A shelf or mantel clock that has a handle on top.
BREAK ARCH: The semi-circular extension of the face of many tall case clocks which sits on top of an otherwise square dial plate.
BULL’S EYE: A circular glass window inserted in the front of the trunk of some 19th century tall case clocks so that the moving pendulum could be seen.
BURL: Veneers made from trees that have knots in them. These veneers have a decorative irregular mottled pattern.
CABLE WIND: A clock powered by weights which are suspended from a thin cable through a pulley assembly. A clock cranking key is inserted in the dial of the clock and turned to raise the weights to the fully wound position.
CAPITAL: The head or uppermost member of a column, pillar’ or pilaster. Many clocks have cast brass or carved wood capitals on the top (or bottom) of decorative pilasters.
CASE: The wooden cabinet which encloses and supports the clock movement, pendulum, dial, weights, etc.
CASTING: The art of forming metal objects by pouring the molten metal into a mould and allowing it to harden. After hardening, the heavy, solid brass or steel castings are finished off by hand. Hinges, spandrels, clock hands, column capitals and other clock hardware are often cast which can be a relatively expensive process.
CHAIN WOUND: A clock powered by weights which are suspended from a linked chain. The free end of the chain is pulled down to raise the weights to the fully wound position.
CHAMFER: The grooved or bevelled off portion (corner especially) of a moulding.
CHAPTER RING: A ring which sits on top of the dial plate of many classic traditional clocks on which the numerals are located.
CHIME: The melody played by a clock movement at the quarter hour, half hour, three quarter hour and hour. Popular tunes include the Westminster, Whittington, Winchester, and St. Michael which are produced by chime hammers striking chime rods or tubes.
CHIME BLOCK: A solid block into which chime rods are screwed.
CHIME RODS: Solid tuned rods which produce a melody when struck by chime hammers. Chime rods are relatively inconspicuous. They are used instead of chime tubes and produce a more melodious sound.
CHIME SELECTOR: A step-up feature on many case clocks which allows the chime tune or melody to be changed. See single chime movement and triple chime movement.
CLOCK: A device other than a watch used to measure the passage of time. Decorative clocks usually have mechanisms consisting of a train of wheels actuated by devices such as falling weights, springs, and changes in temperature or electrical power. An escapement (pendulum, electric motor, atomic vibrations, etc.) regulates the power source at a specified rate to produce the movement of hands, ringing bells, etc.
COILED GONG: Tuned Coil which produces a “gong” when struck by chime hammers, on the hour and half-hour. Similar function to chime rods and tubes, only the coil produces a singe note instead of a melody.
COLUMN: An upright member or pillar often used as decoration on case clocks. Columns can be plain, reeded or fluted. They may conform to the classical column designs (Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Composite), or incorporate acanthus or other carvings. A corner column (quarter column) which is a quarter circle section, a half column which is 1/2 circle in section, a three quarter column which is three quarters of a circle in section and full round columns often run the entire trunk of tall case clocks or appear at the sides of the hood.
COMPENSATING PENDULUM: Compensates for the different expansion rates of the metallic components in the pendulum, which affect the length of the pendulum and consequently the running speed / timekeeping.Consequently improves accuracy in locations where extreme temperature difference is a consideration.
CORNICE: The top or finishing moulding on a piece of furniture. A pediment rests on top of a cornice.
CRESTING: The carved decoration above the cornice.
CROWN: See pediment.
CROWN WHEEL: The crown shaped horizontal escape wheel of a verge escapement used in floor and wall clocks before the development of the anchor escapement.
CRYSTAL: The glass or crystal which covers and protects the face of a watch or clock.
DATE CIRCLE: Also known as a date ring, this feature of many tall case clocks and mechanical wall clocks indicates the day of the calendar month.
DEAD BEAT ESCAPEMENT: See Graham Escapment.
DENTIL MOLDING: Ornamental cornice moulding consisting of rectangular blocks spaced at regular intervals resembling teeth.
DIAL: The clock’s face. The hour, minute, (and sometimes second) hands are located on the dial which may also be pierced and decorated with painting, silk screening, spandrels and etching. Numerals on the dial are often silk screened or applied. The later, being made of plastic, metalled plastic, brass plate, solid brass or solid brass with a gold gilt finish.
DIGITAL: Digital output displays the time without the use of hands. Numerals are displayed directly on the face.
DROP CASE: A clock such as a schoolhouse clock or a railroad regulator having a lower case that usually contains a pendulum.
ESCAPEMENT: A device which controls the motion of the movement gears. Through the escapement, the energy of the weights or springs is delivered to the pendulum or balance, permitting a tooth to escape from a pallet at exactly rate.
ESCUTCHEON: An ornamental plate around a keyhole or in back of a handle or knob.
ETCHING: Designs created in metal (or glass) through the use of an acid.
FINIAL: The carved, cast, turned or stamped decorative piece set in the pediment at the very top of the clock. Finials are often made in the shape of a bird, human bust or animal, an urn with or without a flame carving, acorns or pineapples.
FLUTED: Channels or grooves cut along the length of decorative pilasters or columns.
FOOT: some tall case clocks the plinth rests directly on the floor. In others, feet such as bun feet (onion), bracket feet, ball feet etc. come between the floor and plinth.
FRET: Hinged or inset doors on the sides of a clock case which allow access to the movement (see access doors).
FRETWORK: Decorative cutting consisting of small straight bars arranged in angled patterns. Fretwork is often present on access doors.
GRANDDAUGHTER CLOCK: 20th century word for a smaller version of a grandmother clock, sometime a mantle clock movement placed in a short floor standing case.
GRANDFATHER CLOCK: The word Grandfather clock is thought to have become more popular after the hit song ‘Grandfather Clock’ written by Henry C Works in 1875. A tall weight case clock normally weight driven / floor clock / coffin clock / hall clock and long cased clocks are usually taller than 6 feet and have a pendulum.
GRAHAM ESCAPEMENT: “dead beat” escapement, an improvement of the “anchor escapement.” Invented by GEORGE GRAHAM.
GRANDMOTHER CLOCK: A 20th century word for a smaller version of a grandfather clock.
GRID IRON PENDULUM: A pendulum style which includes multiple, vertically oriented bars (grid) joined by a bridge (also called a dog bone) in the middle and, which sits on the bob at the terminal end. (Similar to a lyre pendulum, but without the harp shaped structure)
HALF HOUR STRIKE: See Bim-Bam and Bell Strike
HANDS: Stylized pointers used on clock dials to indicate the hour, minute and second.
HARDWOOD: Wood derived from angiosperms (broad leafed trees such as the
Oak, Beech, Maple, Mahogany and Walnut). Hardwoods are widely used for crafting clock cases.
HEMISPHERES: On most lunar dials; both the eastern (right) and western (left) half of the earth are represented. As the moon dial rotates the hemispheres cover portions of the moon disc, representing the phases of the moon.
HOOD: The entire top section of a tall case clock which encloses the face. The hood sits on top of the trunk.
INLAY: Wood or other materials which are set into corresponding carved out recesses, often producing a pattern.
JEWEL: A bearing or pivot in a clock or watch movement which eliminates wear and increases the useful life of the timepiece.
KILN DRIED: Kiln drying reduces the moisture content of the lumber, a process which inhibits checking, splitting, and strengthens the finished case.
LUNAR ARCH: A half dial with numbers representing the days of the month. Also known as a lunar time track or lunar date circle. See moon dial.
LUNAR MONTH: The length of time taken by the moon to revolve once around the earth, 29.53 days equals a lunar month.
LYRE PENDULUM: A pendulum style (similar to the Grid Iron Pendulum) which includes multiple, vertically oriented bars (grid) joined by a bridge (also called a dog bone) in the middle and has a harp shaped structure which sits on the bob at the terminal end.
MANTEL CLOCK: A clock designed to rest on a mantel shelf or table.
MARQUETRY: The process of inlaying pieces of wood, shell or ivory into a wood veneer which is then applied to a clock or other furniture case.
MERCURY PENDULUM: A pendulum which has, instead of a bob, an assembly containing vials of mercury. Originally, the mercury in the vials expanded as the temperature rose, a feature which made the clock more accurate. However dangerous mercury is normally replaced with a coloured liquid.
Mechanism: the mechanics that turn the hands to give time and produce the chimes and strike (gong).
MINUTE TRACK: A square or circular ring or track, located at the outside or centre of a clock face. The minute track is divided into 60 segments corresponding to the 60 minutes in an hour.
MOON DIAL: A dial usually found at the top of the clock face which tracks the moon’s phases through the 29 and a half day lunar month. As the rotating moon dial passes behind representations of the eastern and western hemispheres, the phases of the moon are represented as they appear at each stage of the cycle
new moon; waxing crescent; half moon; gibbous; full moon; gibbous; half moon; waning crescent. See this post for more information: http://www.clocksandchimes.co.uk/shop/2017/02/12/moon-phase-dial/
MOVEMENT: The mechanical parts of a clock which are inserted into a case. The movement includes all of the parts responsible for keeping time. Including the time train (gears which operate the hands and activate the chime train) and the chime train (which operates the chimes).
NAPOLEON HAT CLOCK: see tambour clock.
NIGHT SILENCER: A feature of clocks with chimes and strike movements which turn off the chimes and strike in the evening (normally between the hours of 10PM and 7AM).
Key Wound: The clock is wound up by inserting the supplied key into the holes in the dial and turning.
PEDIMENT: The usually ‘ triangular, rounded or split (broken) structure at the very top of a clock case. Popular styles include the bonnet top, broken arch or divided, swan’s neck, open, scalloped, triangular and various carved pediments, many having finials.
PENDULUM: A rod suspended ‘from a fixed point which swings freely to and fro under the action of gravity. A clock pendulum determines the rate at which the movement measures time. See compensating, stick, lyre and mercury pendulum. A pendulum has a shaft and bob – normally brass, with a thread and nut at the top/bottom of the bob, to adjust speed of the swing and timing of clock. The longer the pendulum, the slower the clock runs.
PILASTER: An upright member which resembles a column but usually projects one third of its width or less from the case. Pilasters used in clocks are purely decorative. They are often plain, reeded or fluted; having decorative capitals (Tuscan, Doric, ionic; Corinthian, composite).
PINCH WAIST: A tall case clock in which the base and crown are wider than the centre section which houses the pendulum and weights.
PLINTH: A wooden stand, square or octagonal base of a column or case.
QUARTER HOUR STRIKE: Chimes a melody or single strike on the quarter and three-quarter hour as well as the full and half hour.
QUARTZ MOVEMENT: Highly accurate clock movements which are battery powered, transistorised and keep time via the high frequency vibrations of a tiny quartz crystal.
REEDING: Decoration with two or more raised linear beads resembling tall grasses with joined stems. Also the opposite of fluting.
REGULATOR: A standard clock used for timing watches and clocks. Specific types include a square wall clock (railroad regulator) having the basic conformation of clocks used in early railroad stations and a more accurate wall clock of the type used by jewellers normally weight driven ( Jewellers regulator or Vienna regulator).
RESOUNDING BOX: A hollow wooden box mounted behind the mechanism on the inside back of the case which enhances chime and strike sound.
RETAINERS: Wood, rope or rubber strips which hold glass panels in the cabinet doors of clocks. See spline.
ROMAN DIAL: A clock face, Chapter Ring on which the hours are represented by roman numerals (I,II, III ,IV,etc.).
SCHOOLHOUSE CLOCK: An octagonal or round wall clock of the type commonly found in school houses.
SECONDS DIAL: A small, usually round dial located on the dial plate and having a hand which tracks the 60 seconds in a minute.
SILENT POSITION: A feature of chime and a strike movement which silences only the chime, leaving the hour strike (4/4 silent position), or silences both the chime and strike
SINGLE CHIME: A single chime movement only plays a single melody -usually Westminster chimes.
SPANDREL: A decorative structure occupying the corners of a clock face. Spandrels usually have a triangular shape and may be pierced, have raised decoration or etching in brass or gold. Also known as corner overlays.
SPLINE: A thin wood, metal or plastic strip used to hold glass into a door frame. See retainers.
ST. MICHAEL CHIMES: Chimes originally heard in the church of St. Michael in Charleston, the Bells were cast in London, were installed in the St. Michael Church steeple in Charleston, S.C. in 1764. During the Revolutionary War, the British took the bells back to England. After the war, a Charleston merchant bought them and sent them back to America.
STICK PENDULUM: Also known as a wooden shaft pendulum, it consists of a simple wooden shaft and a terminal bob.
STRAIGHT SIDE: Or flat sided a type of case clock in which the case width from crown to base is constant.
STRIKE: The gong or bell which sounds on the hour.
TAMBOUR: A tambour clock is a mantel or shelf clock which has works that are enclosed in an upright drum-shaped case with an elongated base. It is said that this distinctive “camel back” shape was designed after Napoleon’s hat.
TEMPUS FUGIT: “Time Flies” in Latin. These words are often inscribed on a decorative clock dial. Many grandfather clocks bear this inscription in the break-arch.
TIME PIECE: A clock or watch what simply tells the time and has no melody or chime.
TOP SPANDRELS: Spandrels placed on the sides of the break arch.
TRIPLE CHIME: A clock movement which permits the chime melody to be changed by switching a chime selector lever. Most triple chime movements allow the user to select Westminster, Whittington or St. Michael Chimes (sometimes Winchester Chimes).
TRUNK: Another name for the mid-section of a tall case clock. The trunk may have glass or wood panelled sides. A hinged front door (trunk door) which can be opened to wind the clock can also be of glass or wood.
TUBULAR BELL CHIME: Hollow chrome or brass tubes of differing lengths which produce the chime melody and strike when hit by chime hammers. Tubular bell chimes generally produce melodies that are louder and crisper than mechanisms which utilize chime rods; the chrome tubes producing louder, crisper and less melodious tones than those made of brass.
VENEER: A thin decorative layer of wood which is applied to the underlying wood solids or particleboard. Veneers are used to match and balance grain, create inlay and banding effects.
WEIGHTS: Solid weights or weight shells provide the motive force which drives the clock mechanism in tall case clocks. They are heavy metal cylinders suspended from chains or cables. Solid weights do not have end caps and cannot be taken apart. Shells have a cast iron or lead core encased in a brass shell which can be removed.
Weights: These are lead and cased in brass shells. When facing the clock, these have the following functions from left to right:
WESTMINSTER CHIMES: Clock chimes on four bells or gongs, sounding like the tune played in the “Big Ben” Victoria clock tower in London. See the Chime section in this guide for more information.
WINCHESTER CHIMES: From Winchester Cathedral’s central tower in Hampshire, England the chime melody originated in 1093. For more information of Winchester chimes see the chime section in this guide.
WINDING ARBORS: Holes in the faces of cable driven (or spring driven) clocks through which the key or crank can be inserted. In tall case clocks with cables, the left arbour raises the weight which powers the hour strike (strike wind); the centre arbour raises the weight which powers the movement of the hands (clock wind); the right arbour raises the weight which powers the chimes (chime wind).
WINDING CRANK/KEY: The key or-handle which, when inserted in the winding arbours and turned, raises the weights.
WHITTINGTON CHIMES: Chimes originally heard in the church of St. Mary Le Bow in the 16th century Cheapside London. Legend has it that a penniless boy, Dick Whittington (1354-1423) heard them as he ran away to escape his drudgery as an ill-treated house waif. The chimes seemed to say to him , “Turn again, Whittington, Lord Mayor of London Town!” So, back he went and persisted in his labours until he finally did become Lord Mayor of London Town.