An antique grandfather clock can be a treasured family heirloom or an investment that can run many times its original price over time. However, no grandfather clock would survive more than a year if the conditions are not right.
So without further ado, here are a few tips to help ensure that your own grandfather clock will last for generations to come:
Make sure the clock is on level ground
This is perhaps one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your clock lasts for a long time. A grandfather clock is specifically designed to function on flat ground, especially one that uses weights and a pendulum. If the clock is tilted even slightly to one direction, some of its parts will bear pressure they are not able to handle. The result is that the burdened parts will wear down faster. The time displayed will also be distorted, as the oscillators will most likely be at an awkward angle if the clock is not on level ground.
Check to see if the weights are properly aligned
Just as a clock’s components will wear down if not on level ground, so too will the same components degrade if the weights are not properly aligned. Imbalanced weights will not only display the wrong time, making the clock movements go too slow or too fast, but they will also put excessive pressure on one or more components of the movements – exactly the same as when the clock is not on level ground.
Do not let the clock run out of power for long
The components of the clock are designed to run continuously, especially those found in the clock movement. If the clock fails to function for an extended period of time, like in a month or so, the wheels, gears and levers may lose their lubrication. In addition, the metals may also contract and become brittle if not subjected to the regular stresses of the clock. This will add pressure to the already strained components, which all add up to the damage dealt over time.
Beware of heat and humidity
Never allow your grandfather clock to be exposed to these two things, and take them into careful consideration when you decide on a place for the clock. The internal components will not take well, as excessive heat or freezing cold will distort the finer parts. Humidity, on the other hand, promotes rust and degradation. Make sure the room is well ventilated and kept at room temperature, while the clock itself is far away from direct sunlight.
Have the clock serviced every 15-20 years
An antique grandfather clock must be scrutinized with the passage of time, especially if it is a family heirloom or a collector’s item. As the years fly by, the wear and tear of the constant functioning will eventually take its toll on the parts. Servicing the clock every 15 to 20 years allows the wear and tear to be fixed without risking the integrity of the clock movement due to a breakdown.