How you can substitute an electrical wall clock motion your self

I restore clocks for individuals who don’t need to restore them themselves. Its an apparent assertion however that’s why I publish my “the best way to” guides on this weblog. Im not robbing myself of a job because the individuals who do that are going to do it no matter and good luck to them. I’d simply sooner they had fun doing it and keep away from the annoying pitfalls.

The inspiration for this text got here to me after I obtained a textual content enquiring a couple of wall clock restore. A straight ahead motion substitute. I textual content again saying that he was welcome to carry it into the Bratiinree Antiques Centre the place I’m based mostly Wednesday by till Sunday on most weeks  10am – 4.30pm. In case you are coming to see me then you’re welcome to make use of the automobile park behind the centre which is far more handy than the cities services for parking within the space. The centre has served as a superb drop off level for clocks and many shoppers now carry theirs in. That is nevertheless topic to dimension on most events.

Meet Lyndon and his wall clock.


For these with the keenness to aim this DIY listed here are a number of ideas.

All this assumes you’ve got so far as in search of  substitute items on ebay and are confronted with a selection you don’t know the best way to make.

With bigger clock (say as much as half the scale of Lyndons above) its typically important, or fascinating to suit a excessive tork motion. It simply beefs up the turning and lifting energy of the arms. Larger arms want this further energy. The one factor about that is that you will discover there’s much less selection in necessary choices e.g. spindle dimension, however get one if you happen to can if you happen to  have a bigger clock; its probably fitted with one already as you cant inform the distinction from the skin. I get the sensation there’s higher engineering behind the excessive tork and the usual items I’ve taken aside. These regarded like they have been made to final solely so lengthy and economically primary.

In case you purchase an ordinary unit attempt to get a Seiko. In the intervening time they’re one of the best in a area of cheaply made options. I’ve had items from many suppliers and high quality actually does fluctuate with supply if you happen to store on the low cost and even mid-priced stage. Its not that the others wont work, its simply that 1 in 10 turns up lifeless and if you happen to drop it on a picket flooring it’s going to probably merely cease working with no obvious harm.

The one down facet on the higher high quality Seiko motion is the worth. As well as they’re laborious to supply with arms inclusive which needs to be your most popular choice if you will get a hand match. However they’re 3 instances the worth. I feel its nonetheless value it however then once more I can cost my expense on for repairs. I’d see it in a different way for a easy low cost repair for myself on an unimportant clock of some kind.

The opposite factor that goes in low cost actions favour is that they’re wonderful for making errors on. In case you discover out you could have ordered the fallacious dimensions with regards to match it, its not a monetary catastrophe. Equally if you should modify the unit or reduce bits off it then that’s higher off going fallacious on an inexpensive one. In case you are profitable you’ve received an inexpensive good repair that can final a few years or extra.

The subsequent factor to think about is the choice of radio managed actions which set their very own time mechanically. I say “take into account” as a result of if you happen to purchase an excellent model unit it ought to preserve just about good time. Folks neglect that you need to enable for the very fact you’re pressured to alter it twice a 12 months anyway and in doing so reset the accuracy of the clock. It solely has to run at an accuracy of 1 min in 6 months in actuality. Radio controls major benefit is that it units the clock for you seasonally like a community linked system. I’m talking in fact as anyone who enjoys setting clocks again and ahead seasonally. Its most likely not for everybody.

Dimensions are the following factor and that is the place its gone fallacious a number of instances for me. Regardless of figuring out what I’m doing I make errors every now and then doing this.

The pitfalls are the spindle size, the hand fixing sort (euro or commonplace) and the spindle diameters. You must know these precisely. This implies you need to take away the failed motion earlier than you begin to consider what you should order.

It’s important to be correct together with your substitute however its typically the case that you just cant get precisely the suitable choice on arms or spindle size. It’s important to compromise throughout the tolerances of the clock physique and motion mounting design. I’ve made up fitted jiggs in some situations simply to scale back uncovered shaft size by 3mm the place I haven’t been capable of supply the suitable spindle size with the important hand fixing dimension.

At any charge you will have to get the motion out earlier than you do something. Getting the face off so you’ll be able to take away the arms is the core problem – the remainder is cheap apparent. I cant let you know how do do that – it truly is a piece it out your self job on each clock. The one factor I’ll say is that fixings like bezels or glass mounting are not often screwed (theres a joke there someplace) and every little thing tends to be clipped or held by friction match, screws or “flip and unlock” fixings. The recommendation right here is that if you’re actually giving it any form of pressure that can completely bend or scratch something then you take the fallacious strategy.

The clock is designed to return aside and its often the order wherein you take away units of pins and forms of fixing in layers in a sequence. Layers that look separate can typically be joined at factors you cants see whereas they’re in place. The face bezel could also be a single unit for example, with its fixings sticking by the again of the clock as pillars with bolt fixings. You must actually test it out work out whats occurring earlier than you apply any pressure – the fixings are designed to be invisible from the entrance of the clock and the tactic of connection is usually counter intuitive.

After getting the face off then unscrew the central nut which is often spherical and easily unscrews as you’ll count on. Notice that I’m  not referring to the bigger base nut immediately in opposition to the face.  Whereas eradicating the central nut above the minute hand you should maintain the minute hand. If its stiff simply begin it off with a pair of small pliers and it’ll unscrew simply.

When you’ve got a seconds hand as a substitute of a central nut merely pull it off. Use your fingers as pliers will harm it. The identical then goes for the minute and hour hand – they are going to merely pull off and will be fairly stiff so get a agency grip on the central space and pull up. As a final resort lever it up with a flat device like a metallic ruler however watch out to not scratch the face or masks it beforehand.

As soon as the arms are off most often there’s additionally a hoop nut you’ll be able to see on the expose thread of the spindle sticking by the face. You could get that off earlier than you pull the motion off or you’ll harm the face and doubtless spoil the look of the clock – if you happen to warp the centre the bend on metallic clock faces distorts proper throughout in most situations so take care on this nut elimination. Beware, its very easy to scratch the face doing this so if you wish to make sure reduce a paper masks (paper circle with a radius slit in it) and apply it to the face earlier than any sharp instruments go close to it.

Some actions include arms once you purchase them. That is the choice you must select if you happen to don’t thoughts altering your arms however there are restricted shapes and sizes out there. Most individuals I do that job for need to preserve their unique arms or get one thing very shut. My recommendation nevertheless is that in case your doing it your self I extremely suggest you purchase your motion and arms collectively. Becoming previous arms to new actions is usually a little bit of a mish-mash and its straightforward to order the fallacious specification. The remainder of this text is about how do do it whereas maintaining the unique arms intact.

As soon as the motion is out, measure the spindle size with a ruler or vernier gauge (digital vernier gauges are £12 on ebay by the best way! superb.) This size needs to be measured with out the rubber collar that typically sits on it to behave as a gripping pod between the motion and clock face.

Whenever you purchase the motion on eBay or Amazon you’ll discover they’re listed by spindle size or in some circumstances “to suit a face of {a quantity}mm thickness”. This “face match” means of describing size is a horrible means of itemizing the spindle lengths because it merely isn’t doable to measure face width on many clocks – strive it!. Because of this I all the time purchase from a vendor who lists in precise spindle size, do that and also you wont get it fallacious.

Its tempting to guess the face width or try and measure it with a matchstick or suchlike however its unlikely you’re going to get it correct to 1mm. That will properly make all of the distinction getting the spindle nut again on.

The opposite factor it’s tempting to do is to think about that ordering an extended spindle than you want ensures it’s going to completely poke proper by. The issue is that it’s going to do precisely that after which jam up in opposition to the glass. Notice that you need to match a seconds hand on high of the minute hand which usually raises the three hand meeting by 3mm. In abstract, getting the motion proper out and measuring every little thing as precisely as you’ll be able to saves all the difficulty that may crop up on this job.

The subsequent factor is figuring out the hand sorts and spindle diameters.

  1. In case your center spindle, the one inside that sits stepped in and above the second hand spindle, has a FLAT double edge then you could have EURO arms and you should choose a motion specified as this. Some distributors dont specify this so take an excellent take a look at the photographs to examine you could have the circle with the flat sides within the centre of the minute hand.
  2. In case your spindle is spherical merely measure the diameter of every with a ruler in mm (or with a useful vernier gauge!) and guarantee this matches the small print of the itemizing. If it isn’t listed discover one that’s as a result of there are a pair or three of variants (?).

Normally there’s the choice of a sweeping or ticking motion sort. Please simply skip two paragraphs if you happen to don’t need to be fed up by my quasi spiritual beliefs on sweeping clock arms being mechanical heresy.

I choose ticking as a result of if the second hand stops for some cause, you’ll be able to inform if its simply slipping  by checking for the tick. Nevertheless on a sweeping motion, if the seconds hand is a bit lose on its crimping / poor manufacturing unit match, it could actually merely frequently slip on its spigot and the clock seems to not be working – you’ll be able to’t hear it tick. This implies you need to re-recrimp the spindle mounting on the seconds hand and hope you guessed it proper once you put it again on. If it doesn’t work then your again to sq. one with the added uncertainty that you just may need made it worse.

I simply discover them irritating to work with and really un-clock like. Clocks are filled with shifting ticking tangible sequential elements and forces on a unitary foundation – thats what makes them a pleasure to work with. In case you take a ticking quartz motion aside its nonetheless received the identical gears and ratios that clocks have all the time had though to be honest the sweeping selection is simply minutely completely different. Sweeping arms are are a much less purposeful step away from a close to good mechanical design precept.

Lastly, in case your motion is just not sq. 56 x 56 mm or its rectangular with a bigger battery then all of it will get slightly difficult and signifies you could have a pre 1975 motion which you most likely want my assist with. Do be at liberty to name or e mail me to debate – click on the hyperlink to the contact web page.

There may be another factor. In case you convert a mechanical clock to a quartz motion you take away at the least 50 if not 90% of its worth. Its value extra damaged with the unique motion than it’s transformed to a working quartz one.

Good luck as all the time and thanks Lyndon for you wonderful clock image and an excellent giggle.