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Forum topic by Allison posted 08-21-2009 02:06 AM 1924 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3826 days

08-21-2009 02:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

From the time I was born I recall a mantel clock (that looks like a grandfather clock) but shorter, sitting in our house. I loved this clock like no one else in my family. It bonged (and I do mean bonged) the hour and also bonged once for the half hour.It was well known in my family that I wanted this clock when the time came. No one else wanted it anyway. It was too loud, It was wind up, etc.
Well when Dad passed a couple months ago I got the clock. Someone has wound it too tight so I am in fear of winding it.(I won’t) On the back I noticed in 1991 Dad had had it cleaned and whatever else was done to it from a co. that is no more.
My question is I would like to have this clock fixed. I also am curious what it is worth. Trust me when I say I will NEVER sell it. I just happen to love the thing that much.
My brother says he thinks it is called a farmers clock, from when there was no electricity the loud bong is what would get all the farmers and farm hands up.
Anyway I googled all this to no avail.
I am wondering if any of you great folks could tell me how to go about finding out its worth AND most importantly how to get it fixed! I want so bad to hear that loud bong on it once again. Mom “silenced” it when I was still a little girl. I suspect that since my mom died in 1990 that’s when my Dad went and had all that work done to it.
The story went that every time my grandparents had a child they bought one of these clocks for each one. Story went that Dad’s clock was 50 years old when it was bought for him on his birth date. He died at 87 years. Making the clock 137 years old. I am pretty sure that is correct.
Thanks sooo much.

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

20 replies so far

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3617 days

#1 posted 08-21-2009 02:41 AM

Can we get some pics? Also, if you can find the maker that would be helpful. It may be signed and dated underneath? It’s hard to say how your mom had it silenced, but it may need some parts. It would be great if she saved them (ask around the family?) and you could have the original parts. Anyhow, it’s near impossible to tell the worth of something like this, but I can bet someone here can give you info on fixing it yourself. You may want to take it to an appraisor. Be carefull how you fix it if you want it to have it’s value. Even the smallest change or fix can make it decrease in value. Good luck on the search, and kudos for keeping it.

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3604 days

#2 posted 08-21-2009 03:04 AM

Hey Allison
You might do a eBay search to see what similar clocks sell for. As far as repair a museum might have a recommendation for a clock expert he or she(the repair person) might have an Idea of value also.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

2520 posts in 3710 days

#3 posted 08-21-2009 03:21 AM

Be nice to see a picture of the clock. Money value is not as important as sentimental value. I also have a wind up clock from my Great Grand Parents time, gonged every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day and was so load. It has also has been over wound and I have had quotes around AU$200 to have it repaired, so it sits in silence and is admired by all that sees it. Sentimental value and the silence is priceless.

-- Bob C, Australia. Your best teacher is your last mistake.

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3782 days

#4 posted 08-21-2009 03:51 AM


If anyone can tell you, it will be these folks:

I understand they have just about every type of clock there is. “Norm” even visited there once to get information for one of his projects.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3724 days

#5 posted 08-21-2009 03:58 AM


View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3724 days

#6 posted 08-21-2009 03:58 AM


View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3724 days

#7 posted 08-21-2009 03:58 AM


View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3724 days

#8 posted 08-21-2009 03:59 AM


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18290 posts in 3703 days

#9 posted 08-21-2009 06:16 AM

I’ll be out of town for about a week. If you don’t have any luck, PM me. My dad had old clocks worked on. I will see if Mom knows where he had it done.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View LesB's profile


1748 posts in 3470 days

#10 posted 08-21-2009 07:11 AM

You might check for clock collectors in your area. As I recall you said you live in Westwood; I just Googled “clock shop, Susanville, Calif” and found two there. I’m sure they can help you. There are more in Redding.
Also there is a clock and antiques company that has lots of pictures you can check. Called Merritt’s Antiques.
Is there a name on the clock any where? There are lots of clocks that fit your general description and there are also replacement movements (the internal parts) available for those clocks if the existing one is worn beyond repair.
In a perfect world the movement should be cleaned and lubricated about every 3 or 4 years but that seldom happens. I have have 8 clocks and don’t always clean and oil them as I should. Without that service the pivot holes for the gears shafts eventually get worn out of round. Some can be repaired but often the cost of the labor is more than a new replacement movement. Also a clock shop can replace the springs if they are damaged from being compress too long.
I assume the clock has two key holes. Usually the right one winds the spring to make time part run and the left one powers the strike (gong). Your mother probably made sure the left one never got wound up so it did not strike. Removing parts is not necessary to stop the strike (-;

-- Les B, Oregon

View firecaster's profile


573 posts in 3445 days

#11 posted 08-21-2009 02:14 PM

I, also, would like to see pics.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View David65's profile


190 posts in 3312 days

#12 posted 08-21-2009 03:01 PM

Allison I also inherited a chime clock that was my grandfathers and Like your self I enjoy the sounds it makes. I too wanted to get some repair parts for it “key chucks” to wind the springs. I had to almost tear the thing apart to find some information only to find out that they also were out of business. Like everyone else has said the internet is the way to go for a repair shop but also you should be able to get the parts second hand or new for repair. Pictures of the clock would help with the search for you. If you could post a couple of good pictures (6) one of each side and a couple of the inside could help on our search for you.

-- David '65

View LesB's profile


1748 posts in 3470 days

#13 posted 08-21-2009 09:43 PM

A word of caution about repairing you own spring driven clocks. The spring must be unwound before you do anything or you could get hurt. There is a ratchet on the spring drum that can be released with a screw driver but DO NOT do it without being able to control the rate the spring unwinds, and you can NOT do it with just the key.
One way to do this is to take a large dowel (1 1/2” diameter by about 6” long). Cut a slot in the end that the clock key wings will fit into (you may have to drill a center hole first so the round barrel of the key also fits). This gives you a handle that can act as a clutch in your hand as you release the spring. Make sure the wings of the key fit all the way in. With the clock mechanism mounted securely on a board use this key dowel combination to slightly tighten the spring (hold on to the dowel tightly) this will release the pressure on the ratchets locking dog; next push the dog out of the way with the screw driver and slowly relax you grip on the dowel to let the spring unwind.
Now you can work on the clock if you want to. A word of caution, if you take the front and back plates of the mechanism apart the gears will all be loose. Getting them back in their respective holes will take about 6 sets of hands and a lot of patients.
You can easily clean the mechanism with some auto mobile spray brake cleaner and re-oil it. Clocks need a special clock oil. It is formulated so it does not evaporate quickly and is a finer quality than 3 in 1 oil.
Parts for clocks are available from several suppliers. Merritt’s Antiques being the first one I would suggest trying.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Allison's profile


819 posts in 3826 days

#14 posted 08-22-2009 06:39 AM

@kolwdwrkr- I realize now I wrote that wrong when I said my Mom silenced it. She just would not rewind it.That’s all. Nothing mechanical. Sorry to all you kind folks for not being more specific.

@LesB, I never thought of googling something like that!Thanks so much! I have a lot to learn when it comes to surfing the net. Thanks. I will google the same thing. It’s funny as I get to Susanville a lot and never even noticed a clock place.

@Lew, as soon as I am done writing this I will check out the link you provided. Thanks sooo much

@LesB again. Yes it does have two key holes which was another of my questions, thanks. I will not try to do anything myself to this clock I am far to chicken. I would just die if I screwed it up somehow.

To all, which brings me to why I did not post a picture. I have that clock sooo boxed up it is really rather funny. I am sooo scared I am going to break it. Should have seen me carry that all the way home in the car. 650 miles worth. I was so afraid I would break the glass which has gold colored pattern around the edge. Plus there is tearing of the paper on the face of the clock, so I know it would not be worth much. Tomorrow however I will take it out and send some pictures. I am SOOO excited about finding any info about it, and it sounds like some of you can help.
As usual L.J.’s has not let me down. Thanks so much guys, It means more than you could ever know

-- Allison, Northeastern Ca. Remember, Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic!

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3508 days

#15 posted 08-22-2009 07:06 PM

I’d check the yellow pages for any clock repair or clock shops in your area. If they can’t work on it there, they should have info as to where you can get it worked on.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

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