How to Wind Up a 31 Day Clock

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Unlike our cell phones, which magically operate on their own, a 31-day clock must be wound up to continue working. Winding the clock is a simple process, but if you're a bit clueless when it comes to following instructions, you can ruin the delicate gears and springs inside the clock. You may be frustrated because you don't have the time to Google instructions, or are second guessing why you wanted a more "vintage" look in your space, but there's no need to worry. Winding up a 31-day clock is easier than one may think.


How to Wind Up a 31 Day Clock
Image Credit: coffeekai/iStock/GettyImages

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How Does A 31-Day Clock Operate?

A 31-day clock operates by gears and springs located inside the clock. This is how most clocks operated before the lifesaving invention of batteries. During the month, the clock winds down, and on the 31st day, it stops completely. On this day, you must rewind the clock to get it working again. Each clock comes with a winding key, located in the back of the case, and the clock keys are interchangeable among the same clock brands.


Step One: Open the Clock Face

Try to wind the clock as close to the time when it stopped as possible. Move the long minute hand on the clock face clockwise to set the current time. The hour hand should travel along with the minute hand. Wait for the clock to strike each hour if you have to move the time up several hours.

Step Two: Locate the Clock Key

They are usually hung in the back of the clock, or on the inside of the case where the pendulum is. Place the clock key into the left side winding hole. Turn the key clockwise until you meet resistance. You should be able to feel when the clock winds up completely. Take care not to over-wind as this can damage the spring mechanisms.


Step Three: Place the Clock Key Into the Right Side Winding Hole

Turn the key counterclockwise until you meet resistance. Always make sure to turn the left side first and then the right side. Never turn the right side clockwise. Remove the key from the hole and place it in its holding hook or bracket until the next month.

Step Four: Listen For the Correct Sound

Swing the pendulum to start the clock. There should be no pauses between each "ticktock" second of the clock. If there is a pause between sounds, the case may be crooked. Adjust the placement of the clock on the wall if possible. If the clock sits on the floor, the floor itself may be crooked. Move the clock to a flat surface to adjust the ticking of the clock.


Step Five: Inspect the Clock One Week After Winding

If the time is too fast or too slow, you can adjust how fast the pendulum swings. Adjust the clock to the correct time, then twist the small nut located on the bottom of the pendulum. Twist it to the right to make the clock tick faster. Twist the nut to the left to make it go slower.