How to Set a Grandmother Clock

Grandmother clocks, for the most part, are shorter, thinner versions of grandfather clocks, and sometimes have a more effeminate feel to the longcase and dial face. Both types of clocks employ a pendulum-and-weight system to regulate the movement of the hands and the incremental chimes. In a grandmother clock, however, because of its shortness, movement is spring-action rather than weight driven, and needs to be key-wound every five to eight days to reset the weights. The weights help regulate the movement and chimes, playing an intricate role in the operation of a grandmother clock.

The grandmother clock is essentially a smaller version of the grandfather clock.

Step 1

Push the clock firmly against the wall. The back of the clock should be straight against the wall and not leaning back. If there is a gap between the clock back and wall caused by skirting or molding at the bottom, wedge a packing piece or strip of wood between the upper backboard and the wall to make the clock flush to the wall.

Step 2

Place a level on the ledge of the clock base and gently move the clock until it is level. Make sure you level the clock vertically and horizontally, maintaining the flush position to the wall.

Step 3

Adjust the dial and movement mechanism so that it is positioned centrally to the door glass. Feed the weight chains through the pulleys attached to the bottom of the movement mechanism and attach the weights to the chains, making sure they are at the bottom of the longbox.

Step 4

Slide the pendulum through the "fork," a suspended iron rod located at the back of the movement mechanism. Gently swing the pendulum from side to side to make sure it does not touch any of the clock sides or the weights. The pendulum must be able to swing freely.

Step 5

Gently rotate the minute hand with your finger, pausing at every quarter hour, to set the correct time. Insert the key into the keyhole on the face of the clock and turn clockwise until you feel some resistance and the weights have been pulled to the top of the longbox. Set the pendulum in motion by gently pushing it to one side. The pendulum should now sway back and forth on its own, keeping a steady beat, moving the clock hands and lowering the weights to keep time.