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Grandfather Clock Owners and Setup Guide

Learn more about your clock or how floor clocks work. This guide is designed to better understand your floor clock and it's operations.

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION

The product information label lists the Grandfather Clock model number and serial number. The Grandfather Clock model number and serial number are essential for obtaining parts or service. The product information label may be located in several locations: outside the shipping carton, back of door, back of the Grandfather Clock, top of the Grandfather Clock, inside the top back corner of the Grandfather Clock, or inside the Grandfather Clock above the back of the dial. For easy reference in the future, take a moment to record these numbers.

BASIC OPERATION OF A GRANDFATHER CLOCK

At the heart of every Grandfather Clock is the movement. The movement controls the hour strike, time keeping, and chime. The pendulum and weights are critical components to operation of the Grandfather Clock movement. The pendulum provides the ability to regulate and adjust the time keeping. As described within these instructions, adjustments to the pendulum to achieve accurate time keeping is easily accomplished. The three weights provide power to the hour strike (left weight), time (center weight), and chime melody (right weight). Without these weights, the Grandfather Clock would not operate. Each weight is different and must be properly hung from the movement (left, center, right) to ensure proper operation. Weights are hung from the movement by a cable or chain. The weights must be raised at least every 7 days or the Grandfather Clock will stop. Raising cable driven weights is accomplished through use of a crank. Raising chain driven weights is accomplished by pulling down on the loose end of the chain. The strike and chime sounds are made by a series of hammers hitting various length rods. Each rod makes a different sound when hit by a hammer. Specific chime melodies are achieved by controlling the sequence that each hammer hits a corresponding rod.

Grandfather Clock Instructions

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Grandfather CLOCKS WITH CABLE MOVEMENTS

Setting Up Your Grandfather Clock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Leveling Your Grandfather Clock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

Hanging Pendulum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

Hanging Weights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Setting Moon Dial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Setting Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6

Starting Grandfather Clock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

GENERAL INFORMATION

Product Information Label . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Moving Your Grandfather Clock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Installing / Removing Top Side Panel . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Raising Weights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11

Regulating Timekeeping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12

Automatic Night-Time Silencing Option . . . . . . . . . . .13

Chime Selection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14

TROUBLE SHOOTING

Difficulty Turning The Moon Dial . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Grandfather Clock Does Not Chime At Proper Time . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Grandfather Clock Does Not Strike The Correct Hour . . . . . . . . . . 17

Grandfather Clock Will Not Chime or Strike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Chimes Have The Incorrect Tone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19

Weights Do Not Drop At The Same Level. . . . . . . . . . .20

STEP 1
SETTING UP YOUR GRANDFATHER CLOCK

Unboxing Your New Grandfather Clock:
a) Cut the nylon bands around the shipping carton and open the box from both side.
b) Remove the box from on top of the clock. This will contain your product manual.
c) Remove the cardboard side supports inside the carton.
d) Remove the Grandfather Clock pendulum packaged in a separate tall, thin cardboard box.
e) Slide the clock out of either one of the sides of the box.
f) Carefully "walk" the clock off of the cardboard bottom support once out of the box.


Located in the bottom of the shipping carton will be a white styrofoam box. This box contains:
a) a key to fit your Grandfather Clock door,
b) a crank which will be used to wind your Grandfather Clock and,
c) weights which operate the Grandfather Clock movement.
Also, within the shipping carton will be the Grandfather Clock pendulum packaged in a separate cardboard box.
Move the Grandfather Clock close to its final location. 
WARNING: ENSURE Grandfather Clock IS POSITIONED SQUARE AND FIRM ON THEGrandfather Clock Packing FLOOR SO THAT IT WILL NOT FALL OVER. ADJUST LEVELERS FOR MAXIMUM STABILITY AND PROPER ALIGNMENT.
Access to the Grandfather Clock movement, chimes and cables is made in three possible ways; through the front door(s), through the top side panels (or side doors
on some Grandfather Clocks), or through the back access panel. The top side panels are held from the inside by tape or a plastic clip. The plastic clip may be turned
or tape may be removed permanently. Refer to the General Information section in section 10 for proper instructions to remove and install top side panels.
Remove the cardboard sleeve from around the chime rods by first cutting the rubber band with scissors. DO NOT PULL ON THE RUBBER BAND TO BREAK. Next, grasp the cardboard sleeve as marked and pull straight down and off the ends of the chime rods. (See figure 1).  Remove the foam pads from between the chime hammers and chime rods by first cutting the rubber band with scissors. DO NOT PULL ON THE RUBBER BAND TO BREAK. Care should be taken to avoid bending the chime hammers. The chime hammers will be free to move allowing easy removal of the foam pads.  Remove the spring clip from the back side of the movement by first pulling one end free. (See figure 1).

If there is a long cardboard sleeve and no rubber bands, simply pull down slowly on the cardboard sleeve from the front of the clock and the packing will release on it's own. Then pull out the foam behind the chime hammers and you have completed this step.

 DO NOT REMOVE THE STYROFOAM BLOCKS from above the cable pulleys. This is one of the most critical points in the entire set-up operation. Doing so at this time could cause the cables to overlap and bind the movement. You can remove the styrofoam blocks AFTER your Grandfather Clock is totally set up and has been operating for about twelve (12) hours or when they are completely free to remove.

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2. LEVELING YOUR GRANDFATHER CLOCK
Position the Grandfather Clock into its final location. Once in place, your Grandfather Clock cabinet
must be leveled, as the Grandfather Clock may not operate if it is not level. There are four levelers under the cabinet on each corner that can be screwed in (up) orLEVELING YOUR GRANDFATHER CLOCK
out (down) to make adjustments. Place a level alongside the Grandfather Clock cabinet from front to back and side to side, adjusting the levelers until level. It may be necessary to periodically check your cabinet after initial set-up, (especially if the Grandfather Clock is on carpet), as it might settle after original leveling. (see figure 2). Ensure Grandfather Clock is positioned square and firm on the floor so that
it will not fall over.

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3. HANGING THE PENDULUM
HANGING THE PENDULUM ON YOUR GRANDFATHER CLOCK

NOTE: To perform the following steps Howard Miller suggests wearing cotton gloves or using a soft cloth when handling parts.


Some pendulums have a colored protective plastic film covering the pendulum disk. Carefully remove this film before hanging the pendulum. To hang the pendulum, locate the pendulum guide through the front door, or
any of the side or back access panel locations. While holding the pendulum guide with one hand, slip the pendulum in through the front door with your other hand. Place the pendulum hook over the pin or through the slot on the pendulum guide, and lower the pendulum until it is hanging securely on the pendulum guide. (See figure 3).

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4. HANGING WEIGHTS
DO NOT REMOVE THE STYROFOAM BLOCKS until after your Grandfather Clock has been operating for at least twenty-four (24) hours. Most Grandfather Clocks use three weights. The bottom of each weight is labeled Left, Center or Right facing the Grandfather Clock. The total weight of each weight is slightly different and each WEIGHT MUST BE INSTALLED IN ITS CORRECT LOCATION FOR THE Grandfather Clock TO OPERATE PROPERLY. Check the weights to ensure that they are tightly assembled. Check to make sure that the cable is in the cable pulley. Hang the weights on the pulleys. (See figure 4).
 
each weight is labeled Left, Center or Right

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5. SETTING YOUR MOON DIAL
If your Grandfather Clock has a moving moon dial feature, follow these instructions. To set moon dial, apply slight pressure with your fingers to the front of the moon dial. Rotate the moon dial Clockwise until the moon is directly below #15. (See figure 5). If the moon dial will not rotate, wait 6 hours and try again. Never force the moon dial as it should move easily.  Using an almanac or calendar, determine the date of the last full moon. Count the number of days past the last full moon. Turn the moon dial Clockwise one click for every day past the full moon. The moon dial is now set and will indicate the proper moon phases as long as the Grandfather Clock operates continuously. If the Grandfather Clock stops for more than 24 hours, the moon dial will also stop, and must be reset when the Grandfather Clock is started again.
SETTING YOUR MOON DIAL

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6. SETTING TIME (moving the hands) To set the time, move ONLY THE MINUTE HAND counter Clockwise (backwards) until hour and minute hand are at the correct time. (See figure 6). DO NOT MOVE THE HOUR HAND WHEN SETTING THE TIME. The hour hand will move automatically when the minute hand is moved. By moving the minute hand counter Clockwise it is not necessary to wait for the Grandfather Clock to chime as the minute hand passes each quarter hour. (See figure 6). The movement has a self correcting feature which synchronizes the chimes with the time. If after setting the Grandfather Clock on time, it does not chime properly, permit it to operate 2 hours to correct itself.
CAUTION ON MOVEMENTS WITH AUTOMATIC CHIME SEQUENCING: The chime selection lever should not be in the “Auto” position when moving the hands. Moving the hands in either the Clockwise or counter Clockwise direction while the automatic chime sequencing is in operation could damage the chime mechanism.

 
setting the Grandfather Clock on time

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7. STARTING THE GRANDFATHER CLOCK

Reach through the front door of the Grandfather Clock and place your hand on the side of the pendulum disk. Move the pendulum to the far left of center and release. Let the Grandfather Clock operate a few minutes until the pendulum settles into an even swinging motion. (See figure 7). If your Grandfather Clock gains or looses time after twenty-four (24) hours, see General Information Section to regulate the timekeeping of your Grandfather Clock. After the Grandfather Clock has run for at least twenty-four (24) hours, remove the styrofoam blocks by lifting the blocks straight up until they clear the cable pulley. Then gently push them back, through the cables.

STARTING THE GRANDFATHER CLOCK

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General Information

8. PRODUCT INFORMATION LABEL The product information label identifies the Grandfather Clock model number and serial number. The Grandfather Clock model number and serial number are essential for obtaining parts orFinding your grandfather clock serial number service. The product information label is located in several locations: outside the shipping carton, back of door, back of the Grandfather Clock, top of the Grandfather Clock, inside the top back corner of the Grandfather Clock, or inside the Grandfather Clock above the back of the dial. Refer to this label when contacting your dealer or Howard Miller. For easy reference in the future, take a moment to record these numbers in the space provided in the Service Information Section (page 12.) Attach your sales receipt to this manual for future reference.

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9. MOVING YOUR GRANDFATHER CLOCK
Care should be taken whenever you move your Grandfather Clock to insure that all accessory parts such as the pendulum and weights are removed and packed properly to prevent damage. NEVER wind a cable drive movement without weights installed.

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10. HOW TO REMOVE/INSTALL THE TOP SIDE PANELS FROM THE GRANDFATHER CLOCK
Your Grandfather Clock may have wood or glass top side panels. When removed, you have access to the Grandfather Clock movement and chime area. The panels may be held in place during shipment by tape or a plastic clip. In order to remove the panel, reach in through the front door and turn the plastic clip or remove the tape. Then follow these steps: 1. Grasp the wood slats or knob with the tips of your fingers. Be careful not to push on the grill cloth or glass as you might separate it from the wood top side panel. 2. Lift the top side panel up. It rests in a groove on the bottom edge. 3. Push the bottom edge of the top side panel toward the center of the case while at the same time, pull the top edge down and out of the groove in the top of the opening. 4. Tilt the top edge of the top side panel toward the case center. 5. Remove the top side panel from frame opening, bottom end first. When installing wooden or glass top side panels reverse steps 1 thru 5.

REMOVING AND INSTALL THE TOP SIDE PANELS FROM THE GRANDFATHER CLOCK

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11. RAISING WEIGHTS
The weights must be raised every seven (7) days or the Grandfather Clock will stop.  Cables with pulleys: Weights that are suspended by cables with pulleys should be raised by using the crank provided. DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Insert the crank into the crank holes located in the dial face (See figure 15), and turn the crank counter Clockwise. This will raise the weights. You cannot overwind the Grandfather Clock and the weights need to be near the top to run the Grandfather Clock for 7 days.
Be sure to remove the crank before shutting the door.

 
weights must be raised every seven days

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12. REGULATING TIMEKEEPING
Changing the speed of time keeping is accomplished by moving the pendulum disk up or down. The pendulum disk is moved up or down by turning the adjustment nut.
To slow the Grandfather Clock down,
move the pendulum disk down by turning the adjustment nut to the left.
To speed the Grandfather Clock up, move the pendulum disk up by turning the adjustment nut to the right. (See figure 17).

Day One
1. Select a time of day that will allow you to check your Grandfather Clock at the same time for at least six days.
2. Record time selected.
3. Check correct time.
4. Re-set the minute hand to the exact, correct time.


Day Two, Three, Four, Five, Six (If Necessary)
1. Check correct time.
2. Compare time shown on your Grandfather Clock with correct time. Is your Grandfather Clock fast or slow?
3. Turn the adjustment nut on the pendulum one complete
revolution for each half minute fast or slow per day. (24 hours).
4. Check correct time.
5. Re-set the minute hand to exact, correct time.
 

REGULATING TIMEKEEPING ON YOUR GRANDFATHER CLOCK

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13.Automatic Night-Time Silencing Option
Many Grandfather Clocks will offer a night time shutoff option. There are 3 options on this lever.
1) "Night On" - This will keep the chime striking 24 hours
2) "Night Off" - This position will turn off the chiming between 10:15PM and 7:00AM
3) "Strike" - This position will allow the movement to strike the hour without the Westminster melody if the other Westminster melody lever is turned to Silent.

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14. CHIME SELECTION
Selecting the chime melody is accomplished by a selection lever on the Grandfather Clock dial. Some models play only the Westminster chime, while others give you a selection of three melodies.  Selection of the chime sequencing feature or one of the three chime melodies is done with the selector lever. If the dial states “Chime-Silent,” your Grandfather Clock has only the Westminster chime. If your Grandfather Clock has a triple chime movement, the chime lever identifies the melody choices. All floor Grandfather Clock movements have the Big Ben hour gong which will count the hour, on the hour. DO NOT attempt to move the chime selection lever while the Grandfather Clock is chiming. Doing so could damage the chime mechanism. See figure 18 for when it is safe to move the chime selection lever without damaging the movement.
MOVE CHIME SELECTION LEVER ONLY WHEN MINUTE HAND IS IN SAFE TIME AREA
chime selection lever

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TROUBLE SHOOTING


15. DIFFICULTY TURNING THE MOON DIAL
As you face the Grandfather Clock, remove the top side panel, open the side door, or remove the back access panel. Look at the back side of the dial and locate the click spring. Put your finger at the tip of the click spring. Pull the click spring approximately 1/2” back away from the saw tooth moon dial and then release. (See figure 19). The click spring and dial should snap into proper alignment. If the click spring is in its proper location and you still feel resistance when trying to advance the moon dial DO NOT FORCE IT. If the moon dial still cannot be easily advanced, this indicates that the gears that automatically advance the moon dial are engaged. To correct this rotate the minute hand backwards three hours as describe in Step 5 of the setup operation.
 
TURNING THE MOON DIAL

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16. GRANDFATHER CLOCK DOES NOT CHIME AT PROPER TIME
If the Grandfather Clock chimes more than one minute before or after the proper time, theHow to Adjust the Chime Time on your grandfather clock
minute hand should be removed and adjusted.
CAUTION: When performing this operation be careful not to scratch the hand nut, hand or dial.
1. When the Grandfather Clock starts to chime, stop the pendulum and record the time.
2. Using pliers, carefully remove the small nut that holds the minute hand in place by turning the nut counter Clockwise while at the same time hold the minute hand with your fingers near the small nut.
3. Remove the hand from the hand shaft by grasping it with your fingers at the point where it attaches to the shaft. Pull the hand straight off. This hand is not screwed on and should come off easily. The minute hand has a small raised area on the back side directly around the shaft hole, this is the hand bushing. Using
pliers, grip the bushing firmly by its sides so that it cannot slip in the pliers. With your other hand, turn the Grandfather Clock hand forward or backward the distance necessary to chime at the correct time. (See figure 20).
4. Re-attach the hand to the shaft and turn the hand nut finger tight. Make sure the hand points to the correct location that you recorded in Step 1 plus any corrections you made in step 3. If the hand does not point to the correct mark, repeat steps 2 and 3.
5. Snug up the hand nut with the pliers. Do not over tighten.
6. Start pendulum.
7. Re-set the time by moving ONLY THE MINUTE HAND counter Clockwise (backwards) as described in Step 5 of the set-up operation.

EXAMPLE: Grandfather Clock chimes at 1:10 but should chime at 1:15.
Step 1: When Grandfather Clock chimes at 1:10 stop the pendulum and record the time of 1:10.
Step 2: Carefully remove the small nut.
Step 3: Remove the minute hand. Grip the bushing by its sides and turn the hand forward 5 minutes.
Step 4: Reattach the hand so it points to 1:15. Attach the hand nut finger tight.
Step:5 Snug up the hand nut.
Step 6: Start pendulum.
Step 7: Reset Grandfather Clock to current time.

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17. GRANDFATHER CLOCK DOES NOT STRIKE THE CORRECT HOUR
If after several hours of operation your Grandfather Clock does not strike the correct hour, grasp the HOUR HAND ONLY and move it forward or backward to line up with the correct hour on the dial indicated by the number of times the hour strikes. Rotating this hand independently will not damage the Grandfather Clock. If the minute hand needs to be reset (to correct time), move the minute hand counter Clockwise (backwards) as described in Step 5: Setting Time.

 

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18. GRANDFATHER CLOCK WILL NOT CHIME OR STRIKE

1. Make sure that the selection lever is not in the “silent” position or halfway between two chime         melody positions?
2. Make sure that all the packing material is removed from the movement area.
3. Make sure that the weights are hanging in the correct location Check the label on the bottom of each weight to ensure proper location.
4. For models with nighttime silencing, make sure that the Grandfather Clock is not in the nighttime silence mode. (Reference: See AUTOMATIC NIGHTTIME SHUT OFF OPTION in General Information Section).
5. Check hammer adjustment and correct chime tone as necessary.
6. Move the chime selection lever to a different melody or to “silent”.
7. It is possible that the styrofoam blocks located above the cable pulleys are binding the cable. Carefully remove the styrofoam blocks by lifting the blocks straight up until they clear the cable pulley. Then gently push them back through the cables. Do not use tools to remove the blocks. Do not permit the cable to overlap on the drum.

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19. CHIMES HAVE THE INCORRECT TONE
DO NOT ADJUST CHIME HAMMERS, unless the chime tone is incorrect. Chime tone may be affected by the hammers resting on the chime rods or striking the rods offADJUST CHIME HAMMERS center. Although the hammers were set at the factory, it is possible for them to get out of adjustment. For most Grandfather Clocks, it will not be necessary to adjust chime hammers. CHIME ROD hammer arms are made of brass and can be safely bent. If necessary, adjust hammers so that they do not interfere with each other while moving or striking the chime rods. This is accomplished by bending the hammer arms slightly in the middle so that each hammer rests approximately 1/8” from each rod. (See figure 22). DO NOT bend the chime rods. Chime volume cannot be adjusted on a chime rod movement.
 

 

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20. WEIGHTS DO NOT DROP AT THE SAME LEVEL
When the automatic nighttime shutoff feature is selected, and on some models the “silent” feature, the center weight will drop at a faster rate than the other weights.

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This information is only for the clocks that we offer at this time and may or may not be appropriate for other brands and older clocks. We cannot be responsible for any user adjustments performed on any clocks outside of the clocks that we have sold. We also cannot properly answer questions on older clocks, clocks that we have not sold or brands we do not sell.

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