How to Oil the clock mechanism from your grandfather clock
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Oiling the clock mechanism
This is a typical rear plate for a grandfather clock mechanism. This rear plate has 18 pivot oil sinks that need to be oiled.
The front plate has the same number of pivot oil sinks as the rear plate. However, the front plate is a little tricky to oil. NEVER put oil on a lever, rack, or snail that is just gravity driven. They are designed to drop freely, and if you oil them, you introduce drag to the point and it will not drop as it is designed to.
The levers that move freely when you lightly touch them do not require oil. Look behind all levers and brackets for hidden pivot points. It is best to trace the power train. Start with the first wheel and see where that gear connects to the next gear, or pinion. Every gear and pinion will have 2 pivot points that require oil.
You have to be careful not to miss pivot points that are hidden behind levers, or brackets as in this example. If you oil all of the bushings but one or two, the clock will run, but those unoiled pivot points will suffer excessive wear. It is better to not oil the clock, and stop it, then to oil the mechanism and miss critical pivots.
Above is an example of too much oil. If you place too much oil in the pivot's oil sink well, the oil will drain down the plate until all oil has been drawn away from the pivot. Also excessive oil on the plate will attract abrasive particles from the air.
It is very important that you use a good high grade of clock oil. For about $10.00 you can buy a complete "Clock Oiler Kit" or for $4.00 you can an oiler and enough oil to do about 25 clocks. The point here is that you use very little oil. Oil also makes a great cleaning agent for breaking loose the old oil. Flood the old dry oil with fresh oil, then take a round tooth pick and clean the oil sink well. Then remove all oil from the plate and the pivot point.
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