How to balance a Pendulum Clock

Balancing a pendulum clock
This is much the same for all pendulum clocks. Give the pendulum a slight sideways push to start it swinging. Listen to the tick –tock. The tick and the tock should sound evenly spaced, if so the clock is said to be “in beat” or balanced. If not, the crutch at the back of the movement will need to be bent sideways to either the right or the left. The Ticks need to be evenly balanced either side of the centre of gravity. eg: when the pendulum is stationery in the middle. This is accomplished using both hands – one finger holding the crutch fork and the finger of the other hand pushing slightly on the crutch rod. Remove the bell if it is a French clock. This may take several attempts to find the right direction. Then find the right amount of bending. The bending will in any case be quite small, usually so small that the actual bending of the crutch rod will not be felt. It is like tuning in a radio. Eventually however, the tick – tock will be even. eg: the tick and the tock occurs equal distance from the centre of gravity. You should be able to feel/hear this if you move the pendulum from side to side with your hand. Note, if you can hear that the tick – tock is longest as it goes to the right, bend the crutch to the right. If the clock ticks evenly but stops, check for obvious things such as the hands catching on each other or the dial, the second hand catching or rubbing on the dial, the lines crossed, or the pendulum rubbing on the backboard. If you have a weight driven or spring driven mantle, wall or bracket clock, the same leveling will be required as will the process of putting the clock into beat.

A French clock movement after removing the bell.

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