Hot Topics: King Arthur Grandfather Clock

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Original Post: King Arthur Grandfather Clock

mdbeebee - Member

I'm not sure if this is the proper forum for this question, but if it's not, I'm sure some kind person will direct me to the correct one!

I recently inherited a beautiful grandfather clock that belonged to my parents. It was shipped to me and arrived safely, but the inside parts, chains, weights, pendulum, etc. were all disconnected and wrapped separately.

There are no instructions and I can't figure out how to reassemble it! I sent an e-mail to the King Arthur company, but so far they haven't responded.

Anyone have any ideas on how I can figure out how to put this beautiful clock back together again? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

The clock has a Model number of YHMAR 78 and Serial number of 01103

Furd - Member

I just did a Google search using King Arthur Grandfather Clock and got several hits. It seems the King Arthur Clock Company is long out of business. They used German made movements.

The hanging of the pendulum should be fairly apparent and the chains and weights would only take a bit of experimentation. You should be able to thread each individual chain up from the bottom, over the chain wheel and then back down in the case. Do this with all three chains leaving about an equal length of chain hanging from each side of each chain wheel. Then try to pull the chain. If it pulls easily with a ratcheting noise then hang the weight on the other side. Do this for each chain wheel.

For more information just do a Google search.

Shadeladie - Super Moderator

My husband was a clockmaker (in another lifetime, LOL) and this is not an easy task nor is it a DIY job. Unfortunately, with modern day junk the norm, there's not too many people around that still do this or know how. You may want to contact a fine jewelry store as they're likely to know someone that can do this for you. It won't be cheap, but if you really value it, it'll be worth the money.

Furd - Member

Shadeladie, no disrespect to you or your husband but I have worked on a few weight-driven clocks and if the only problem with mdbeebee's clock is that the pendulum was removed along with the weights and chains for shipping purposes then rehanging the pendulum and restringing the chains is not that difficult a job. It IS time consuming and you DO need to have a fair amount of patience when stringing the chains. You will need large and long tweezers and possibly a long, but small screwdriver or rod to help position the chains.

The proper way would have been to remove the weights but not the chains. Then use "twist ties" to tie the two sides of each chain together as close as possible to the movement. This would keep the chains from falling off the chain wheels while the clock was in transit and then the only thing necessary is to remove the twister ties when the clock is in place and rehang the weights.

The pendulum could be a different story if the suspension spring is damaged or broken. The escapement lever should have been tied down before shipping the clock and, of course, the chime rods and chime hammers really should be blocked to prevent movement while in transit.

At any rate, doing the Google search turned up several hits and a couple of clock repair forums and that may be the best thing that mdbeebee could do for the clock.

lillulu - Member

HI, I'm the owner of a King Arthur Grandfather Clock... It has been stored at my friends house(inside) while my house has been built. My question is . The placing and puttng the clock back together. We took the Pendulum off and only the weights. The Chains are still in place . How do you know which weights go first? I know theres a process but my (late) husband used to take care of the clock. It has the most beautiful Westminister Chimes and I miss it very much. I cannot wait to get it set up and working again.... Please I would love any suggestions or help , thanks Lulu

twelvepole - Member

You will need to write down the 'movement' information.

Here's a video for setting up a Howard Miller cable driven clock. It does have some good info re: installing pendulum and weights, leveling the clock, and more: Grandfather Clock Setup Instructions

The Howard Miller video shows how to place pendulum and weights. It should not be too different for the King Arthur clock. Check weights for labels or some identification mark or number that might indicate the order from left to right. Chains are attached to toothed sprockets. The chains should not have been removed. See link below on how to move a clock.

Grandfather clocks should be periodically serviced. This might be a good time to call to have the clocks serviced and reassembled. The shafts and bearings need to be oiled every 3-5 years. If you have not had the clock serviced recently, then it's a good time to call. Adjustments and repairs should be done by a qualified clocksmith.

techwiz7 - Member

I have the assembly instructions for the king arthur clock model 451, 1151,1161.

My problem is that the weights are all the way to the top and I can't pull them down easly, I am afraid that if I pull to hard I will do damage to the clock.

I can scan in the instructions and email the to anyone who wishes them. Please let me know.

goldstar - Member

Why would you want to pull the weights down? If the clock is set up properly, the weights will slowly decend as the clock runs. You could remove the weights and then reposition the chains but why would you do this?

When you "wind" the clock, always lift the weight with one hand as you pull the chain down with the other hand. Also check occasionally to be sure the hook on the top of the weight(s) is not loosening. Don't ask how I know.

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