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Home > Mechanical Clock Movements > Helpful Hints > Adjusting Mechanical Movement Beat

Adjusting Mechanical Movement Beat

Adjusting Mechanical Movement Beat

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The following information will assist with beat adjustment of a mechanical pendulum-driven movement. The beat of the movement is regulated by the pendulum, and beat adjustment helps to ensure a pendulum will continue to swing to keep the movement running. The information supplied here applies to current pendulum mechanical movements purchased through Klockit, and may apply to a plethora of other brands of movements offered throughout the 20th century and prior.

NOTE: Beat adjustment is typically required after initial set-up of a mechanical pendulum movement, or after any servicing is performed to the mechanical movement - such as cleaning and oiling. The beat adjustment may even be required after moving the clock from one location to another.

Beat adjustment is a normal process required for regulating any mechanical movement after initial start-up or after movement servicing. Adjusting the beat ensures that the pendulum will continue to swing in order to keep the movement operational. A rhythmic and even “tick-tock” will be a key resulting characteristic of proper beat adjustment.

Newer-Model Mechanical Clock Movements:

To begin, make certain the movement/case is level front to back and side to side. Most newer-model mechanical clock movements may be equipped with a self-adjusting escapement for auto-beat adjustment. If such is the case, mechanical beat adjustment is as simple as over-swinging the pendulum. Initial start-up pendulum over-swing would be approximately 3” to 4” to the left /right (from center) plus the bob diameter of the pendulum.

Example: A 10” diameter bob will require pulling the pendulum bob 13” to 14” to one side from center. Let the pendulum go and allow it to swing. As it swings, it should self-adjust to proper beat.

Older-Model Mechanical Clock Movements:

In the event that you have an older movement, or a movement which is not equipped with a self-adjusting escapement, you can perform manual mechanical beat adjustment. Reference the illustration at left for assistance in identification.

Start by removing the pendulum from the pendulum leader. The crutch arm inserts through the pendulum leader about midway above where the pendulum hangs. Take hold of the pendulum leader and crutch arm (where the two meet) and gently move the crutch arm to one side, stopping once you feel slight resistance.

Next, move the crutch arm/leader back to center. Swing the crutch arm/leader to the opposite side until you meet slight resistance. The swing from center to left should be equal to the swing from center to right (“A” and “B” distances, as shown below, must be equal). If the movement is out of beat, the swing distance from center to the left side will be unequal to the swing distance from center to the right side.

NOTE: Click here for an illustrated version of the above step.

To manually adjust the beat, you will need to push through the slight resistance on the “shorter” swing side so that free travel of the crutch arm is even on each side of center. Please note that several adjustments may be necessary until the crutch arm can be pushed an equal distance from center to left as it can from center to right.

Once you have an even swing to each side of center, gently re-hang the pendulum onto the pendulum leader. Push the bottom of the pendulum no more than 1” to the left or right to start the pendulum. Listen carefully to the “tick-tock”. A rhythmic and evenly spaced “tick-tock” will indicate the mechanical movement is in proper beat. If the movement has an unevenly spaced “tick-tock”, the pendulum may stop swinging after a period of time - up to a few days after starting the movement.

Repeat the process for manual mechanical beat adjustment until the movement is in proper beat.


 
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