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If you own or are about to buy an antique grandfather clock, care and maintenance is an important factor to consider. These wonderful longcase timepieces were handcrafted by experts and do require regular maintenance in order to keep them in good working order. With that in mind, here are some useful tips on grandfather clock care and maintenance.
- Cleaning the Exterior – This should only be done with a feather duster or a damp cloth and you should avoid using the duster to clean the dial. Waxing and polishing the exterior timber every 2 or 3 months will keep the clock casing looking good, while the layer of polish will help to prevent dust gathering. If you would like to be the proud owner of a grandfather clock, there are antique grandfather clocks you can buy from reputable online antique dealers and they can be found with an online search.
- Cleaning the Glass Surfaces – It is important that the glass doors are kept clean and by using an anti-static glass cleaning liquid with a dry, soft cloth, you can achieve the best results. Both sides of the glass should be thoroughly cleaned, which will always ensure that the clock face remains clearly visible. Be very careful when cleaning the inside glass surfaces that you do not touch the dial or the hands, as they are very delicate and can easily bend or break.
- Cleaning the Inside – The interior of your grandfather clock should be professionally cleaned every 2 years, as oil and dust will begin to clog the inner workings. The gears and mechanisms are extremely delicate, so you should resist the temptation to self-clean and call in an expert. There are articles available online that give further information on how to clean and maintain a grandfather clock.
- Oiling the Moving Parts – At the same time, you have the interior cleaned, ask the expert to oil the clock for you. Again, this is specialised work and unless you happen to have a lot of experience in maintaining grandfather clocks, leave this to an expert. Oiling should be carried out every couple of years and can be done at the same time the interior is cleaned.
- Complete Clock Overhaul – This should be commissioned every ten years and it involves a systematic strip down of the entire system, which is why you will need an expert to handle this. The inner workings are very delicate and great care must be taken with every step of the process, which, when completed, will restore the clock to its former glory. If you have no idea when the clock was last overhauled, ask your local antique dealer to pop round and inspect the item and he will be able to tell you whether the clock should be serviced now or later.
There’s little doubt that having a grandfather clock adds a touch of elegance to any room and with the right TLC, the timepiece should remain in good condition for many years to come. If you are thinking of purchasing such a timepiece, it pays to consult an antique dealer who can help you with the selection process, and with his help, you can choose something that looks like it belongs.
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