Maintaining and Caring For Your Weight-Driven Banjo Clock

Like the engine in your car, a clock’s moving parts require periodic servicing. This includes careful inspection, disassembly, cleaning, addressing wear issues, reassembly, and oiling.

Battery Change

Changing clock batteries is one of the most common maintenance tasks that needs to be done regularly. If you have a lot of clocks, it can take a staff member days to replace batteries in them all.

Make sure your clock has the right type of battery. It would help to use only alkaline or lithium batteries in your watch. Using the wrong battery type can cause chemical reactions that reduce their performance.

Also, be sure your pendulum bob is in the correct position. If it is too high or low, it can hit the side of the case during its swing and stop it from hitting the time dials.

If your clock is not chiming when it should, you can often solve this by simply turning the minute hand bushing one way or another. This can help the clock to chime at exactly the right time on the hour. You can purchase a clock cleaning kit with a brush, a clock level and a vision visor to help you perform these repairs.

Oil Change

Any clock repair person will tell you that friction is a clock’s worst enemy. When metals rub together, they wear out much faster than when well-lubricated. Lubrication is the only way to mitigate this problem. A poorly oiled movement will run sluggishly and may even stop running completely.

A well-oiled clock will run for years to come. It is important to have it oiled and cleaned regularly. A clock that is not adequately lubricated will wear out prematurely and shorten the life of the clock.

Overhauling weight driven banjo clocks involves disassembling the movement and cleaning each part. It also involves checking all pivot holes in the clock plates for excessive wear. Only some people are ready or willing to spend the time required for a complete overhaul. We offer a basic clock cleaning kit for those people to clean the movement without disassembly. This kit includes a clock cleaning solution, an E-Book, a brush, clock level and clock oil.


All clocks must be wound up at least once weekly to keep them running. Generally, clocks need 15 to 25 half-turns of the winding key. Count each turn to ensure that the proper amount of wind is accomplished.

The pendulum clocks use a unique set of gears to transfer energy from the drive chain to the escapement. This energy is then transferred back to the pendulum rod so it can move up or down, thus keeping time.

This banjo clock features an original 7-inch painted metal dial with black hour numerals and blued open moon hands; typical brass weight driven time only movement; a long wood pendulum stick with brass covered bob and brass pulley; and a mahogany banjo style case. This clock has a nice patina and is in good condition.


The movement of a banjo clock can become coated with sticky dirt created from the combination of oil and household dust. It is important to have this dirt softened and removed before it builds up to the point where it can restrict motion. This is most easily accomplished with mineral spirits applied to a small artist’s brush and then wiped away with a lens tissue.

Avoid spraying lubricating oils or even WD-40 on the movement of your clock, as these can worsen the problem. They turn into dust magnets and can also erode delicate brass components. Instead, use a special clock cleaning solution that can be purchased from a qualified clockmaker.

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