How to Speed Up a Pendulum Clock: A Comprehensive Guide

How To Speed Up A Pendulum Clock

If you’re a collector or simply a lover of antique timepieces, then you know how crucial a pendulum clock is. The ticking sound of a pendulum clock is soothing and has an almost therapeutic quality. However, when a pendulum clock starts to slow down, it can be a real nuisance, and it’s up to you to restore it to its former glory.

Maintaining the functionality of a pendulum clock is essential in ensuring its longevity, and this is where an understanding of how to speed up a pendulum clock comes in handy. In this guide, I’ll take you through the steps you need to take to ensure your pendulum clock is functional and running smoothly.

Understanding the Mechanics of a Pendulum Clock

Proper cleaning and lubrication of the gears can help speed up a pendulum clock.
Proper cleaning and lubrication of the gears can help speed up a pendulum clock.

The Different Parts of a Pendulum Clock

Before we dive into the mechanism of a pendulum clock, let’s first familiarize ourselves with the different parts of the clock. A pendulum clock consists of various components that include:

  • Pendulum: This is the swinging part of the clock that controls the timekeeping.
  • Escapement: This is the mechanism that releases the power generated by the weights or springs in the clock.
  • Gears: These are the wheels that transmit power from the mainspring or weights to the escapement and pendulum.
  • Mainspring or Weights: These are the power sources of the clock.

How a Pendulum Clock Works

The working of a pendulum clock is based on the principle of the pendulum’s regular motion. The pendulum swings back and forth, and with each swing, it moves the clock’s gears, which regulate the clock’s timekeeping.

The clock is regulated by the escapement, which releases the power generated by the mainspring or weights in a controlled manner. This allows the pendulum to swing back and forth at a regular pace and maintain the clock’s accuracy.

Understanding how a pendulum clock works is crucial in identifying issues that may cause your clock to slow down. In the next section, we’ll discuss the common problems that affect the functionality of pendulum clocks.

Identifying the Problems that Slow Down a Pendulum Clock

Pendulum clocks are intricate devices that consist of various components that work together in harmony. When one of these components malfunctions, it can have a significant impact on the clock’s functionality. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common problems that affect the functionality of pendulum clocks and what signs to look out for that indicate a slow pendulum clock.

Common Problems That Affect the Functionality of Pendulum Clocks

  1. Dirty or dry pivots: Pivots are the points on which the clock’s gears rotate. Over time, they can accumulate dirt and grime, which can cause them to dry out and slow down the clock’s mechanism.

  2. Worn-out suspension spring: The suspension spring is the thin wire that holds the pendulum in place. Over time, it can wear out, which can cause the pendulum to swing erratically or not at all.

  3. Worn-out mainspring: The mainspring is the power source that drives the clock. Over time, it can lose its tension, causing the clock to slow down or stop working altogether.

Signs to Look Out for That Indicate a Slow Pendulum Clock

  1. Ticking sound: When a pendulum clock starts to slow down, its ticking sound becomes slower and more irregular.

  2. Pendulum swing: When a pendulum clock slows down, its pendulum’s swing becomes shorter and weaker.

  3. Timekeeping accuracy: A slow pendulum clock will lose time and require constant adjustment to keep accurate time.

Identifying these common problems and signs can help you diagnose the issue and take the necessary steps to speed up your pendulum clock.

Tips for Speeding Up a Pendulum Clock

If you’ve noticed that your pendulum clock has started to slow down, there are a few tips you can follow to get it running smoothly again. Here are some ways to speed up your pendulum clock:

Cleaning and Lubricating the Clock

Over time, dust and debris can accumulate within the clock’s mechanism, causing friction that slows down the pendulum’s movement. To address this issue, you’ll need to clean the clock’s parts and lubricate them with oil.

To clean the clock, use a soft-bristled brush to remove dust and debris from the gears and other parts. Then, apply clock oil or a similar lubricant to the moving parts, being careful not to overdo it. Over-lubricating can create a sticky residue that slows down the clock even more.

Adjusting the Clock’s Mechanism

Sometimes, a pendulum clock may slow down due to its mechanism being out of adjustment. To correct this, you’ll need to adjust the clock’s escapement. The escapement is the part of the mechanism that regulates the pendulum’s movement.

To adjust the escapement, you’ll need to consult the clock’s manual or a professional clockmaker. This is a delicate process that requires experience and expertise to avoid damaging the clock.

Replacing Worn-Out or Damaged Parts

If your pendulum clock continues to slow down despite cleaning and adjusting the mechanism, it may be due to worn-out or damaged parts. In this case, you’ll need to replace the damaged parts.

The most common parts that wear out are the mainspring, the pallets, and the suspension spring. If you’re not familiar with the clock’s mechanism, it’s best to consult a professional clockmaker to avoid damaging the clock further.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your pendulum clock is running smoothly and accurately, providing you with years of enjoyment.

Proper Maintenance of a Pendulum Clock

Proper maintenance of a pendulum clock is essential in ensuring that it functions correctly and lasts for years to come. Neglecting your clock can lead to significant issues that require professional intervention, which can be costly. Here are some tips to help you maintain your pendulum clock.

Regular Cleaning and Upkeep

Regular cleaning and upkeep can help keep your pendulum clock functioning correctly. Dust and dirt can accumulate on the clock’s surface and internal mechanisms, leading to a slowdown or complete stoppage. To prevent this, you should clean your clock regularly. To do this, you’ll need a soft-bristled brush, a clean cloth, and a specialized clock cleaning solution.

First, remove the clock’s face and hands to access the internal mechanisms. Use the brush to gently remove any dust and dirt from the surface and wheels. Next, use the cleaning solution to remove any grime that’s stuck to the parts. Finally, wipe the parts with a clean cloth.

Proper Storage to Prevent Damage

Proper storage is crucial to prevent damage to your pendulum clock. When not in use, you should store your clock in a dry and cool place. This will prevent damage from humidity and temperature changes, which can cause the clock to malfunction.

Additionally, you should avoid placing the clock in direct sunlight or near any heat sources as this can cause the internal mechanisms to expand and contract, leading to damage. Proper storage also includes handling the clock with care when moving it. Always use two hands to lift the clock and avoid shaking it.


In conclusion, a pendulum clock is a timeless piece, and maintaining its functionality is essential if you want it to last for years to come. By understanding the mechanics of a pendulum clock, identifying the issues that slow it down, and following the tips for speeding it up, you can ensure that your clock remains functional and accurate.

Remember to clean and lubricate the clock, adjust its mechanism, and replace any worn-out or damaged parts to keep it running smoothly. Regular maintenance is key in ensuring its longevity, and with proper care, your pendulum clock can remain a cherished piece.

If you’re unsure about how to maintain your clock, it’s always best to seek the advice of a professional. Alternatively, you can visit our website,, for more information and tips on how to keep your pendulum clock running smoothly.

Thank you for taking the time to read this guide on how to speed up a pendulum clock. We hope it has been helpful and informative, and we wish you all the best in keeping your pendulum clock ticking for years to come.