Purpose of the Weights:
Most modern grandfather clocks will use three weights where each of the three have their own function.
One most grandfather clocks:
1) Right weight powers the chime melody
2) Middle weight powers the pendulum
3) Left weight powers the hour strike
The weights are filled with cast iron within a brass casing and are quite heavy. Each weighs differently for the job at task. It takes a week for the weights to reach the bottom of the clock which means it is time for them to be wound back to the top so they may travel back down running the clock for another week. The energy that is produced by the middle weight falling allows the hands to move and the energy that is produced by the left and right weights falling power the chimes.
Should the weights ever get mixed up and you are unsure about which one goes where, the weights are usually labeled under the bottom.
Look on the bottom of each weight. You may find a letter of the alphabet printed, or stamped on the weight. The letter “R” means the weight belongs on the right side. The letter ” L” means the weight belongs on the left side. And the letter “C” means the weight belongs in the center.
If there is no markings to identify the weights, hang the heaviest weight on the right side as it needs more power to run all of the chime hammers. The other two equal or lighter weights should be placed in any order on the left side and center position. This will usually work on most grandfather clocks.
The weights must be raised every seven days or the Grandfather Clock will stop.
Cable Driven Clocks with pulleys:
Weights that are suspended by cables with pulleys should be raised by using the crank provided. DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Insert the crank into the crank holes located in the dial face and turn the crank and you will hear a ratchet clicking while the weights are rising. You cannot overwind the Grandfather Clock and the weights need to be near the top to run the Grandfather Clock for 7 days.
**Be sure to remove the crank before shutting the door.
Chain Driven Clocks:
There is a chain located by each of the weights which loops around the top of the sprocket in the movement and falls down toward the floor of the clock. Use a cloth or glove and pull each of the free ends of the chain straight down and it’s corresponding weight will rise to the top of the clock. The cloth or glove will help keep the weights and chains from discoloring over time. You cannot overwind the Grandfather Clock and the weights need to be near the top to run the Grandfather Clock for 7 days.