How we overhaul your clock:
We do the following steps to restore your clock to excellent operating condition. The movement is taken apart and cleaned, examined for wear and damage, and checked for correct operation. The necessary repair work is carried out including repairing the pinions, polishing the pivots, bushing worn pivot holes, checking and repairing the mainspring ratchets, testing and correcting wheel meshing, and checking the mainsprings. The parts are cleaned again, the pivot holes cleaned with pegwood, the pivots given final cleaning, and the movement is assembled and lubricated. Then the movement is tested with minimum power.
As dust gets in the mechanism, the oil becomes an abrasive paste, which causes wear. The longer the clock runs in this condition, the more repair it will need. Many American clocks have very strong mainsprings which will run the clock for many years after the oil has gone bad, causing severe wear to pivots and pivot holes.
Shortcuts are bad. If your clock stops and you spray it with oil to make it go again, the movement will wear badly, because dust will stick to the oil, forming an abrasive paste which cuts through brass and steel parts.
Your clock's movement is a mechanical device which requires a service schedule to keep it running. You may relate the workings to your car's engine. As with your car's engine, your clock's parts are metal on metal. The main determining factor in how many years the parts last is how clean you keep the oil that is lubricating the movement.
As time goes by, oil starts to break down, dry out and become more and more gritty. Finally the oil gets to a point where it is acting more like an abrasive then a lubricant.
We recommend an in-house cleaning every two years for grandfather clocks. With a thorough overhaul every ten years. With the proper service a well made clock movement should last many lifetimes passing down from generation to generation.