The cost for a 2nd Level Service will typically range from $400 to $800 for most clocks. Clocks that are extremely dirty, have been subjected to WD-40, have labor-intensive casework that requires more than the normal amount of time for removal of the working parts, or have numerous peripherals or additional functions, may cost more to service. A 2nd Level Service includes:
On movements with mainsprings, the springs are safely “let down” to check for wear, and allow new oil to reach all bearing surfaces. A detailed “pegwood” removal of old oil and contamination is done. Degraded material is removed from the escapement, exposed wheel and hammer arbor pivots, and oil sinks. Old oil can become acidified, mixes with steel and brass particles and airborne dust, forming an abrasive paste. The pegwood cleaning removes the majority of this harmful material prior to oiling, so the new oil doesn’t back-wash the contamination into the bearing surfaces.
Safety inspection of the ratchet systems that keep the mainspring power or force of the weights securely in check. Cable / chain safety inspection.
Targeted repairs are carried out to correct any notable specific conditions that are separate from a need for cleaning and oiling.
These conditions can include intermittent or steady failure of any of the clock’s functions, such as a momentary irregular beat (caused by a bent tooth or teeth on the escape wheel), a bell or gong that strikes too harshly, chimes that having faint or missing notes, hour or quarter-hour striking or chiming that fails to start or stop reliably, incorrect striking, a clock that fails to run at all even though it’s otherwise in good condition, etc.
In many cases when we find that prior repairs have involved shortcuts to correct faults, it is evident that a higher level of craftsmanship would have produced a more reliable result. To the extent that it’s practical to economically “undo” such work in a 2nd Level Service, we endeavor to improve the existing conditions with more appropriate targeted work.
Where material changes are likely to affect the cost, the owner will be advised and involved in the decision(s) prior to doing the additional work.
Finally, the escapement (where the tick-tock sound is produced — the clock’s timekeeping regulator) is adjusted to its optimal settings and the timekeeping accuracy is adjusted before returning the clock to the customer. Incidental adjustments are made as required, to improve the reliability of the quarter, half or hour strike, and careful gong, bell or chime adjustments are made so the clock will produce the most pleasing tones when striking the hours or chiming.
Regardless of the level of service, an important consideration is to avoid applying fresh oil to a clock where notable residual contamination remains that can wash back into the moving parts, causing premature wear. The extent of this contamination is one of the factors that determines whether a 2nd or a 3rd Level Service will be recommended.