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Grandfather Clock Moon Dial Ordering
There are some things you must be aware of when ordering a Grandfather clock moon dial. First of all, not all dials will fit any clock. The dial has posts that need to lock into the movement. These are specific to the movement in the clock. They must be married together, so to speak. Also, these moon dials are for German mechanical floor clock movements that are post 1960 only.
Second, is that moon dials are specific to a particular movement series. To get the correct moon dial for your clock, you will need the movement number. This will be directly off of the back plate of the movement itself. It will not be on any of the paperwork that came with the clock, or on the wood case. Movement numbers can only be found on the clockworks itself.
The following things have to match up:
- The posts on the back of the dial need to lock into the movement. A hand shaft that is long on the movement, will require longer posts. In other words, the posts on the back of the dial make it so the hand shaft will stick out far enough to put the clock hands on.
- If the movement is cable driven, the holes to wind the clock need to be in the right spot. This is important for when you put the key crank in. If it is aligned correctly, it will go onto the winding arbor of the movement. When it is not aligned properly, winding will be difficult or impossible.
- Some clocks have a second hand bit which also has to be perfectly aligned. This goes onto the small post coming off of the escape wheel. The second hand is a friction fit.
On a chain driven unit, it is possible to get any moon dial and remove the feet off the clock dial. The dial would then have to be attached to the wood case instead. Because there are no winding arbors on a chain driven unit there are no holes in the dial to line up. There is also rarely a second hand bit. So you could use any dial with no winding holes and attach it to the wood case. However, one thing to mention is that the moon phase will most likely no longer spin.
Removing Mechanical Clock Hands
Removing Mechanical Clock Hands is fast and easy. These instructions are for German mechanical movements post 1960.
German Post WW2 wall, mantle and floor models
First, hold the minute hand as you turn the nut to the left. Some small needle nose pliers may be needed to loosen the nut. Once the nut is loose, you can turn it with your fingers until it comes off. The minute hand will be able to wiggle straight off its square arbor and off of the clock. The hour hand is a friction fit, so just twist the hour hand back and forth and pull toward you until it comes off. If you have a second hand bit, that is only a friction also, so just grab it with your fingernails and pull toward you.
American Antique time and strike
These type of movements come in two styles. if there is a minute hand nut, the first style is the same as above. Be very careful not to lose this hand nut. They are very hard to find and replace. The second style will have a pin holding the minute hand on instead of a nut. This pin is tapered, meaning it's fat on one side and skinny on the other usually. Just grab the fat side with needle nose pliers and yank the pin out. The minute hand will fall out with a washer. Save the washer and the pin for ease of reinstalling the hands.
Grandfather Clock Moon Dial Installation
Grandfather Clock Moon Dial Installation is explained in this section. This is written for a new movement installation in mind, but it is used for any post WW2 German mechanical units with issues related to the front of the movement or the dial itself.
- A. Put on the moon gear. If you have a phase of the moon dial, we will need to put the moon gear on from the old unit, to the new unit. Its only on with a set screw and its the gear that is on your old unit, and not the new one, that resides on the same tube as the hour hand. Put on the new unit like it was on the old, same approximate distance down the hands shaft like it was before. This one gear will interface with the gears behind the clock dial, and run the phase of the moon disc.
- B. Put on the Selector Switch. Next find the small steel arm that is about 1 1/2 inches in length with a set screw. This will go on the arm coming out of the clock movements right hand side. That is to say, your right as you face the front of the clock movement there is an arm sticking out the movement. The selector arm gets put on by sliding over that larger arm and secured with the set screw. It may or may not already be mounted on the movement, but if it is not, it only needs to be able to come through the slot at 3 o'clock. This will enable the customer to change the chime to silent.
- C. Dial Installation. The Clock Moon Dial has four posts on the back that lock into the front plate of the movement. Line up the clocks hand shaft to the hole in the center of the dial and then line up the posts with the holes in the movement. There are two ways to secure the dial, one style has locking arms on the back of the front plate of the movement that slide over the end of the dial post to lock it tight. This is if both the dial and the movement are made this way. The other way this is done, there maybe holes in the ends of the dial post feet where an included tapered pin will go through the hole after it's on the movement. Sometimes the dial will be made with the holes in the end of the posts, and sometimes it will just get locked into the movement with the arms.
Clock Moon Dial History
The information provided below was found inside of an antique clock case. It was not written by myself and the author is unknown. I imagine it was written by someone from Seth Thomas in the late 1800s or so, or by whomever owned the clock. At any rate, it is interesting to learn about the history of the Clock Moon Dial.
"In the late 17th century, the moon dial was added to most long case clocks so that people could plan ahead for when the moon was full and travel at night was not so hazardous.
The arched dial was first used in clocks at the beginning of the 18th century, and presented a real challenge to the makers of fine clocks. By approximately 1720, moving figures began to appear in this space, figures which moved back and forth with the swing of the pendulum. Among them were prancing deer, rocking ships, and Father Time with his scythe. At the time, there was no practical value to this feature on the clock, it was done simply for the delight of those viewing the clock. After motion had been added in the arch above the dial, the next step was to reproduce the progress of the moon from phase to phase.
The proverbial “Man in the Moon” was used on most dials with a landscape and/or seascape on the other half of the circle. A rocking ship was a frequent symbol of the sea, with a deer often representing the land. In our very modern world today, the moving moon section of the dial is more decorative than useful, but it is still a very sought after feature. Many beliefs concerning the moon and its effects have been recorded.
Among them: 'Sweep the house in the dark of the moon and you will have neither moths nor spiders. Trees planted at full moon will bear fruit. Plant peas and potatoes in the increase of the moon.'"
Grandfather clock sized 11 x 15 1/2 phase of the moon dial with Arabic gold time track and raised spandrels. The four dial feet on the back of the dial mount into the movement itself. Has the silent / chime options at 3 O'clock. This dial fits either the Kieninger KSU series or the Hermle 1161-853. This is the best quality phase of the moon dial available for these units.
11 x 15 1/2 phase of the moon dial with Arabic gold time track. The four dial feet on the back of the dial mount into the movement itself. Has the silent / chime option at 3 O'clock. This dial fits a variety of clock movements.
This 11 x 15 1/2 inch phase of the moon dial has Arabic numerals. This dial has the holes for the crank key to fit the 1161 Hermle Grandfather clock movement series. The difference between this one for the 1161-850 and a dial for a 1161-853 is the stand off feet are shorter on the 850, as the 1161-850 has the shorter hand shaft and therefore need these shorter feet. At 3 o'clock are the chime selections for the three songs as well as the silent option.
Moon dial that is 11 x 15 1/2 inches. This moon dial has raised corners and the wording silent / chime at 3 o'clock. The numerals are Arabic and the dial is gold with a silver time track. This will fit either the Hermle 451-053 or the 451-033 movements.
11 x 15 1/2 phase of the moon dials with a silver time track and raised corners. The four dial feet on the back of the dial mount into the movement itself. Has the silent / chime option at 3 O'clock and has Arabic numerals. This dial will fit many Hermle clock movements. The pic does not show the cable driven style, this style has the holes to wind the cables and also a second hand bit on it.
This 9 7/8 x 13 inch phase of the moon dial is made for the 1151-053 movement series. There are 4 stand off feet on the back of this dial that attach to the clock movement itself. This low arch moon dial is a uncommon size and hard to offer sometimes for this movement.
Tempus Fugit dial has three sizes available with either Arabic or Roman numerals. This has no phase of the moon function, instead says Tempus Fugit on the top hump. This dial has no feet to lock into the movement, as it is designed to drill small holes for screws in the corners. The dial would then attach the wood case instead of the movement.