Most people are emotionally attached to a grandfather or longcase clock, far more than that of a chair or table. There's always a story behind a grandfather clock. So naturally you'll want to take the best care of it to ensure it will remain in the best possible condition as it passes through the generations. It's quite common for us to hear that an old grandfather clock has "been in the family for donkey’s years".
In this article we're only going to talk about our area of expertise, wood preservation and the outer case, as opposed to the interior workings which is entirely the domain of the horologist.
Our first piece of advice is always, before applying polish, to make sure the clock is secured to the wall it is resting up against. We recommend attaching a small baton to the wall behind and screw through the back of the clock case to secure to the baton. This is because when the clock is fully wound the counter-weight is at the top of it's chain and the whole clock can be very top heavy and unstable. When it is secured to the wall the clock unlikely to fall over through vigorous buffing or when children are being adventurous!
Because a clock is rarely moved about and is not actively used (except by the eyes), it can be a bit of a dust collector. This problem is accentuated if you use wet-finish spray polishes or oils. That being said, the greatest risk with spray polishes is getting micro-particles of sticky polish in the workings of the clock and attracting more dust and dirt than necessary. What is needed is a beeswax polish that is formulated to produce a hard dry finish that does not attract or capture dust and it will be easier to remove with the simple swipe with a feather duster. This is what Gilboy's Gold beeswax polishes are designed for.
Once every 4 or 5 years should be sufficient if you use Gilboy’s Gold.
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