How To Fix An Overwound Clock In 2020?⏰🧰

The article on Howtotalky will take you through a guide on how to fix an overwound clock but before that let’s know what’s an overwound clock?

The antique clocks, generally the ones passed on from your parents and grandparents, tend to hold a very high value in most families and descendants. These old mechanical gadgets work on the winding concept, and believe it or not, winding a clock is an excellent pastime of many individuals out there.

If you are also an owner of a mechanical clock, then the winding activity would have even been performed by you numerous times. 

Though situations can arise where the clock could mess up or, as commonly believed, over-wind, and that’s why it’s essential to learn how to fix an overwound clock.

Maybe your ancestors would have warned you to be careful while winding the clock, as it could end up over-winding, but how much truth is to that? Your clock suddenly started to malfunction while you were winding it up, so did it get over-wounded? Is this issue that common? 

Read on till the end as we will bust the myth and showcase how to fix an overwound grandfather clock.

Does a mechanical clock get over-wind?

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to bust the myth passed on from generation to generation. The truth is that a mechanical clock or an old clock can’t over-wind. 

Surprised? Confused? So, why does the clock stop working after finishing up the winding? Well, the clock’s mainspring is around 7-8 feet long, having a width almost of a ruler, and is mostly made up of spring steel.

As apparent it may sound, the mainspring has two sides, where one side connects to the inside of a drum, and the other joints on a winding arbor. 

For proper winding and in-winding, the mainspring has to be relatively clean and behaving grease. As time passes, the grease becomes sticky and dry, causing the mainspring to become corroded. 

All of this leads to friction in the motion of the coils. Later on, the spring may become gummy and dry, or in worst cases, the spring metal may even break out.

Now that we know the causes, let’s learn about how to fix an overwound cuckoo clock?

How To Fix an Overwound Clock?

How To Fix An Overwound Clock In 2020

If you have been searching in Google for how to fix an overwound clock that went bang, then you have probably landed upon the right place. 

Below is a quick and easy to understand guide that can answer your question: how to fix an overwound clock. It’s always recommended that you leave the technical part for the professionals, but if you still feel that you can get it done on your own, check out the below guide. 

What do you require?

  • Clock Oil
  • 12mm brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Hairdryer
  • Warm water
  • Rubbing alcohol

1) First, we have to get inside the clock, and for that, you will have to take a small screwdriver and remove the back portion.

2) Take a close look inside the clock, and if you come across any plastic gear levers or floating balance; then take them out and keep them in a separate clean area.

3) Pick up the 12mm brush and dip it in rubbing alcohol. After that, apply it evenly over the pivots and pinion teeth. You need not worry about drying the rubbing alcohol, as it evaporates after cleaning the clock movements. You can repeat this process one more time to ensure that everything has been cleaned up properly. 

4) Make sure that the alcohol solution is evenly applied over the pinions, wheels, and springs. Carefully go through the clock movements as you don’t want to miss out on any area. 

5) Now, this is a critical step, so make sure that you perform it with utmost precaution! Take your hairdryer, turn it to the lowest setting, and slowly get it closer to the backside. Apply the hairdryer on the clock movements, with the lowest heat settings. Once the movements are entirely dried up, switch off the hairdryer

6) Excluding the pinions and gears, apply a small amount of clock oil to every part of the movements. During the circulation, the oil will spread to every nook and corner. 


  • What do you mean by Overwound clock?

Ans: By the common belief, a clock which has been over wind is said to be over wound. However, in most of the cases, the clock actually doesn’t overwind and this is more of a myth, which we tried to debunk in this article.

  • How common is the overwound clock issue?

Ans: It’s pretty common across the old and antique watches, which seem to have been passed on from previous generations.


Mechanical clocks should indeed be handled with care, but this doesn’t mean that you have to live in fear of getting them over-wounded; as already proved above, this is nothing more than a myth. 

When you wind your clock, don’t be afraid of messing up, just ensure that the key is tightly put in. After that, just turn it slowly until it doesn’t stop. Of course, it won’t over-wind, but you don’t have to force it further as that can cause cracks to the mainspring in the long run. 

That being said, if you feel that you even learned a little bit about how to fix an overwound clock, then make sure you share the article. Lastly, if you have any queries, then hit us in the comments below. 


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