Boy Mechanic Fixes A Clock

clock with new silent quartz movement This is the clock Boy Mechanic fixed. Remember, that’s pronounced “Mek-A-Nick”. Hover your mouse over the empty space between the brackets here [ ] and tell me what you hear.

Nothing? That’s because Boy Mechanic replaced the clock’s failing, noisy old quartz movement with a new, silent quartz movement.

Selecting the right replacement movement is most of the work. We found Klockit, a website and mail order house that specializes in clock parts and kits for hobbyists. You could go bananas there. Looking for parts to build a grandfather clock? A clock with tides and phases of the moon? Klockit’s got it.

By measuring the old movement we determined we needed a 2-3/16″ square x 5/8″ case size with a 5/16″ shaft diameter. Hand shaft length was a bit tougher but 5/8″ was the only size we found (it turns out there are others). We ordered the movement with a free pair of hands, choosing the plain black hands in the picture. The sweep second hand is $0.35 extra.

The parts arrived, and installation was trickier than we bargained for. The old movement set into a couple of plastic posts on the back side of the clock face, as well as the plastic retaining clips that seem to be standard. The new movement had no holes for those posts, so we drilled the posts out.

The new movement does fasten with a brass hex nut on the clock face (underneath the cardboard dial insert printed with the numbers 1-12). As long as the clock doesn’t fall off the wall in an earthquake, the movement is secure enough.

The first installation resulted in the second hand binding against the clear plastic face cover, so we re-mounted the movement with a cardboard shim. That gave just enough clearance, and we put everything back together.

The result is a fixed and totally silent $7.99 Target plastic wall clock, for only $17.79 (including shipping).

The sensible thing would have been to just buy a new clock, and we originally did that. An ugly Target $12.99 replica retro Big Ben wall clock turned out to be almost as noisy. We put it in the bathroom, but even there the ticking stopped being cute and retro after about ten minutes. We retired it to the linen closet.

Besides, I was partial to the stark, minimalist simplicity of this white clock design, which served us well for a number of years until it inexplicably started developing that really obnoxious “tick”. The newly repaired clock is so silent you can’t hear it at all, and the continuous-sweep second hand is a novelty since the cheap quartz movements took over the wall clock business.

All in all, I would have paid more in the first place for a clock with this movement, if I could have located one. When you see an ad for a wall clock, it never mentions whether it’s noisy or not. When I started paying attention to such things, everybody’s clock that I “listened to” had a tick that, in the quiet still of the night, could be considered excessive. Boy Mechanic to the rescue!

Boy Mechanic is now a regular “Category” of the My Notes page. Stay tuned for more exciting sagas as Boy Mechanic fixes things!

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