Clock Insert and Movement Sizing Guide and Clock Making F.A.Q.
Industry standard for clock INSERTS/MOVEMENTS is the outside dimension of the bezel/rim of clock face.
To select the right size REPLACEMENT insert:
- Measure the size of the hole if inside of a thicker material. Such as a Waterford or Tiffany clock replacement or inserted in thick wood.
- To order the appropriate insert, look in the item descriptions for the HOLE SIZE and ensure that it is equal to or slightly less than the size you have.
- The FACE or dimension of the outer bezel is always larger than the mounting hole size. THIS IS HOW INSERTS ARE CATEGORIZED.
- In some instances you may need to ensure the hole size is appropriate size and outer bezel measurement will fit within clocks design (i.e. not covering applied images or carvings).
If you are looking for clock MOVEMENTS, these are commonly mounted on the backside of thinner materials (plywood) and the shaft is inserted from the backside through a hole just large enough but not too large to ensure the washer and nut will cover hole and hold movement in place.
The most relevant measurement for MOVEMENTS is the shaft length.
The shaft length is measured from the plastic housing to the very tip of the shaft. NOT the length of the threads.
The shaft length ordered should be longer than the material mounted to.
EXAMPLE: 1 1/4” movement fits 3/4” material (plywood).
At woodworkingparts.com we work every day with our customers to answer their questions and help them determine the apropirate item for their project.
Common Questions for Hobbyists:
1: How difficult is it to install a quartz movement?
It is surprisingly simple. Just drill a 3/8″ hole in front of your clock case, slide the movement shaft through the hole and secure in place by tightening 1 hex nut.
2: How do I know what shaft length to use?
The shaft of the movement must be 1/16″ to 1/8″ longer than the thickness of the mounting surface.
3: How do I know what clock hands to use?
There are 2 elements to consider – style and size. The style you choose is a matter of personal taste. Contemporary or Novelty clocks tend to look better with plain looking hands that do not distract from the overall design.
The size that you use is determined by the size of the clock dial or fare that you use. Most clock dials have a minute track that runs near the outside edge. The tip of the minute hand should be just above the minute track. If your clock dial does not have a minute track, then the minute hand should reach about halfway across the numbers or indicators.
Remember, the most important thing is what looks good to you. It is your design, it should reflect your taste.
4: Do I need to use a second hand?
Most quarts movements have the ability to run a second hand. It is your choice to use one or not. If you feel the step second motion would be a distraction then don’t use one. A special closed nut is available to cover the small hole showing when a second hand is not used.
5: Should I use a pre-assembled “fit-up” or a quartz movement with separate hands and dial?
Using a pre-assembled quartz clock fit-up is the easiest way to make a clock. The clock movement, hands, dial, lens and Bezel are pre-assembled and ready to be installed. All you have to do is make a clock case with the correct size hole cut into it. Just set the time, put in a battery and press into the precut hole in your clock case.
To use a quartz movement requires a little more planning, but is still fairly easy to do. If you choose to do this you have the flexibility of being able to se a standard time only movement, a pendulum movement, a chime movement or a variety of other possibilities. You can also choose from dozens of clock dials and over 40 styles of clock hands. If you decide to use a quartz movement with separate hands and dial, it is much easier to create a design that is truly unique.
6: Do I need any special tools to install a quartz clock movement?
No, you do not. All you really need is a well lighted work area and a small pair of pliers.
7: Can I replace a battery operated movement in a broken clock I have?
Yes you can, and it is not to difficult. The first step is to remove the old movement from your clock. Remove the clock hands first by gently pulling them off. Sometimes the minute hand is held in place by a cap nut. Just unscrew it and continue to remove the hands. The movement itself is normally held in place by a hex nut on the hand shaft, or it can “snap in” which means it is being held in place by little plastic “fingers”. Either unscrew the hex nut to remove or just pry away from the case until snaps free.
The next step is to determine the size of the movement you have. The most important dimension is the shaft length. If your movement was held in place by a hex nut, then you need to measure the height of the threaded portion of the shaft that the hex nut was mounted to. This is referred to as the threaded shaft length.If your movement was a “snap in”, then just measure the overall shaft length.
Now that you know the critical dimension of your movement, look in the movement section of our web site to find a movement that suits your needs and budget. Please remember that the old hands from your movement may not fit the new movement. Hour and minute hands are included free with movements, so pick out a pair when you order.
8: I need to replace or repair an electric “plug in” type of movement, can you help?
We do not sell electric movements or parts for their repair.
Please contact Empire Clock Co. at their web site “www.empireclock.com”.
9: I need to replace or repair a mechanical weight or spring driven movement, can you help?
We do not sell mechanical movements or parts for their repair.
Please contact Merritts at “www.merritts.com” or S. LaRose at “www.slarose.com”.
10: If I give you the brand and model number of my broken clock can you help me repair it?
Probably not. We deal only in the latest battery operated quartz movements. While it may be possible to use one of our movements to repair your clock, we have no way of telling because we can not reference the brand and model number of your clock to determine what you may need.