Floor Clocks - How to setup Howard Miller grandfather floor Clock

At the heart of every floor clock is the movement. The movement controls the hour strike, time keeping, and chime. The pendulum and weights are critical components to operation of the clock movement.

The pendulum provides the ability to regulate and adjust the time keeping. As described within these instructions, adjustments to the pendulum to achieve accurate time keeping is easily accomplished.

The three weights provide power to the hour strike (left weight), time (center weight), and chime melody (right weight). Without these weights, the clock would not operate. Each weight is different and must be properly hung from the movement (left, center, right) to ensure proper operation. Weights are hung from the movement by a cable or chain. The weights must be raised at least every 7 days or the clock will stop.

Raising cable driven weights is accomplished through use of a crank. Raising chain driven weights is accomplished by pulling down on the loose end of the chain.

The strike and chime sounds are made by a series of hammers hitting various length rods. Each rod makes a different sound when hit by a hammer. Specific chime melodies are achieved by controlling the sequence that each hammer hits a corresponding rod.


  • Please take a moment to record the clock model number and serial number in the space provided in the Service Information section on page 12.
  • The product information label lists the clock model number and serial number. The clock model number and serial number are essential for obtaining parts or service. The product information label may be located in several locations: outside the shipping carton, back of door, back of the clock, top of the clock, inside the top back corner of the clock, or inside the clock above the back of the dial. Refer to this label when contacting your dealer or Howard Miller.
  • Attach your sales receipt to this manual for future reference, and record the information from the Product Information Label, as indicated on page 7.
  • Please keep any original packing that came with your floor clock




Located in the bottom of the shipping carton will be a box. This box contains:
a) a key to fit your clock door, b) a crank which will be used to wind your clock and, c) weights which operate the clock movement. Also, within the shipping carton will be the clock pendulum
packaged in a separate box.


Move the clock close to its final location.


Access to the clock movement, chimes and cables is made in three possible ways; through the front door(s), through the top side panels (or side doors on some clocks), or through the back access panel. The top side panels are held from the inside by tape or a plastic clip. The plastic clip may be turned or tape may be removed permanently. Refer to the General Information section on page 7 for proper instructions to remove and install top side panels.

Remove the cardboard sleeve, from around the chime rods and pendulum guide, by holding the cardboard sleeve at points ‘A’ and ‘B’ and pulling straight down. Pull straight down and off the ends of the chime rods and pendulum guide. (See figure 1).

Remove the foam pads from between the chime hammers and chime rods. Care should be taken to avoid bending the chime hammers. The chime hammers will be free to move after the cardboard sleeve has been removed, thereby allowing easy removal of the foam pads.

DO NOT REMOVE THE STYROFOAM BLOCKS from above the cable pulleys. This is one of the most critical points in the entire set-up operation. Removing the styrofoam blocks at this time could cause the cables to overlap and bind the movement. You can remove the styrofoam blocks AFTER they become loose through normal operation, which typically occurs after eight (8) hours of run time.



Position the clock into its final location. Once in place, your clock cabinet must be leveled, as the clock may not operate if it is not level. There are four (4) levelers under the cabinet on each corner that can be screwed in (up) or out (down) to make adjustments. Place a level alongside the clock cabinet from front to back and side to side, adjusting the levelers until level. It may be necessary to periodically check your cabinet after initial set-up, (especially if the clock is on carpet), as it might settle after original leveling. (see figure 2). Ensure clock is positioned square and firm on the floor so that it will not fall over.

Illuminated cases: Some clocks have lights illuminating the inside of the clock case. Check that all packaging materials have been removed from the light bulb before operating the light.
NOTE: To perform the following steps Howard Miller suggests wearing cotton gloves or using a soft cloth when handling parts.





Some pendulums have a colored protective plastic film covering the pendulum disk. Carefully remove this film before hanging the pendulum. To hang the pendulum, locate the pendulum guide through the front door, or any of the side or back access panel locations. While holding the pendulum guide with one hand, slip the pendulum in through the front door with your other hand. Place the pendulum hook over the pin or through the slot on the pendulum guide, and lower the pendulum until it is hanging securely on the pendulum guide. (See figure 3).











grandfather clock hanging weight

DO NOT REMOVE THE STYROFOAM BLOCKS until after your clock has been operating. You can remove the styrofoam 

blocks AFTER they become loosethrough normal operation, which typically occurs after eight (8) 
hours of run time.
Most clocks use three weights. The bottom of each weight is labeled as to its proper hanging position as you view your clock from the front. The total weight of each weight is slightly different and each WEIGHT MUST BE INSTALLED IN ITS CORRECT LOCATION FOR THE CLOCK TO OPERATE PROPERLY. Check the weights to ensure that they are tightly assembled.
Check to make sure that the cable is in the cable pulley. Hang the weights on the pulleys. (See figure 4).





grandfather clock moon dial setup

(available on some models) With your fingertips, apply slight pressure to the front of the moon dial and rotate the moon dial clockwise until the moon is directly below the #15 lunar day mark (each mark 


represents a lunar day) on the lunar arch (See figure 5).

If the moon dial will not rotate, If the moon dial will not rotate, Sometimes when you attempt to move the moon dial it will appear stuck. Usually when this occurs it means the clock is in the process of advancing the dial itself. In this case it is important not to force it. You will either need to move the minutes hands several 24 hours or wait several hours and you should be able to easily move the moon phase dial. 


  1. Refer to an almanac or calendar and determine the date of the last full moon.Count the number of days past the last full moon.
  2. Rotate the moon dial clockwise 1 lunar day for every day past the full moon. 

Example: If the last full moon was 3 days ago, rotate the moon dial clockwise 3 lunar days so that the moon is centered at lunar day 18 on the lunar arch.

The moon dial is now set and will indicate the proper moon phases as long as the clock operates continuously. If the clock stops the moon dial will also stop and must be reset when the clock is started again.

Moon phases 2013

The data are calculated from the timezone MST (Mountain Standard Time) (UTC-07). When you are living in the western part of the USA (UTC-08) it's one hour earlier and if you are living in the Eastern part of the USA (UTC-05) it's two hours later. 

Moon phase Date Time
Full moon January 26, 2013 09:40:28 PM
Full moon February 25, 2013 01:28:51 PM
Full moon March 27, 2013 02:30:20 AM
Full moon April 25, 2013 12:59:57 PM
Full moon May 24, 2013 09:27:03 PM
Full moon June 23, 2013 04:33:38 AM
Full moon July 22, 2013 11:16:32 AM
Full moon August 20, 2013 06:45:06 PM
Full moon September 19, 2013 04:12:38 AM
Full moon October 18, 2013 04:37:36 PM
Full moon November 17, 2013 08:16:30 AM
Full moon December 17, 2013 02:29:20 AM



SETTING TIME (moving the hands)

grandfather clock set the time

CAUTION ON MOVEMENTS WITH AUTOMATIC CHIME SEQUENCING: The chime selection lever should not be in the “Auto” position when moving the hands. Moving the hands in either the clockwise or counterclockwise direction while the automatic chime sequencing is in operation could damage the chime mechanism.

CAUTION ON MOVEMENTS WITH DAY/NIGHT SHUT-OFF FEATURES: The Day/Night lever must be in the strike position (all the way up) when moving the hands.

To set the time, move ONLY THE MINUTE HAND counterclockwise (backwards) until hour and minute hand are at the correct time. (See figure 6).

DO NOT MOVE THE HOUR HAND WHEN SETTING THE TIME. The hour hand will move automatically when the minute hand is moved. By moving the minute hand counterclockwise it is not necessary to wait for the clock to chime as the minute hand passes each quarter hour. (See figure 6). The movement has a self correcting feature which synchronizes the chimes with the time. If after setting the clock on time, it does not chime properly, permit it to operate 2 hours to correct itself.



grandfather clock moving pendelum



Reach through the front door of the clock and place your hand on the side of the pendulum disk.

Move the pendulum to the far left of center and release. Let the clock operate a few minutes until the pendulum settles into an even swinging motion. (See figure 7).

If your clock gains or looses time after twenty-four (24) hours, see General Information Section to regulate the timekeeping of your clock.

AFTER the styrofoam blocks become loose through normal operation, which typically occurs after eight (8) hours of run time, you can remove the styrofoam blocks. Remove the styrofoam blocks by lifting the blocks straight up until they clear the cable pulley. Then gently push them back, through the cables. Do not use tools to remove the blocks. Do not permit the cable to overlap on the drum.




General Information For Clock Operation




The weights must be raised every seven (7) 

days or the Grandfather Clock will stop.  Cables with pulleys: Weights that are suspended by cables with pulleys should be raised by using the crank provided.DO NOT lift the weights by hand while cranking. Insert the crank into the crank holes located in the dial face (See figure 15), and turn the crank counter Clockwise. This will raise the weights. You cannot overwind the Grandfather Clock and the weights need to be near the top to run the Grandfather Clock for 7 days.
Be sure to remove the crank before shutting the door.



REGULATING-TIMEKEEPING-PendulumChanging the speed of time keeping is accomplished by moving the pendulum disk up or down. The pendulum disk is moved up or down by turning the adjustment nut. 
To slow the Grandfather Clock down, move the pendulum disk down by turning the adjustment nut to the left.
To speed the Grandfather Clock up, move the pendulum disk up by turning the adjustment nut to the right. (See figure 17).

Day One
1. Select a time of day that will allow you to check your Grandfather Clock at the same time for at least six days.
2. Record time selected.
3. Check correct time.
4. Re-set the minute hand to the exact, correct time.

Day Two, Three, Four, Five, Six (If Necessary)
1. Check correct time.
2. Compare time shown on your Grandfather Clock with correct time. Is your Grandfather Clock fast or slow?
3. Turn the adjustment nut on the pendulum one complete
revolution for each half minute fast or slow per day. (24 hours).
4. Check correct time.
5. Re-set the minute hand to exact, correct time.




How To setup the Chime in a safe modeSelecting the chime melody is accomplished by a selection lever on the Grandfather Clock dial. Some models play only the Westminster chime, while others give you a selection of three melodies.  Selection of the chime sequencing feature or one of the three chime melodies is done with the selector lever. If the dial states “Chime-Silent,” your Grandfather Clock has only the Westminster chime. If your Grandfather Clock has a triple chime movement, the chime lever identifies the melody choices. All floor Grandfather Clock movements have the Big Ben hour gong which will count the hour, on the hour. DO NOT attempt to move the chime selection lever while the Grandfather Clock is chiming. Doing so could damage the chime mechanism. See figure 18 for when it is safe to move the chime selection lever without damaging the movement.