What is this clock thing for? #5 – the pivot locator

I want to talk about one of the most useful tools in clock repair, the pivot locator.

As an avid horology enthusiast for the past 9 years, I have been steadily building my knowledge of clock repair and with it a selection of essential clock tools.

My advice to those of you starting out in clock repair is to set aside a specific goal, research your needs, build your tools and equipment acquisitions gradually and apply a reasonable budget. You will find that clock repair is not as expensive as you might think especially when the costs are spread over time and especially when you can source tools on the used market.

Front plate removed showing the location of all gears except the escape wheel

For antique and vintage clock repair having the right tools is absolutely essential. Some are expensive but often there are tools, like the pivot locator, that will cost less than $10.

The photo above shows wheels placed on the rear late ready for the front plate to go on.

On a typical American time and strike the wheels and pivots are large enough to move them in place by hand. The time side wheels can be easily moved in place without a tool. However, the strike side is a little more complicated. There are the same number of wheels but the addition of levers complicates the process and it is a good idea to have a tool, like a pivot locator, to assist in moving pivots and lever arbours in place.

Pivot locator

The design of the pivot locator allows the clock repair person to push or pull pivots into place one at a time. The locator is about 8″ long with knurled handle and can be purchased from any clock supplier.