So your clock is not working properly and it needs to be serviced. Perhaps it is something simple, like dirt and dried oil, or perhaps it is more serious, like worn out holes and pivots, or even possibly rust. Yes rust! It can happen! If the clock is in a very damp environment, or if you were unfortunate enough to have a flood in your home, water can evaporate and settle in your clock and do its watery harm in your family heirloom.
Whatever the reason, your clock needs service.
To begin with, the clock is given a quick inspection to see if there is any obvious damage to the movement. Assuming there is not, then the movement will be completely disassembled. Again, the disassembled parts are checked for any damage. At this point, the various bits and pieces are put into an ultra-sonic cleaning machine containing an ammonia based cleaning solution. depending on the condition of the clock, this process can take a few hours. The main plates and the great wheels or mainspring barrels are cleaned separately, since they are generally rather heavy and could easily damage the more delicate parts.
After this, the first thing we do is to check and make sure all the pivots are well polished. This is very important; a rough pivot will interfere with the running of the clock. A rough pivot takes needs more energy to rotate properly, thus affecting the working of the mechanism. Furthermore, a rough pivot will also wear out the bearing surfaces of the pivot holes faster and thus cause the clock to need service more frequently.
On the left you can see a pivot which is rough and pitted. By comparison, on the right is the same pivot after it has been polished.
This is how we polish pivots. At left, the traditional, time consuming method using a lathe; on the right, using a Rollimat pivot polisher. This ingenious tool produces better result in a fraction of the time.