Emperor 300M Grandfather Clock

Dining Room
Dining Room

Emperor 300M Grandfather Clock
Emperor 300M Grandfather Clock
I bought this clock off craigslist for $75! It did not work of course and I knew that before I bought it. I did not know the problem but the couple I bought it from was happy to get rid of it since it was something they inherited from a death in the family. This is an Emperor Model 300M triple chime grandfather clock kit. Yes it was a kit you buy and assemble, stain, and varnish at home. Pretty cool. This one was built in 1975-76 and was well done. It’s a beautiful clock. You can still buy these today at for around $1,000 or so from http://www.emperorclock.com/. Back in 1975, these kits were only $450.
I unloaded it, set it up in my dining room, and wound it up.   It actually worked just fine (for a while)……I noticed that the hands would stop moving at the 45 minute mark every time.  Sometimes they would start moving on their own again but only after several hours later.   The clock itself never stopped ticking it was only the hands that stopped.
I started to take it apart since I needed to see if there was something physically stopping the hands.  These clocks are very simple to take apart.  You can actually remove the movement and leave the face with moon dial in the cabinet but I just took everything out to give it a good look over.  Removing the movement is easy.  First, remove the 2 hands off the face.  They have a nut to unscrew and just pull them off gently.  Remove the 3 weights and the pendulum by unhooking it and sliding it out the front door.  Remove the back cover (4 latches) and you have to unscrew the two screws that hold the chimes in.  They are heavy so remove them with care.   There are only 2 screws holding the movement in. Unlatch the 4 latches that connect the movement to the face and moon dial if you want to leave that intact, and then remove the two screws in the wooden base (see image below).   The entire movement (minus the face and moon dial) will slide out the back of the clock.  The movement should still be attached to the wooden block it sits on.   If you want to remove the entire assembly with moon dial,  you have two extra plates of wood to remove as well.  One is above the moon dial,and the other is under the movement behind the chains.
Here are the two manuals I got with the clock that show how to disassemble the clock.
Assembly Instructions Emperor 300M (1975)
Operation Manual Emperor 300M (1975)
Removing movement
Release the 4 tabs that attach the movement to the clock face.  There are two screws on the bottom that hold the movement to the wooden clock
Cabinet
The entire movement will slide out the back of the clock (remove the cover on the back of the clock).
chimes removed
Movement removed
Face removed
Movement
Now that the movement is out, its time to start looking around for anything broken or out of place. My issue was the hands stopping yet the clock continues to run. I looked right away at the friction clutch assembly on the front and found the problem. The friction clutch allows you to turn the hands forwards or backwards without damaging the movement. The pin popped out which causes my friction clutch to be too loose an not working. I took a pair of needle nose pliers and pushed the pin into place. The friction clutch now had more force and will engage properly moving the hands. I also looked around for worn pivot holes and did find a few. They will need repair soon with new bushings but I will wait until the clock gives me trouble again. I oiled it up and put it back together.
Friction Clutch

Repaired Slip Clutch

Dining Room

Update: 06-05-17
Still working great and it keeps pretty good time.  I have to adjust it 1 or 2 minutes every month or  so.   That’s about as good as I can get it which is probably pretty normal…..?

62 Comments

  1. Hi Mike, What a great resource your web page is! I was researching my clock and your site came up…great pics and information. I just inherited a 1972 Emporor model 300M clock from my mother and remember them getting it when I was a teen. We just got it set up and it seems to be running pretty well. I seem to recall there being a silent feature for night, but my installation manual doesn’t say anything that I can find. Do you know about this? Thanks,

      • Hi
        I have an Emperor clock model M300 and in transit from America to Tasmania the pendulum rod and bob has been lost. how do I tell which model parts I need to replace them. The the paper that came with the clock said it has a 6 3/4″ X 91/8″ movement plate, a 6 5/8″ diameter pendulum bob, 38 5/8″ Pendulum bob (length of pendulum) and a Graham Escapement and a 11″ swing. Hope you can help
        John Dennison. My email address is john.dennison@bigpond.com

  2. Hi, I have the same clock but one of the chains for one of the weights came off. My question is: How do I put the chain back on? I don’t have a manual or any instructions for the clock. 2. How do I oil the clock and what should be oiled ect?
    Thank You,
    River

  3. The chain sprocket turns to one direction only. It may take you a little while but carefully slip about 4 inches over sprocket with the assistance of a wire in the direction that does not turn. Make sure the end where you hang the weight on is first. Once you work it in and the chain is hanging free and over sprocket and in its place, hang the weight and get it going. Take your time and do not drink coffee before! Patiently do this.

  4. I just acquired one of these clocks from a friend and we want to hook up the weights but not sure about the way the chains go in. Are there supposed to be only two chains and can you give more info how to hook them up?

  5. I was given one of these clocks from a family member. I need to move it from California to Arizona. It was originally brought to California in a few pieces and put together in 1975. Any tips on what to take apart to move it carefully?
    thanks,
    Ron

  6. I have a late 1980s emporer 450 series grandfather clock kit still in original packaging from company has big pendulum 3/4 inch oak looking to sell.

  7. Mike, I have the clock I bought at a flea market. It runs to slow and have adjusted the nut on pendulum. Still running slow any ideas to fix?

    • How slow is it? 5 minutes every day slow? Sometimes you really have to adjust the nut 5-10 turns if its really slow. You could have the wrong length pendulum (too long) if the previous owner swapped it out. You could also have some gears that are binding only at a certain spot (say 7:45). It will run really slow at that one spot until it gets past the bad part in the gear train. Mine did this for a while and I ended up installing a new bushing for one of the pivot points. That fixed it perfect.

  8. I just bought a very similar clock at a local consignment store and found your site while I was looking for info on setting it up, as it didn’t have instructions. Thank you, thank you for putting the manuals and photos up! So helpful, and I got the clock up and running. So far so good — it’s keeping ok time and the chimes are working. I cannot locate a switch to silence it at night — I see where it is on your photos, but mine doesn’t have it.

    • Sometimes clocks will have a silent switch behind one of the side covers. You can lift up the side access cover up and it pulls off to access the clock mechanism. Sometimes there is a lever that will lift the “bell hammers” away from the bells so they cant strike anything. Other than that, I’m not sure.

  9. Thanks for the great information on fixing this clock. Mine is missing a piece that the pendulum swings on I found what I need thanks to you great information..

  10. Hey Mike, thanks for all the info you put on. My son bought this clock for a Christmas present a few years back. It keeps time but, the chimes don’t chimes at the right time and the weights don’t go up and down… Any suggestions will help… Thanks in advance

  11. Make sure the chime switch is in the correct position. (its next the the “3 o-clock ” number. If its off a little bit it can cause some funny stuff with the chimes. If that does not work, the music drum could have slid out of position or something. Its difficult to tell without seeing the clock in person.

  12. I have what I think is a 100m with no date except for a gold plate that says 1918 with a name of a person on it?i inherited it from my great grandfather and he inherited it somehow but i have really old emperor clock papers that come with it but i tried to take it apart and now I can’t get it back together!!! Do you think they are built the same??

  13. Greetings. I have a Model 300 which has been in the family since the ’70s. It’s been working great until this week. It stopped and I discovered the minute hand mechanism was binding at the 10 minute position. If I pushed hard enough it would pass that mark and run until it bound up again. I stopped it completely until I can fix it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

  14. I have just bought an old 300M clock kit from the early 1970s. It has no pendulum stick. Can some one please tell me the length of the pendulum stick so I can make one for my clock? Also, can someone scan the movement installation instructions to me? Both of these would be a great help in getting mine together and getting it to work properly.

  15. I just went back and found the movement instructions! Thanks, I should check more carefully before I jump!

  16. Can you tell me how to unjam the chains. I must have pulled the weights up too high this last time and now the clock has stopped running.

  17. Hello. I just brought home the Emperor 300 that my father built in 1975. To transport it I removed the 3 chimes and pendulum. I secured the chains that hold the chimes so they would not move in transit. I put it all back together but can’t get it to run. I notice you said you wound it. Can you describe how you did that?
    My father had a new movement installed 5 years ago.
    Thanks for your help.

  18. Hello! Great post and helpful information, thank you. Do you know where I might find replacement weight hooks? None that I find seem to work for my inherited 300m, so my clock has been silent for over a year!

  19. I have a 300M that I built from a kit in the mid 1970’s. It’s been pretty much trouble free except when it’s been allowed to run down (weights to the bottom) then it required some manipulation of the anchor as described in the operation manual. Last week, after too long in the hospital, the clock had stopped. Pulled the weights to the right height and got the pendulum moving correctly. However, the chime and the hour strike no longer work.
    Any ideas as to why?
    Yours is perhaps a newer model than mine as the silent function is a lever behind the access panel on the left side.

  20. Anyone have a kit not put together? My mother in law was looking for one and would like to build one for her. I have already built 2.

  21. Nice detail on the clock. Thank you for putting this up. My Dad build one for me in the mid 1970’s. Still runs great. I have never had it services and runs as well today as the day Dad built it.

  22. Mike, I also have a 300. Keeps great time, chimes on the quarter hour. Problem I have it does not chime on the 1/2 hour, and only chimes one time on the hour, regardless of the hour.
    There is a lever in side the door on the right (Facing) on the front of the works. If I press it on the hour, the clocks strikes as it should. Any ideas?

  23. I have two of these, one in cherry and another in walnut. I built both from kits but at different times. Externally both clocks are the same but the movements differ in that the later one has a mode that silences the chimes at night, the early one does not have this feature so some of your commentators that can’t find that switch position may not have that capability.
    The early Cambridge had side lights so there were three pieces of glass in the waist. Naturally, the later kit I bought (with beveled glass) had two front panes but only one side pane. And since I didn’t assemble the clock for a decade, I can’t get glass.

  24. I have a Emperor 300M that I built in 1976. It still runs perfectly except occasionally the hour chime only rings once regardless of the time. I can see the lever that is supposed to flip the gear for the appropriate hour but I’m not sure how to make it move when it doesn’t want to. Any suggestions are welcome. Also, the person with the clock adjusting the time each month needs to turn the screw at the bottom of the pendulum. One turn is about one minute in a 24 hour period I think. Up goes faster and down goes slower.

  25. Thank you for having posted manuals for the Emperor 300. I will be picking up a walnut kit this week that is still in the original boxes as a winter project. In 1977 I built three grandmother clocks using plans from New England Clock Co., I believe. For those, I actually cut the tree down on Dad’s farm and helped at the sawmill. All three clocks are still running and still are in the family. That was a lot of fun. I gave mine to my younger son and miss having a floor clock in the house.

  26. Hello I just purchased this kit from an estate sale. Does anyone have the instruction
    manual for building the shell? I have the manual for the movement.
    Thank you in advance

  27. I have the identical clock, assembled by my late husband in the early 80’s. It has traveled the world. Recently I returned from South Africa to the USA and the clock was damaged on arrival. Firstly, the glass was broken, which is easily replaced, but, the main problem is that the one chime rod has loosened and fallen out, and the screw is missing. I have tried reading the instructions in the booklet but am too ignorant about these things and have absolutely no idea what it all means. Do you know of anyone in or around Waynesville NC who could repair it for me? I have looked in all directories etc and found no one.

  28. I have a Emperor Model 199-M it is has cables instead of weights. I just removed the movement , it is pretty dusty . Wondering if I should wash/clean it somehow before oiling it and what to wash/clean it with? Any help would be appreciated.

  29. I have just acquired a 300M Emperor clock. which has not been running for about 30 years. It keeps very good time, but none of the chimes strike. The chimes lever is in the play position. What can I do to get chimes to work?

  30. Check to make sure the heaviest weight of the three is on the right side. Chain maybe twisted at main wheel. Weight may have been pulled up to far and weight hook is jammed. Let us know!

  31. I am building a model 300 clock. It is black walnut. I need some help with the hood. Is it possible to still buy parts H3, H31, H33, and H3. I would appreciate any help. I am sure these parts are not cheap anymore

  32. The timing cam for the actuating lever for the chimes gets stuck in the half hour position and stalls the clock. The cam can be seen in the photo above that shows the front mechanism of the clock. The cam is 1″ in diameter with 4 odd spaced grooves.
    It is on the right side of the photo with the driving shaft for the chimes.

  33. Hi Everyone! I have the Emperor 300M that I also inherited, but it was stored in a crawlspace for years before it was delivered to me. I am having it restored now, but wanted to see if anyone had an extra “Side Panel” for the top of the clock that covers the movement? This one is Mahogany and I have one that I can use as a template, but there is a lot of Router work on both sides of the panel and I thought I would give this a shot. Can wait to restore this piece of history.

  34. Yes , Also have an Emperor 100 Model, trying to locate a leader for it, and maybe a pendulum stick & pendulum. Where to go for parts since Emperor says’NO’ —-TimeSavers?

  35. Where do you find the model one these clocks. Mg father in law wants to sell his but I think he is asking little to nothing for it.

    • It’s not on the clock that I know of. I just go the the emperorclock website and look at their pictures. You can always email them too. Their customer service has been pretty good for me.

  36. How easy or difficult is this clock to assemble? My father purchased this exact clock but never built it. I have now inherited it. I have zero building experience but I do want to enjoy this clock in my home before I die too. Everything is still on the original boxes.

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