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  1. #1

    Default Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music?

    I have an old Black Forest cuckoo clock that we just put a new movement in.
    It belonged to my grandparents, and I've never had one before.

    It has no switch on it to turn off the music and cuckoo since it's so old. Can I just remove the weights at night that control those two things so we aren't disturbed and then put them carefully back on in the morning? Or is there another idea?

    Thank you!
    Renate

  2. #2
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: Renate)

    This is a duplicate posting. Perhaps a moderator can combine or adjust?
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: Renate)

    Quote Originally Posted by Renate View Post
    I have an old Black Forest cuckoo clock that we just put a new movement in.
    It belonged to my grandparents, and I've never had one before.

    It has no switch on it to turn off the music and cuckoo since it's so old. Can I just remove the weights at night that control those two things so we aren't disturbed and then put them carefully back on in the morning? Or is there another idea?

    Thank you!
    Renate

    A lot of cuckoo clocks have a small wire latch that can be rotated so as to lock the cuckoo bird's door shut. See if you don't have such a latch. If you do all you need do is lock the door at night and unlatch it in the morning.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: GregS)

    Modern cuckoos run on a rack/snail system, which means that the snail will be blocked at 12:00. The rack tail might sneak by it, but it could cause issues. It would be better to tie up the rack, and then remove the weights as suggested.
    A man with a clock always knows the time. A man with two clocks is never sure.

  5. #5
    Registered user. kinsler33's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: Renate)

    I'd suggest that you let the clock cuckoo and play music as it normally would, and see if you don't stop hearing it after a few days. Since it's a regular stimulus, under most circumstances you'll begin to ignore it in a surprisingly short time, including while you're asleep.

    Since I fix the fool things, we live with a rotating population of at least five or six chiming, striking, and/or cuckooing clocks. The only time we've occasionally noticed the clock sounds is after a customer takes one home.

    M Kinsler
    512 East Mulberry Street; Lancaster, Ohio USA 740-503-1973; kinsler33@gmail.com
    http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/search/kinsler/

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music?

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    Modern cuckoos run on a rack/snail system, which means that the snail will be blocked at 12:00. The rack tail might sneak by it, but it could cause issues. It would be better to tie up the rack, and then remove the weights as suggested.
    Surely you aren't suggesting the poster pull the movement every night to tie up the rack then untie it every morning?? Kinsler is right, you will get used to it (we all have)
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music?

    DO NOT use the cuckoo door latch to stop the cuckoo. It will put an unnecessary strain on the cuckoo gear train, and give the bird a headache.

    If the sound really bothers you at night, you don't have to remove the weights. Take a paper clip and link the two sides of the cuckoo chain together. That will prevent the weight from dropping. Do the same to the music chain. Remove paper clips in the morning.

    That's what I tell my customers.
    YMMV
    Last edited by bangster; 04-20-2017 at 02:48 PM.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: shutterbug)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    Modern cuckoos run on a rack/snail system, which means that the snail will be blocked at 12:00. The rack tail might sneak by it, but it could cause issues. It would be better to tie up the rack, and then remove the weights as suggested.
    I'm sorry to say I don't understand your comment. How does the rack get blocked at 12:00? Even if that does occur how would you tie the rack off each evening to avoid hearing it while you are asleep?
    Willy

  9. #9

    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: bangster)

    Quote Originally Posted by bangster View Post
    DO NOT use the cuckoo door latch. It will put an unnecessary strain on the cuckoo gear train.



    That's what I tell my customers.
    I always thought the cuckoo door latch was designed for just such a purpose, ie, to stop the cuckooing as desired. This is the first I ever heard it puts a strain on the train.

    Willy

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: chezwilly)

    Think about it. The train is unlocked. Wheels are being driven, but can't turn. A gear train in that condition is undergoing a stress condition it's not meant to undergo.

    People smarter than me informed me, long ago, that the cuckoo door latch is just to keep the door from flopping around when the clock is moved. Made sense to me.
    1. Check out the Repair Hints & How-To's forum. You may find your answer there.

  11. #11
    Registered user. THTanner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: chezwilly)

    I recently restored an old count wheel cuckoo where the owner wanted to silence the bird at night. It had a door latch for the bird. We locked the door and let it run. Two things happened similar to what bangster mentions. 1) the bird tried to come out and could not; 2) the count wheel did not move as it should and the strike count was no longer correct.

    On that particular old movement nothing really bad happened, but the owner had to reset the count when he let the bird sing again.

    I am sure there are other movements where it might matter to some parts in the movement, and clearly the door latch is not designed as a silent switch.

    What happens on a rack and snail I cannot say if you lock the door.

    Quote Originally Posted by chezwilly View Post
    I always thought the cuckoo door latch was designed for just such a purpose, ie, to stop the cuckooing as desired. This is the first I ever heard it puts a strain on the train.

    Willy
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: chezwilly)

    Quote Originally Posted by chezwilly View Post
    I'm sorry to say I don't understand your comment. How does the rack get blocked at 12:00? Even if that does occur how would you tie the rack off each evening to avoid hearing it while you are asleep?
    Willy

    The rack tail falls into the 12 o'clock notch in the snail. Since
    it doesn't get gathered, it runs into the wall between 12 and 1 on the snail.
    Most are mounted on a spring to allow it to push out of the way
    and not damage itself or the clock, should the time run longer than the
    strike.
    If the movement doesn't stall, it will drag around the inside of the snail.
    Since there is nothing there to keep it from going deeper, it may
    go so deep that in the morning, it may miss the end of the rack.
    Even if not, it will scrape across the back of the snail ( or front, depending
    on design ) and scratch the snail.
    If repeated, day after day, the damage will be quite clear.
    ( I've seen it where it had worn the tip of the rack tail enough
    that is no longer landed on the snail ).
    Tinker Dwight

  13. #13

    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: bangster)

    The cuckoo isn't my only issue.....it's the music too.

    As to the clips....won't this put some sorta strain on the gears/movement also? The weight will want to go down while the other chain is going up and then stops suddenly by the clip. Maybe I'm not understanding it well. And do you agree too that removing the weights is not a good idea? Or not to even wind the chains, which is essentially the same as removing the weights, I guess.

    Thank you!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: kinsler33)

    It may not be so bad listening to the cuckoo, but then I have to listen to two rounds of music too. Lovely in the day time, but not during sleep.....or when I fall asleep on my chair watching tv in the living room and it suddenly shocks me awake! The clock shop also told us we'd get used to it within two weeks, but I have my doubts.....

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music? (By: Tinker Dwight)

    It is really amazing what you learn by accident in the forum. Tinker's explanation just cleared up something I have been puzzling over on a clock in the shop. The tail clearly had gotten stuck at some point like you describe, grooved the snail and will not catch. I guess it is time for a new tail. And now to figure out when and why the damage occurred. This is not a cuckoo but I suppose this could happen if the strike side was not wound for a long time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker Dwight View Post
    The rack tail falls into the 12 o'clock notch in the snail. Since
    it doesn't get gathered, it runs into the wall between 12 and 1 on the snail.
    Most are mounted on a spring to allow it to push out of the way
    and not damage itself or the clock, should the time run longer than the
    strike.
    If the movement doesn't stall, it will drag around the inside of the snail.
    Since there is nothing there to keep it from going deeper, it may
    go so deep that in the morning, it may miss the end of the rack.
    Even if not, it will scrape across the back of the snail ( or front, depending
    on design ) and scratch the snail.
    If repeated, day after day, the damage will be quite clear.
    ( I've seen it where it had worn the tip of the rack tail enough
    that is no longer landed on the snail ).
    Tinker Dwight
    You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. - The Great One

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