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  1. #1

    Default Singing Bird Clock Movement

    Today I removed the movement out of a Wehrle Singing bird clock. I thought I would post some photos of the movement for all to see.

    8 day three train...Time, Strike, and Music.

    Bird sings on the hour or on demand one of two songs (which automatically rotates)

    The size of this movement is deceiving in the photo... this thing is huge. (FYI the bellows on top are 10" across)

    Last photo is of the clock.
    -> posts merged by system <-
    The clock
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Singing Bird Movement front.jpg   Singing Bird Back.jpg   Wehrle Singing Bird 3Q view.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: BLACK FOREST CLOCKS)

    Hello Justin,

    Very nice clock. These Wehrle movements are massive and heavy!

    Some of the Wehrle movements have mainsprings in them the size of phonograph mainsprings. Large springs for a clock movement.



  3. #3

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: ticktock19852004)


    You are right...

    The three train spring driven examples have a monster spring to drive the musical train.

    This singing bird is no different.

    You want to be extra careful pulling one of those out of the barrel!


  4. #4

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: BLACK FOREST CLOCKS)

    Another fine clock.

    A particularly nice architectural case.

    I also like that rather than a carved bird, it's covered in feathers. I've seen what I believe are similar birds in music boxes where the bird pops up when it plays, the music boxes in the form of a bird cage with one or more little birds flitting and tweeting away, the automaton clocks under domes which often have multiple birds (usually said to be of French origin), and even carriage clocks with a llittle glass enclosed vignette with a bird tweeting.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: BLACK FOREST CLOCKS)

    Wow... What a cool clock! This is the same movement on your video? As an organist, I can't but help notice some similarities to the organ.

    Best wishes,

  6. #6

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: Organist)


    I have done videos of two singing bird movements.

    One is a wall model that is chain drive, the other spring driven. They are both on youtube if you are interested.

    You are right, they have a lot in common with the organ and other pneumatic instruments.

    I also did videos of other Wehrle movements including the Trumpeter, Flute, Rooster and the Singing bird here.

    You may have an interest in the others as well.


  7. #7

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: BLACK FOREST CLOCKS)


    One thing that surprises me about these Werhle bird and trumpeter clocks is that they do not have a reservoir. Most pneumatic instruments do, so that it will keep the air pressure constant. I have rebuilt many pump organs. They do have significantly large enough bellows to make up for it, sort of. Organ clocks do have reservoirs usually equally as large as the bellow(s).



  8. #8

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: ticktock19852004)


    The Wehrle trumpeter, flute, and singing bird clocks all have a reservoir or pressure chamber that is fed by the bellows and sealed through two one way valves.

    The pressurized air is then released from the reservoir through a series of valves (or a single valve in the case of the SB clocks)... they pass through individual sealed channels on the reverse side of the windchest to reach the reeds/horns or pipes.

    I am attaching a photo of a Wehrle wind chest off a 4 horn trumpeter clock... that has been opened.

    You can see the large square section to the bottom is the pressure chamber.

    The singing bird has a very small reservoir that is located to the left of the bellows directly behind the brass whistle. Inside the this reservoir is a single valve that controls the air flow to the whistle.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Grapevine Wehrle wind chest stripped down B.jpg  

  9. #9

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: BLACK FOREST CLOCKS)


    Thanks for the pictures. What I mean by reservoir is a bellow that is held at a constant tension by a spring. The bellows would pump the air into the reservoir which would inflate with resistance to keep the air pressure constant at all times. This is true for most pneumatic instruments, including organ clocks.



  10. #10
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Nepean, Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: ticktock19852004)

    Nice clock Justin.You have a nice collection of rare clocks.Thanks for sharing them here.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West

  11. #11

    Default Re: Singing Bird Clock Movement (By: Kevin W.)


    Thanks for the clarification.

    As you mentioned earlier the bellows do that job.

    Since there are two of them that are both spring loaded and connected to the same chamber (and to each other)..They seem to be able to keep enough constant air flow to carry the tune. Just as one is almost bottomed out the other picks up the slack.

    My experience with pneumatics has strictly been on Wehrles musical clocks, so you have to forgive me.

    Kevin thank you for your kind words.

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