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  1. #1

    Default cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference?

    Yesterday, I stopped in at the Frankenmuth Clock Shop to buy some cuckoo bellows tops. I told the clerk the size and said it was for an 8 day clock. She said that was not important and that there was no difference. From reading other supplier's catalogs, I thought that the 8 day had a heavier weight. I don't know why it would matter now that I think about it. Can anyone explain why an 8 day cuckoo clock would have a different bellows than a 1 day?
    Dave D

  2. #2
    Registered User Scottie-TX's Avatar
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    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Dave D)

    I suspect it may be because 8 days need MUCH heavier weights and that the extra weight in the bellow top keeps the cuckoo from sounding too much like Charlie Sheen.

  3. #3

    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Scottie-TX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottie-TX View Post
    I suspect it may be because 8 days need MUCH heavier weights and that the extra weight in the bellow top keeps the cuckoo from sounding too much like Charlie Sheen.
    I am sure that other people understand this, but I am not sure what you mean. I would hate to use these and end up with a clock that sounds crazy. Just what would the actual difference be?
    Dave

  4. #4
    Registered User bkerr's Avatar
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    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Dave D)

    There are different weights on the top of the bellow. They act as a regulator for the down stroke. The eight day movements that I have worked on have larger weights as I remember.

  5. #5

    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: bkerr)

    It is an interesting question, since both rely on gravity for the down stroke of the bellows. I've always heard that the eight day clocks had heavier weights on the bellows tops too, but now that the question has been asked, I can't think of any reason for them being heavier. Timesavers catalog specifies that they are though. Hmmmm.

  6. #6

    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Dave D)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave D View Post
    Can anyone explain why an 8 day cuckoo clock would have a different bellows than a 1 day?
    Dave D
    I have used replacement bellows for many years without knowing there was a difference, maybe there wasn't back then. About 10 years ago I noticed a supplier who had bellows listed separately for 8 day cuckoos. I assumed that the 8-day would have LIGHTER weights, because they run with less power. But, I never stopped my old habit of using whatever was on the shelf that was the correct size. So, I don't think that this is a major issue but one is, more than likely, weighted slightly different.

    I'm betting on lighter weights for the 8-day, any takers.

    Willie X

  7. #7

    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: shutterbug)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    It is an interesting question, since both rely on gravity for the down stroke of the bellows. I've always heard that the eight day clocks had heavier weights on the bellows tops too, but now that the question has been asked, I can't think of any reason for them being heavier. Timesavers catalog specifies that they are though. Hmmmm.
    I have always ordered them by one day or eight day, but at Frankenmuth Clock Company, where they repair cuckoo clocks for a living, she told me there was no difference. So, whom do I believe, the people who sell them but don't repair (Timesavers) or the people who sell them and use them? (Frankenmuth Clock Company) I guess I am just going to have to install these tops and report back. The sad thing is, they currently have leather tops that still work, but I am afraid if I don't replace them now, in a year or two I will have to do it anyway. I plan to replace the tops as sort of a preventative measure.
    Dave

  8. #8
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    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Dave D)

    Also, remember that the two bellows weights are not the same; the one for the higher note 'cuck' is heavier than the other 'oo'.

    Obviously that gives a short then a long note. Don't know about the modern ones, but the older ones have lead weights on the tops covered up by the marbled paper.
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  9. #9

    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Mike Phelan)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phelan View Post
    Also, remember that the two bellows weights are not the same; the one for the higher note 'cuck' is heavier than the other 'oo'.

    Obviously that gives a short then a long note. Don't know about the modern ones, but the older ones have lead weights on the tops covered up by the marbled paper.
    I have always assumed that how long the note lasted was more a function of how far the bellows opened. The first one should open about half way and the long one about 3/4 of the way. At least that is what Dave LaBounty stated on this message board once.
    Dave D

  10. #10

    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Dave D)

    Well, I don't know what kind of bird it's supposed to be imitating anyway, so if both sides are of equal length, I'm not bothered in the slightest

  11. #11
    Moderator leeinv66's Avatar
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    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Mike Phelan)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phelan View Post
    Also, remember that the two bellows weights are not the same; the one for the higher note 'cuck' is heavier than the other 'oo'.

    Obviously that gives a short then a long note. Don't know about the modern ones, but the older ones have lead weights on the tops covered up by the marbled paper.
    Absolutely right Mike! It is just like blowing into a whistle.
    Cheers
    Peter R Lee: AKA (Pee-Tah) from Australia

  12. #12

    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Dave D)

    I always just replace the fabric. Timesavers carries both paper and leather so I use whatever they were originally. Leather is expensive and one sheet will only do two bellows. (If you are real judicious, you can do the third on a Quail clock) They are not difficult to cut and fold, just make sure you don't cut them too small Then you have the right weight on top.

  13. #13

    Default Re: cuckoo bellows tops: what's the difference? (RE: Randy Hirst)

    Hello,
    It just dawned on me that the heavier weights might be used more for the larger (longer) bellow tubes in order to make more air pressure.
    The lighter weight ones might get a squeak out of the larger bellow tubes.

    Whaddya think?

    Also the bellows tops only go on one way otherwise you will cover up the air holes. So right and left bellows can't be confused.

    flatlander10

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