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  1. #1

    Default Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement

    Today I bought my first cuckoo clock at an auction and tonight I am trying to figure out how to replace both bellows as I have never worked on these clocks before.

    The TimeSavers catalog has replacement trapezoidal bellows tops in cloth or leather (p/n 18203 or 18204). They are the correct size for my clock.

    Questions:

    1. Do I want cloth or leather?
    2. Do I cut the old bellows off with a saw and glue on the new?
    3. What kind of glue should I use?
    4. Is there anything else I should know before taking this on?

    I have attached a picture of the current bellows and would be thankful for any advice.

    Richard.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cuckoo 002.jpg  

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: Richard Barkey)

    Hi, Richard. I would use leather. You can knock the old bellows top off with a screwdriver wedged in between the bellows and the pipe. I use white wood glue to put them back together. Sand or file the top of the pipe to get all the old glue, and any wood from the top off.
    That was a fun auction.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: harold bain)

    Hi
    I prefer to replace the material my self.
    I like using the tygon fabric because I know
    it will last almost forever.
    If it is a vintage cuckoo leather is the thing.
    I never remover the bellows from the flute.
    I just replace the fabric.
    If using the fabric, an iron, small scissors and
    a hot glue gun you don't need to remove them.
    It takes a little practice but works fine.
    Tinker Dwight

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: Tinker Dwight)

    Here's one method of figuring and cutting the bellows. You might find it useful.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cuckoo Belows Instructions.pdf  

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: shutterbug)

    Is this cuckoo an 8 day or a 30 hour. By the size it looks like an 8 day. The bellow tops are different for 8 days and 30 hours, when you order them. The weight in the top of the bellows are heavier for the 8 days. I put rubber band on the tops to hold them in place, when gluing them. Make sure that they are on straight and in a bit from the side wall. If they are in to close the bellow will drag on the inside of the case when it goes to lift. They are sold as a left and right. The holes line up so the air can flow. Use all the same hard wear. I just push them in with a pair of pliers. Make sure you support the bellow when doing this or you will destroy the bellow. Don't try to push the hooks in all at once. A little at a time and it will work fine. TimeSavers has everything you will need. And I use carpenters glue. Good luck.

    H/C

  6. #6

    Smile Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: Heritage-Clocks)

    Not sure if it is a 30 hour or 8 day. I think it is likely 30 hours.

    I measured the bellows I have and they are exactly the measurements described in the TimeSavers catalog. i.e. 2-1/4” long x 2” wide tapers to 1”.

    I have ordered the leather bellows so in a couple of weeks I will follow your instructions and give this a try.

    Thanks for your advice and support. Much Appreciated!!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: shutterbug)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    Here's one method of figuring and cutting the bellows. You might find it useful.
    Hi
    I don't do it anything like that. Also, I alway replace the hinge,
    contrary to what others suggest.
    First, the hinge is simple. Take two sheets of what ever material
    you intend to use and place it between the blocks. Glue the
    hinge piece on. It should extend a little off the ends and then
    be trimmed right to the edges. ( that wasn't hard ).
    Take a piece of thin cardboard. Mark and cut it so it is a
    rectangle that has the width that matches the face of the
    bellows ( very important to use the width and ignore what
    anyone else has done about the amount of opening ).
    Make its length enough to use as a handle when rotated
    90 degree and placed across the face of the bellows.
    With this at the face of the bellows, cut a rectangular
    piece that will be this width plus enough to glue to the
    top and the bottom blocks. Make the recangle of material
    long enough to wrap around the bellows blocks.
    Center and glue the top and bottom edges
    of the face of the bellows ( I call the side away from the
    hinge the face ). If using regular glue let dry.
    Fold the material around the sides and mark a line to cut.
    ( one can feel the edge of the bellows through the
    material to gage how much to leave for mounting ).
    You may need to make a cut right near the edges
    of the face to get it to fold down nicely. Make sure
    the cut is not past the glue line of the blocks, into
    the bellows part.
    Cut these V shaped edges, keeping in mind to leave a little
    extra to seal around to the hinge. ( much better than
    trying to align a pre-cut piece )
    Glue the edges back to the hinge, being careful near
    the hing to not interfer with the hinge action because
    of too much glue.
    Last glue a small amount around to the hinge. You want
    to keep this small as it makes the hinge stiffer. I try to
    keep it more than 1/8 inch but less than 1/4 inch.
    Start the creases for the folds with a dull knife ( table
    butter knife works ).
    I've done 7 or 8 cuckoo now this way and every one
    come out perfect.
    Using the cardboard gage is the key. If you make the
    face smaller, the fold will not be as deep and it
    will tend to blow outwards.
    If you make the face too high, you'll get a double
    fold that will fail because the center rubs.
    Just my thoughts on the subject
    Tinker Dwight
    Last edited by Tinker Dwight; 04-04-2011 at 01:44 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: Tinker Dwight)

    I do it much like Dwight except that after the hinge is dri, I push a needle through the bottom so it holds the top to the correct height when the bellow is open. Then after the material is glued on, pull the needle and put a tiny drop of glue over the pin hole. Then i do my creases with the butter knife. Then I clamp the bellows tightly shut over night. This helps make the folds permanent.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: Randy Hirst)

    As long as the result works, any method is fine. For a first timer, my method should be fairly easy. It works fine and includes the hinge

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: shutterbug)

    Complete tops are available from most supply houses for around $6.00 a pair. If your time is worth $40 per hour, you would have to refurbish two bellows in 9 minutes to break even. Repair the bellows if clockmaking is a hobby, your time has no value or you want the experience, but replace them otherwise.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Cuckoo Clock Bellows Replacement (RE: Bill Bassett)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Bassett View Post
    Complete tops are available from most supply houses for around $6.00 a pair. If your time is worth $40 per hour, you would have to refurbish two bellows in 9 minutes to break even. Repair the bellows if clockmaking is a hobby, your time has no value or you want the experience, but replace them otherwise.
    By the time you cut the old ones off, sand 'em glue & clamp the new tops on, its probably a wash. Unless you can get leather tops for 6 bucks. Then by all means buy the tops.

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