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  1. #1

    Default Cuckoo Wire replacement question

    What do you guys use for lift wire, door wire, etc.? I've tried several kinds of wire, and none seem to do what I want. Either too thick, too soft, too brittle or too fragile .... etc. The wire you can order from the suppliers for cuckoo's seems just right. What the hoot is it?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: shutterbug)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    What do you guys use for lift wire, door wire, etc.? I've tried several kinds of wire, and none seem to do what I want. Either too thick, too soft, too brittle or too fragile .... etc. The wire you can order from the suppliers for cuckoo's seems just right. What the hoot is it?
    Do you mean the wire that opens the door, or the one from the movement to the bellows, or the one from the bellows that tilts the bird? It depends, as they are all different. As best as I recall, wire from a paper clip can be used for the door linkage wire. The wire for the bird is much thinner. The movement lift wires usually don't go missing.

  3. #3
    Registered user. Tony10Clocks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: Thyme)

    I don't do Cuckoo clocks. But i do have an assortment of welding wire. Mig welding wire from 0.8, 1.0, 1.2mm, flexible but not brittle and some Tig welding wire 1.6mm . Always comes in handy
    Too many clocks and not enough time, Tony

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: Tony10Clocks)

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyboy View Post
    I don't do Cuckoo clocks. But i do have an assortment of welding wire. Mig welding wire from 0.8, 1.0, 1.2mm, flexible but not brittle and some Tig welding wire 1.6mm . Always comes in handy
    Good idea. I was at Menards today, and found something called "dark annealed steel wire" that really looks promising too. If it fails the test I'll try looking for welding wire. Thanks!


    Thyme - for now, I'm looking for 'door' wire

  5. #5
    Registered User tom427cid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: Tony10Clocks)

    Hi,
    For linkage in cuckoos that I repair I have found that 22 ga picture hanging wire works for the door and the trip wire for the bird. The 22 ga is just a little light for the lift wire an 18 or 20 ga is best for that. Picture wire is generally available at most hardware stores.
    Hope this helps.
    tom

  6. #6
    Registered user. Tony10Clocks's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: tom427cid)

    Just a note:
    22 Gauge = 0.8mm
    20 Gauge = 1.0mm
    18 Gauge = 1.2mm
    Too many clocks and not enough time, Tony

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: shutterbug)

    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post
    Either too thick, too soft, too brittle or too fragile .... etc.
    If you find, say some 20 ga. wire, that is to soft. It can be twist hardened. Clamp one end of the wire in the big vice and the other in the ole cordless drill. Best to use several feet. Then pull the wire tight with the drill running slowly. Best not to get carried away 4 or 5 turns per inch will do about all that can be done with this method. It's hardness is increased enough to make a noticeable difference.

    Not unusual to see twist hardened wire in a clock movement, once you notice it the first time.

    Willie X

  8. #8
    Forums Administrator harold bain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: Willie X)

    I'm working on a very large old cuckoo and quail, and the previous repairman had soldered some wire together for the bellows lift wires (they are much longer than what the suppliers have). I used cutoff rod from American suspensions to replace them, seems to work well enough, and looks OK.
    harold bain, Member ch 33
    "If it won't "tick",
    let me "tock" to it"

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: harold bain)

    As I suspected, there's lots of different approaches. I'll try a bit of all of them until I find the "one". Thanks to all for the suggestions!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: shutterbug)

    Welding rod or mild steel wire from model engineers' shops. Good for levers and pendulums on American clocks as well.
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: Mike Phelan)

    None of the regular wires in a cuckoo carry a very big load, and they don't have to be particularly strong or stiff. Any malleable wire within reason will do.

    Measuring stuff on hand, here's what I find:

    A commercial bellows-lift wire is soft steel 0.039"
    A small paper clip is 0.032"
    A large paper clip is 0.049"

    I have a coil of 0.040" soft steel wire that I use for almost everything on a cuckoo clock: Bellows lift wire, bird-tail lift wires, eyelets, staples, etc. I've also used paper-clip wire sometimes.

    For door wires (between bird & door, between little man & door), I use #22 brass wire (0.027"). Heck, there's no stress on it...there are no stiff hinges on cuckoo doors.

    1. Check out the REPAIR HINTS & HOW-TO's forum! Click Here.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: bangster)

    Yeah, I tried brass wire .... but it breaks about the second time you try to bend it

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: shutterbug)

    Brass wire / rod is hardened when it's drawn; you can anneal it by heating up to near a red heat, but it's too soft for this purpose. Needs to be steel.
    Mike - banned member of the throwaway society.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: Mike Phelan)

    Hmm. I haven't observed the breakage problem with brass door wires.

    For door wires, I think you generally want something smaller gauge than lift wires. Only ready source of steel I can think of is SPC (small paper clip). Or maybe annealed music wire. Or do they still make women's hair pins?

    Heck, go with whatever works for you. Remember the minimal job a door wire has to do.

    1. Check out the REPAIR HINTS & HOW-TO's forum! Click Here.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Cuckoo Wire replacement question (RE: bangster)

    The paper clip idea is pretty good. I'll have to try that On a related note, what is the preferred method of fixing a door hinge that is loose (just wire). It's an old clock, so replacement is not an option, and neither is repositioning it.

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