Best way to wind cuckoo

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by POWERSTROKE, Oct 27, 2019.

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  1. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

    Jan 11, 2011
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    I think I had read in here many years ago that you should use two hands to wind a cuckoo. Kind of taking the weight off the cone as you pull in the chain. What is the best way to wind these clocks to keep excessive wear on the movement at bay. Any tips on keeping these cuckoos running for the longest?
    I was thinking that they should make some sort of a rubber cover for the bottom where the chains go to keep excessive dirt out. Any tips on keeping these clocks running for the longest period of time is appreciated....
     
  2. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Unless you have extremely heavy weights, it's best to just pull the chain without lifting any weight off them. If you lift them, you run the risk of pulling the chain off the ratchet teeth. The ratchet is always under stress from the weights. You are just applying equal force in the opposite direction when winding.
     
  3. Uhralt

    Uhralt Registered User
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    What Shutterbug said about pulling up the weights. With regard to the dirt, it will not make a big difference if you try to close the bottom openings. Dust and dirt mostly enters from the top, only very little from the bottom.

    Uhralt
     
  4. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

    Jan 11, 2011
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    How long should a new movement last? Any tips to keep them going?
     
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    #5 Willie X, Oct 27, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
    It's the chain wheel clicks that give trouble, not the bushings and pivots. So, don't hammer the clicks with lots of short pulls. Wind in a single stroke, or hand over hand, on a continuous stroke. IOWs, only stop once.

    The number one thing for a long cuckoo lifespan is a big nail driven into a stud at about a 30 degree upward angle. This will eliminate the biggest cause of sudden death for cuckoos.

    Willie X
     
    Schatz70 likes this.
  6. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    Major cause of cuckoo failure: grandchildren, followed by grandparents. The former love to play with the weights and bird. The latter try to reset for Daylight Savings Time and move the hour hand forward on its tapered arbor to lose grip and/or foul the minute hand. Then they ask their brilliant son Eddie to try to fix it, and he breaks the hands off altogether. They put it into a box but forget where the pendulum and weights are. Ten years later they bring it to me.

    Or someone gets frightened of the noise and the bird and the gong (during Christmas visits when kids sleep in the living room) and they try to disable these. Note that nobody will ever tell you what really happened.

    A dropped cuckoo clock seldom suffers movement damage, but nobody knows that, so they put it in a box, put the box in the attic, die, and their grandchildren find the remains.


    M Kinsler
     
  7. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

    Jan 11, 2011
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    How long should a cuckoo clock last? WhT is the maintenance and can this be done by a competent person at home?
     
  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Generally pre 1950s cuckoos last much longer than post 1960s cuckoos. It's not a clear cut point in time but old cuckoos were deffently made to last and modern cuckoos were not. Sound familiar?
    WIllie X
     
  9. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I never thought so. Regula has been pretty consistent in design and materials, and even their plastic gears have been nigh indestructible. '

    And the bigger question is: how do you, a repairman dedicated to the restoration of all mechanisms, determine that a movement is "worn out?" I've personally never encountered a mechanical movement that fits that category. Clean it, repivot it here and there, bush it, and suddenly you have a new clock. It's very satisfying to raise the dead.

    Electronic and AC electric clocks are another story. Deteriorated insulation in the latter constitutes a fire hazard, and encapsulated/integrated circuit components in the former prevent many repairs altogether. (I've heard, however, that there are people skilled enough to dis-assemble and reverse-engineer both digital and analog integrated circuits, which to me is amazing.)

    M Kinsler

    currently out of the clock repair business, and every other, for the next six weeks or so. Motorbike accident.
     
  10. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
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    unless they have cats and don't dust!!!!!!!!!!
     
  11. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
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    Given the cost comparison between rebuilding a Regula 25 and replacing it-Replacing always is cheaper(in a perfect world). I have tried but after 3-4 bushes the cost factor is to high. And generally the chains need to be replaced as well as other little bits-it all adds up to a large bill.
    Just my .02
    tom
     
  12. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

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    What is the cost difference for a new movement vs rebuild? I’m one of those guys that feel that the movement is the clock, and restoring it means you have the same clock that someone bought you or gifted you etc.
     
  13. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    That depends on whether you can rebuild it yourself or have to pay someone to do the work. Simple 30-hr new movements are usually a little over $100 bucks, having one rebuilt will cost about twice depending on who does the work.

    How long a cuckoo movement (or any other type) will last depends on many factors. Typically people today are not used to doing maintenance on anything and wait until it quits before thinking about cleaning and oiling. About 25 to 35 years is about all one can expect from a modern clock that's not regularly maintained.

    As for winding cuckoos, I just pull the chain (one continuous motion as suggested) for my one-day clocks. The eight-day one has massive weights so I pull the chain and lift part of the weight of the cone. I'm not worried about wearing anything, but there are only four small screws holding the movement in place that I don't want to risk pulling loose, plus pulling one chain of an 8-day clock tends to pull the clock crooked on the wall causing it to go out of beat and requiring it to be straightened. Yes, I could do something to keep it from tilting but still think it is a lot of extra force to just pull up a heavy weight without a little help.

    RC
     
  14. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    But be aware that customers will be watching and, in an attempt to emulate your method, will lift the weight too much and derail the chain.
     
  15. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

    Feb 21, 2008
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    Pulling the chain, so to speak, I would have around 10 to 12 cuckoo clocks on the repair room wall at any one time, I work about 3 days a week and the other days the sales staff pull up the chains, I show them how to do it, mostly to no avail and when I come in some days most are tilted one way or the other, however here is what I see as the right way.

    1st, put one hand on the bottom front of the clock and hold it against the wall, then pull the chains up one at a time, not to fast, simple and it has not moved therefore still in beat.

    Another thing that is most important, the clock HAS to be hung on a screw that is secured into a stud, a nail won't do it as the constant pulling will work the nail lose, also these plasterboard fixings are no good for this as they will also work lose, a few have commented in this thread of cuckoo's that come in bits to be fixed, I get far to many.

    Someone commented about the movement being held by only 4 screws and that is why they help the weight up, I have never had a cuckoo that has had the screws come out, however I get the point as I do see a few where the blocks they are attached to have come off.

    Regular have in the past couple of years added covers to their 1 day movements to stop them from jumping off the chain wheel, however have not added this to the 8 day cuckoo movements. I suppose they think that the 8 day movement with a 1260kg weight are to heavy to pull up too fast? They have them on some musical 8 day clocks, however these are the ones where the music chain is not part of the main movement.


    JimmyOz
     
  16. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    FWIW, our simple 30 hr Regula is closer to half the price you quote above. After transferring over the hammer, lifters, and bird wire, it is a slick job. I cannot imagine someone wanting to bush one of these for that price.
     
  17. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    I should have stated that most suppliers have the one day google movement for considerably less than the $100 mentioned
     
  18. POWERSTROKE

    POWERSTROKE Registered User

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    I personally think it’s not the same clock if you don’t repair the movement. While it’s surely more work to rebush a movement, it’s the correct way to do it. For example, if my father gives me a cuckoo clock for my graduation and 25 years later it stops, I would want the movement repaired. Putting a new movement in is a cost effective way to get a clock back in service, but let’s be honest, it’s not the same clock.
     
  19. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    I was speaking in very general terms of the retail price that a shop might charge a customer compared to what that shop might charge to rebuild the old movement, not the price a supplier like yourself might offer a new movement to a clock shop. My point was that for a simple modern one-day cuckoo, a clock shop would likely charge the customer in the ball park of twice as much to rebuild as to replace with a new movement.

    RC
     
  20. JimmyOz

    JimmyOz Registered User

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    Sentimental value is something different, if a customer informs the front desk it has sentimental value we would quote the clock (any clock) on what was needed to be done to get it working and looking the same as possible to what it would have looked like when new (if that is what they want), however that comes at a cost, some are willing to pay for it some are not.

    This maybe off the subject, however a customer brought in a run of the mill time and strike mantel clock worth, if in working condition, AU$50, It had been in a flood, all the veneer was de-laminated, the dial had no numbers, the glass was smashed the movement was rusted and some pinions were rusted off, the hands were okay though!!. Anyway she was informed it would cost about AU$1000 to get this clock to look like it did, we thought okay she will not go ahead with it, she said YES just do it all. I glued all the laminations (need to make jigs for that) re-did the dial, new glass, re-pivoted and re-bushed and French polished. I was informed by the front staff that she burst into tears when she seen it, so yes sentimental value has no cost to some.

    JimmyOz
     

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