Can I remove weights on Cuckoo Clock that control the cuckoo and music?

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Renate, Apr 19, 2017.

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  1. Renate

    Renate Registered User

    Apr 18, 2017
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    I have an old Black Forest cuckoo clock that we just put a new movement in.
    It belonged to my grandparents, and I've never had one before.

    It has no switch on it to turn off the music and cuckoo since it's so old. Can I just remove the weights at night that control those two things so we aren't disturbed and then put them carefully back on in the morning? Or is there another idea?

    Thank you!
    Renate
     
  2. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    This is a duplicate posting. Perhaps a moderator can combine or adjust?
     
  3. GregS

    GregS Registered User
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    A lot of cuckoo clocks have a small wire latch that can be rotated so as to lock the cuckoo bird's door shut. See if you don't have such a latch. If you do all you need do is lock the door at night and unlatch it in the morning.
     
  4. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Modern cuckoos run on a rack/snail system, which means that the snail will be blocked at 12:00. The rack tail might sneak by it, but it could cause issues. It would be better to tie up the rack, and then remove the weights as suggested.
     
  5. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    I'd suggest that you let the clock cuckoo and play music as it normally would, and see if you don't stop hearing it after a few days. Since it's a regular stimulus, under most circumstances you'll begin to ignore it in a surprisingly short time, including while you're asleep.

    Since I fix the fool things, we live with a rotating population of at least five or six chiming, striking, and/or cuckooing clocks. The only time we've occasionally noticed the clock sounds is after a customer takes one home.

    M Kinsler
     
  6. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    Surely you aren't suggesting the poster pull the movement every night to tie up the rack then untie it every morning?? Kinsler is right, you will get used to it (we all have):whistle:
     
  7. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    #7 bangster, Apr 20, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    DO NOT use the cuckoo door latch to stop the cuckoo. It will put an unnecessary strain on the cuckoo gear train, and give the bird a headache.

    If the sound really bothers you at night, you don't have to remove the weights. Take a paper clip and link the two sides of the cuckoo chain together. That will prevent the weight from dropping. Do the same to the music chain. Remove paper clips in the morning.

    That's what I tell my customers.
    YMMV
     
  8. chezwilly

    chezwilly Registered User
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    Aug 26, 2002
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    I'm sorry to say I don't understand your comment. How does the rack get blocked at 12:00? Even if that does occur how would you tie the rack off each evening to avoid hearing it while you are asleep?
    Willy
     
  9. chezwilly

    chezwilly Registered User
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    I always thought the cuckoo door latch was designed for just such a purpose, ie, to stop the cuckooing as desired. This is the first I ever heard it puts a strain on the train.

    Willy
     
  10. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    Think about it. The train is unlocked. Wheels are being driven, but can't turn. A gear train in that condition is undergoing a stress condition it's not meant to undergo.

    People smarter than me informed me, long ago, that the cuckoo door latch is just to keep the door from flopping around when the clock is moved. Made sense to me.
     
  11. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    I recently restored an old count wheel cuckoo where the owner wanted to silence the bird at night. It had a door latch for the bird. We locked the door and let it run. Two things happened similar to what bangster mentions. 1) the bird tried to come out and could not; 2) the count wheel did not move as it should and the strike count was no longer correct.

    On that particular old movement nothing really bad happened, but the owner had to reset the count when he let the bird sing again.

    I am sure there are other movements where it might matter to some parts in the movement, and clearly the door latch is not designed as a silent switch.

    What happens on a rack and snail I cannot say if you lock the door.

     
  12. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    The rack tail falls into the 12 o'clock notch in the snail. Since
    it doesn't get gathered, it runs into the wall between 12 and 1 on the snail.
    Most are mounted on a spring to allow it to push out of the way
    and not damage itself or the clock, should the time run longer than the
    strike.
    If the movement doesn't stall, it will drag around the inside of the snail.
    Since there is nothing there to keep it from going deeper, it may
    go so deep that in the morning, it may miss the end of the rack.
    Even if not, it will scrape across the back of the snail ( or front, depending
    on design ) and scratch the snail.
    If repeated, day after day, the damage will be quite clear.
    ( I've seen it where it had worn the tip of the rack tail enough
    that is no longer landed on the snail ).
    Tinker Dwight
     
  13. Renate

    Renate Registered User

    Apr 18, 2017
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    The cuckoo isn't my only issue.....it's the music too.

    As to the clips....won't this put some sorta strain on the gears/movement also? The weight will want to go down while the other chain is going up and then stops suddenly by the clip. Maybe I'm not understanding it well. And do you agree too that removing the weights is not a good idea? Or not to even wind the chains, which is essentially the same as removing the weights, I guess.

    Thank you!
     
  14. Renate

    Renate Registered User

    Apr 18, 2017
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    It may not be so bad listening to the cuckoo, but then I have to listen to two rounds of music too. Lovely in the day time, but not during sleep.....or when I fall asleep on my chair watching tv in the living room and it suddenly shocks me awake! :) The clock shop also told us we'd get used to it within two weeks, but I have my doubts.....
     
  15. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    It is really amazing what you learn by accident in the forum. Tinker's explanation just cleared up something I have been puzzling over on a clock in the shop. The tail clearly had gotten stuck at some point like you describe, grooved the snail and will not catch. I guess it is time for a new tail. And now to figure out when and why the damage occurred. This is not a cuckoo but I suppose this could happen if the strike side was not wound for a long time?

     
  16. chezwilly

    chezwilly Registered User
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    Thanks Tinker. I never thought of that. I have an old cuckoo clock movement I'll play around with and see what happens.

    Willy
     
  17. chezwilly

    chezwilly Registered User
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    You may be right about the locked cuckoo door creating stress on the gear train but doesn't clipping the chains together create the same stress? I can't see why there would be any difference in one over the other.

    Willy
     
  18. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    I guess I didn't catch the part about silencing it only at night. I don't think that's going to be possible. The issues are explained well by Tinker. The music can be silenced at will, and will not affect the clock.
     
  19. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    As Sbug says, you can remove the weight from the music without issue.
    The strike is best to hold it in warning and hold the rack from falling.
    Not simple to do but can be done.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  20. nsc5

    nsc5 Registered User

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    I agree with others that you will get used to it quickly. If not maybe take the weight from the music drive at night and use some foam plugs that will slightly slow the air flow through the "whistles" and quiet them, do NOT use anything that blocks or severely restricts the airflow. Just a little air resistance will greatly reduce the volume. Or the easiest would be to go back to the clock shop and trade yours for one with either a shut-off lever or better yet a model with an automatic night silencer.

    I am just finishing up a Quail Cuckoo so that will be a new set of sounds to get used to at night :)
     
  21. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    #21 shutterbug, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    I suppose one could drill holes in the back of the bellows tubes, and plug them when you wanted sound and open them when you didn't ;)

    I see you have the same question running in the General forum. It would be best to keep it all together. If I merged the two threads together now (which I was very tempted to do), it would make a pretty confusing thread, because the responses are date sorted.
     
  22. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    #22 bangster, Apr 21, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    When the chains are linked together the train never unlocks. The sprocket wheel never moves. The fan never spins. The train isn't driven.

    There's no stopping or starting. When the chains are tied together, neither one moves. If you're worried about the bit of slack the length of a paper clip, use a twist tie instead.

    View attachment 340876
     
  23. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    You still have the same problem with the rack tail being pushed behind the snail as you would with the door locked, or the weights removed.
     
  24. isaksp00

    isaksp00 New Member

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    I just stop the pendulum from swinging, centering it. Mine does not restart unless I start the swinging again by pushing it sideways. I have not bothered to lock the chains together, the weights just hang. Seems to work. I don't suppose this is harmful, but am not an expert.
     
  25. harold bain

    harold bain Forums Administrator
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    You have used the most logical method, just stop it for 12 hours, then start it again the next day.
     
  26. bangster

    bangster Super Moderator
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    OP says it's a new movement. All recent cuckoo movements have a spring-loaded rack tail, to prevent the "12 o'clock wall" problem from happening. The rack tail just moves to the front of the snail and rides there. Tink thinks it will scratch the snail. Maybe so, if it ran that way for weeks on end (though I'm not convinced); but we're talking about a few hours a day.
     
  27. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User
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    If the movement is a new Regula and the shop is familiar with cuckoo's... they could add a night time shut off lever. I'd recommend drilling a small hole through the bottom of the case and having the push up/down type rather than cutting a slot in the side of the case. The kit costs a buck or two and then you just need a long enough wire to go from the lever out of the bottom of the case. A spare bird wire usually does the trick. It would take an experienced person 15 minutes to install it.
     
  28. Renate

    Renate Registered User

    Apr 18, 2017
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    What about the music, though? How do I turn that off?

    Thanks
     
  29. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

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    If stops in warning, the music doesn't start either.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  30. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User
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    It prevents it from lifting the activation lever, so it never triggers the cuckoo or music or allows the rack to fall and get stuck at 12 on the snail.
     
  31. paddy2042

    paddy2042 Registered User

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    I turn mine off at 7pm and restart it as I come out of the shower at 7am. You get used to it and the clock needs no resetting. It is the only solution that I have thought of that seems to work.
     
  32. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    It is there to keep the door closed in transit.
     
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