Cuckoo Bellows Tyvek

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by MuensterMann, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. MuensterMann

    MuensterMann Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    1,148
    11
    38
    Tyvek material seems to be becoming popular for bellow replacement. I have been experimenting with Tyvek clothing material (thus, soft Tyvek, as opposed to hard) from a painter's apron. It works, but it is hard to form a crease in the material to get the bellow to collapse more (and move more air through the pipe).

    What have been your experiences? Any suggestions or thoughts? Is Tyvek used for clothing the same as that sold for bellow replacement? Thanks!
     
  2. coldwar

    coldwar Registered User

    May 20, 2009
    264
    2
    18
    Country Flag:
    Hello MM - I've seen Tyvek-like material used for CCC bellows for something approaching 30 years, so really, it is not new. If you are in USA, go to your local post office and request one or several of the Tyvek Express Mail documents envelopes, it is a stiffer material and is ideal for this use, although blue in color, and the double-glued edges work great for more rigorous applications, such as bird box bellows and reservoir construction. The similar Fed-Ex envelopes seem too floppy, much like the painting coveralls material you mentioned - Good Luck - CW
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,167
    610
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I haven't yet tried it, but I hear that a dollar bill works very well :)
     
  4. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The only Tyvek I've used is from mailing envelopes. It's worked well.

    bangster
     
  5. MuensterMann

    MuensterMann Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    1,148
    11
    38
    I was under the impression that mailing envelop Tyvek was too rigid. Hmmm. With Tyvek clothing, it is difficult to make a crease (if not impossible). Question: Are you able to get a crease with the envelop-Tyvek - thus making the bellow completely collapse when let go? Do you have to rough-up the envelop-Tyvek before using (to make it softer)? Thanks.
     
  6. MuensterMann

    MuensterMann Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    1,148
    11
    38
    Question: Are you able to get a crease with the envelop-Tyvek - thus making the bellow completely collapse when let go? Do you have to rough-up the envelop-Tyvek before using (to make it softer)?
     
  7. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I don't recall doing any roughing up, and I don't recall any trouble getting the bellows to collapse. I'll see if I still have the clocks, and check their little bellowses.

    bangster
     
  8. Charles E. Davis

    Charles E. Davis Registered User
    NAWCC Life Member NAWCC Fellow Golden Circle

    Nov 6, 2000
    909
    5
    18
    La Verne, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Don't get the hinge too tight. (helps to put a spacer between the two piece when it is put on.)
    After carefully putting the creases in leave it closed with a rubber band around it for a time.
     
    Curtis Brown likes this.
  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Yep, that's S.O.P.
     
  10. MuensterMann

    MuensterMann Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    1,148
    11
    38
    S.O.P.?

    Charles D: Are you speaking about envelope-Tyvek in which you put the creases?

    The apron-Tyvek is not that good for creases. Yes, the last hinge was loose, as you suggest. I had a rubber band on it for a few days, but not much help. The bellow works, just not as loud as it could be (perhaps a good thing!).
     
  11. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Standard Operating Procedure.
     
  12. MuensterMann

    MuensterMann Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    1,148
    11
    38
    Okay, I finally picked up a USPS express mail Tyvek envelope and just used it for two Schatz bellows. They are now sitting with rubber bands keeping them closed shut. I was able to get a better crease with this material. However, when I open the bellows to the maximum and then let go, they only collapse half way giving me chirps. Yes, they still have the weights inside and the hinge is not tight.

    What is the secret to get deeper coo coos?
     
  13. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Are you testing it outside the clock? When it's installed, the weight of the lifting lever helps it to close (when the lever falls, of course).:D

    If it still doesn't suit you, glue a coin on top for extra weight.

    bangster
     
  14. MuensterMann

    MuensterMann Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    1,148
    11
    38
    Yes, I am testing it outside the clock.

    However, inside my other Schatz cuckoo, the coo coo has never been a hardy one (I used Tyvek suit material).

    I am in quest of having the most air pass through the whistle per coo.
     
  15. burnz

    burnz Inactive User

    Jan 24, 2006
    1,706
    3
    0
    Country Flag:
    A used dollar bill works nicely.
     
  16. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

    Apr 15, 2005
    8,271
    68
    48
    Male
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Another factor is the whistle.

    I have had to repair a couple of whistles and what I found was the little wood piece that vents the air downward toward the sharpened reed of the whistle can sometimes restrict the airflow.

    What I found works is to simply pull that piece outward with my fingernail or simular (being careful not to break the wood) and cause that air crack to spread a little bit wider.

    More air flow means louder whistle. And if that space is restrictive, not much else you do will help. Putting extra coins on top is cheating.

    Other factors of the whistle are holes. You can block them by spreading wood glue over the holes, assuring that they are sealed.

    RJ
     
  17. ticktock19852004

    ticktock19852004 Registered User

    Apr 5, 2007
    649
    0
    0
    Hello!

    If the holes in the side of the whistle(s) are small enough you can plug them with a round tooth pick as well. :)

    Thanks!

    Neal
     
  18. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,167
    610
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I buy new bellows assembled, and just glue them on. Don't like to take time to mess with things like that :)
     
  19. Jeff C

    Jeff C Registered User
    NAWCC Business

    May 26, 2005
    2,117
    0
    36
    Seven Fields, Pennsylvania
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thats what I do now. Its easy and rather inexpensive compared to the time cost of sitting down and making them. It is good to know how to do them yourself and have the material handy in a pinch.
     
  20. senhalls

    senhalls Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
    250
    13
    18
    retired
    western PA.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    When this bellows material subject arises someone always suggests a dollar bill. Whether $1 or $100 bill, they measure 6.00 inches. Too short for all but the smallest bellow. It may be an admirable material, but has anyone SEEN this repair in service? I never have, after forty plus years. Would someone please post a picture of an example ! Thanks
     
  21. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    How much membrane do you need for a cuckoo bellows? Let's see...a square inch or so for the front, approx inch and a half for each side, total four inches by one inch. I believe I could get at least one of those out of a hundred-dollar bill...or even a one-dollar bill. :D

    bangster

    PS: The paper used for US currency is among the strongest in the world. Has to be, given the public workout it gets.
     
  22. burnz

    burnz Inactive User

    Jan 24, 2006
    1,706
    3
    0
    Country Flag:
    Bang,
    You are absolutely correct. I have seen many repairs with the dollar bill.

    You are also correct in stating the US currency is among the strongest in the world .

    Now to address the problem with the bellows folding properly---that's why a well used bill is always mentioned. There is no folding problems with a well used Gov't issued bill.

    Senhalls---don't know where you've been in your forty plus years!:eek:
     
  23. travis_towle

    travis_towle Registered User

    Nov 24, 2009
    19
    1
    0
    Topeka, Kansas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:

    MY HISTORY:
    Ok here goes – I am new here and have only re-built 13 CUCKOO CLOCKS ONLY starting this last 3 months – my new winter love life… Forgive me if I am talking out of line…

    I buy trashed cuckoos on FEEbay and make them look and work like new again inside and out, so you can not even tell they were ever messed with – unless you are a clock person. My history and training is in antique restoration. I specialize in Wood Work, Ford Model T restoration and Antique Gas Pump restoration with some of my restoration work on display in museums like the Smithsonian.

    I have bought the leather, and paper from ronell, and have tried the tyvec from the post office, and fed ex that is talked about here, as well as the paint suits. Here is the break down from some one who HAS used all of the above:

    Leather:
    Works GREAT, but is expensive. I use it on my true antiques to keep value.

    Bellow paper – their cheap stuff:
    Works GREAT, very flimsy, not sure what it is, have not found anything close yet – it is not a paint suite, it is not an envelope, I have checked even the cheap sources. Cost per clock is about 1.00 if you buy it in large sheet.

    Tyvec envelopes:
    Waste of TIME!!! They DO WORK great for the HINGES… I use the red and blue lines for my hinges… J

    Paint Sutes:
    They work – it is a bit quite at first, but in time about a week it is about the same if you weight the top of the bellow – you have to get the “heavy duty one” – open the package first, try to blow through it, if you can blow air through it, it will not work – there are two types of suits. You have to weight the top of your bellow with a nickel or even better lead weight to help drop the bellow faster, and it will take about a week to get the clock up to sound.



    To cover a bellow FAST and with out pain…
    Ok, I have tried it your clock makers way with your white glue – yea messy and extremely slow. Maybe you will get mad at me, I am sorry if you do, but these are my clocks not yours. I use a glue used by model air plane guys. This is a super glue that is a gap filler that is set up instantly with a fast set spray pump. It holds for ever, does not soak into the wood, and can be taken off with a drimel with a wood sand paper bit or wood file, and it is air tight, and water tight. With this stuff I have been able to strip and recover a cuckoo whistle in 5 minutes and have it back in a clock ready to be put back in service. It is no big deal to have to pull back off again either using just a sharp knife.

    Travis
    Topeka, Kansas

    3.JPG 1.JPG
     
    Curtis Brown likes this.
  24. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,167
    610
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Travis - what an array of talents :)
    Nah, we're not about picking apart different approaches. Most of are here to learn. When someone has success with a procedure, we're likely to try it out. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try it out! I'm interested in hearing more about your approach to bellows paper replacement. Do you cut them out first, or glue then cut later? Just curious :)
     
  25. travis_towle

    travis_towle Registered User

    Nov 24, 2009
    19
    1
    0
    Topeka, Kansas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I was trying to find out what you guys did here about 3 months ago when I was trying to learn. That was when I started reading everything that was ever posted here, and what every book I could find said to do about these bellows. I tried it all to see what worked best for me.

    What I found works is what I found on this site, and I can not find it now for the freaking world - of course... It was a form 8 1/2 x 11 posted on site, that was one page, an instruction sheet on how to measure to lay out your bellow cuts on a sheet of your own and on the bottom of the page was a drawing of a bellow layout with 4 square's in each corner with "x"'s in the square’s and notes to ignore them.

    The cut out in my photo included with this post is what your drawing should look like after your did your measurement.

    What I did was lazy - I just looked at a bad piece of bellow I had cut off and laid it out on his paper, and it matched right up to his drawing, and I went hmmmmmm, and cut out his drawing and traced it on the bellow paper, and cut out the bellow paper – glued it on the bellow, and don’t have to trim anyting - and I have done that ever since. It turns out his pattern was just about perfect and has been most of the time! :) – at least so far!!!

    I will look for this paper again on site again, if I find it I will update with a post follow up.

    Travis
    Topeka, Kansas
     

    Attached Files:

    • 2.JPG
      File size:
      15.4 KB
      Views:
      73
  26. MuensterMann

    MuensterMann Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    1,148
    11
    38
    #26 MuensterMann, Jan 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
    Here is the link to the page that has the PDF from Shutterbug of the one page bellow instruction sheet with the illustration with 4 squares at the bottom: https://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?t=35739&page=2


    So, the paint suit Tyvek works okay. Do you remove the nickel after one week, once you get the sound? I hate to add a weight because of the added friction to the strike train.

    So, you would recommend the cheap bellow paper over the paint suit Tyvek?

    Do you test the bellows before inserting into the clock? If so, what is a good indication of the level of success??

    Thanks.
     
  27. travis_towle

    travis_towle Registered User

    Nov 24, 2009
    19
    1
    0
    Topeka, Kansas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    YES that .pdf is the pattern I use on ALL of my bellow papers, I just trace, cut out. Glue it on starting on the side boards top and bottom lay a bead of glue, lay the paper, squirt the quick set, turn to the front, lay a bead of glue on the top and bottom, lay the paper tight, spray the quick set, turn to the side, lay a bead of glue on the top and bottom, lay the paper tight, spray the quick set, turn to the back, dap a bit of glue on one hinge wing and attach to hinge and do the other, - now trim paper if needed, now go around and add a bead of glue around the paper edges and spray quick set = DONE. It is a perfect fit. You can do this whole thing in about 60 seconds once you get 2 or done and get the hang of it.

    I left the nickle - the added weight does not bother me - it is only a nickle on each bellow top I forget the gram's added but I did weigh it - with the new oil I am using Teflon Clock Oil it is probably ok. I KNOW it would sound better with the light weight paper sold the clock companies, and I will order more when I put in my next large order, but I only had enough for one side with this last clock so I tried the suit. It was an OK option.

    Testing the bellows before – I just blow down the holes before putting them together to make sure they whistle, and then after I get them together I squeeze them together and see if they go cu and then I drop them and see if they drop. They should drop and then I hop them – if that makes sense? Maybe I mean “bounce” in the air… like you are swinging a hammer. It should sound like you are strangling a cuckoo bird. I am working on a cuckoo clock right now that I would really like to strangle like that!

    ANOTHER OPTION:
    I should add, I have also tried total replacement of the bellow top with total new tops that are ready to go - man that is real nice and FAST - but you have to be sure to clean out the whistle hole when you do that and stuff drops down in the whistle when you cut it out - I found the way to do it is use a shop vac and a drimmel with a router bit. I did not like the added cost when it is so very easy to re-cover the bellows with this glue I am using now.

    Travis
    Topeka, Kansas
     
  28. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Where do you buy your magic glue? I'd like to try it.

    bangster
     
  29. travis_towle

    travis_towle Registered User

    Nov 24, 2009
    19
    1
    0
    Topeka, Kansas
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Go to any small hobby store in your town, not the big box hobby stores - the big stores do not have this stuff - heck they do not even know it exist!

    The little stores have survived because they service a niche of market model air planes guys who spend $ 250.00 – $ 2,400.00 dollars on engines they toss in these planes and they all have this glue. These planes are so very powerful that some of them even use real jet engines. These planes are made out of some of the same wood our clocks are made out of. So you can bet this glue is great. You can get it in “gap filling” it is what I use – very thick and will not run very well, or “thin” and it will run everywhere like water.

    The glue is called:

    CYANOACRYLATE – it’s about 9.99 for 2oz

    The quick setting spray is not needed if you have patients –“unlike me” just a little "I mean little" squirt and the glue sets dry before you can set the bottle down:

    INSTA-SET – it’s about 15.99 for 2oz


    Travis
    Topeka, Kansas
     
  30. TEACLOCKS

    TEACLOCKS Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    2,134
    51
    48
    Male
    Clock service & repair
    Santa Rosa Calif.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I found this in some papers I have.
    Good luck
     

    Attached Files:

  31. MuensterMann

    MuensterMann Registered User

    Mar 23, 2008
    1,148
    11
    38
    I have used soft Tyvek (paint apron) and it works somewhat. The coos are soft. I cannot get a crease with this material.

    I just used USPS Express Mail Tyvek envelope and it works somewhat. The coos are still soft. However, I have been able to get a crease. If the envelope is pristine, then it does not work as well as if you crumble it many times before gluing it to the tops.

    I wonder if there is another material that behaves better and is the best to use. Is Tyvek sold as bellow material a different type than envelopes and clothing?
     
  32. timepast

    timepast Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
    420
    1
    18
    I tried the USPS Tyvek envelops for several cuckoo bellows but the bellows will not close without quite abit of pressure.. I would probably have to glue several quarters top the bellows to make it work. I tried a couple of times and it works fine with hand pressure but not by itself. Then I tried really roughing up the material so it is alot softer but it still is too stiff to close without quite abit of pressure... ie alot more pressure than just a couple of quarters. The very thin orginal kid glove material closes very readily on it`s own from just the weight of the bellows ` top. What am I doing wrong
     
  33. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,167
    610
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Nothing, timepast. The material is quite thick on those envelopes. You're better off with the regular paper made for the purpose. I've also heard that the American $1 bill makes a good bellows material.
     
  34. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    HERE's a pattern I posted a while back, FWIW,
     
  35. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    13,666
    63
    0
    Calif. USA
    It is still a little too thick.
    The stuff you can purchase from
    clock supply shops is lighter still.
    Also, when replacing the hinge, you
    need to allow for the thickness of the folds.
    This is a common mistake when replacing the
    hinge.
    Tinker Dwight
     
  36. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,041
    286
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Right. The thickness of the two bellow boards doesn't fully determine it. So we put a cardboard shim or two between the boards, before we glue the hinge down over the back. Good point.
     
  37. Randy Beckett

    Randy Beckett Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    May 23, 2012
    2,555
    23
    38
    33 yr. employee of American Electric Power Company
    Mt. Pleasant, Tx
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I tried this the first time a couple of weeks ago. Got my son (works at a local bank) to pick me out a couple of the most wore out dollars he could find. Made the bellows, which looked pretty good, but they were too stiff. Sprayed a little wrinkle spray(fabric softener and water) on them, thinking that would relax them. It did a little, but still too stiff. Finally got them to work a little by sticking a quarter on the top for weight, which was too much load for the movement.
     
  38. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,167
    610
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Good to know, Randy. I've never tried it myself, and your experience might save me a couple of bucks :)
     

Share This Page