Cuckoo can't count.

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by NoviceCuckoo, Feb 18, 2018.

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  1. NoviceCuckoo

    NoviceCuckoo New Member

    Feb 18, 2018
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    Hello! I am the proud owner of a beautiful cuckoo clock I bought in Germany this Fall. It has an eight day movement with a music box. It keeps time and there are no issues with the music box.
    The problem is inconsistencies in the number of cuckoo's. At the hour it usually cuckoos only once, but periodically I will get 2, 3, 4, 10, or 11 cuckoo's. On the half hour I get 1-2 cuckoo's. The bird and door operate smoothly.
    I took off the face so I could see if anything was obviously hung up in the movement. In my professional opinion as a nurse, I don't see anything that stands out.
    I really know nothing at all about clocks other than what I've been reading for the past week or so.
    Attached are some pictures.Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you!

    20180202_143155.jpg 20180202_143542.jpg 20180202_143550.jpg 20180202_143555.jpg 20180218_122104.jpg 20180218_122213.jpg 20180218_122308.jpg 20180218_122318.jpg 20180218_122327.jpg
     
  2. rodlloyd

    rodlloyd Registered User
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    Mar 16, 2010
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    Try rotating the gathering pallet so the pin is deeper in the rack tooth when at rest. It is held just friction tight.

    Rod
     
  3. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    You have yourself a fairly difficult cuckoo to learn on, but the basic problem is with the parts labelled A, B and C in this photo. B is called a tail and it is now jammed behind the snail it is supposed to ride on. That tail and snail control how many cuckoos you get at each hour. "A" is called the rack and the number of teeth that get selected by how far the tail falls onto the snail is the cuckoo count that happens for that hour. "C" is the called the gathering pallet and as it rotates the clock cuckoos once and it lifts the rack up one tooth at a time until all the teeth have been "gathered"
    The tail "B" has a little bent end which is now behind the snail. If that has become bent or damaged then it will not drop onto the snail properly and the cuckoo count will be erratic or missing.
    Be careful just turning the gathering pallet "C" under current conditions as shown in the picture. What you want to do is gently rotate the gathering pallet a little bit so the it clears all the teeth on the rack, and gently lift the rack up to clear the tail from behind the snail. If you encounter much resistance, do not force things.
    Once the rack and tail are lifted so that the tail is on top of the snail you should see how the tip of the tail drops onto the snail to select how many teeth - and hence - how many cuckoo will occur at that hour.
    Sometimes the jam you are showing is from turning the clock counter clockwise and getting the tail caught in behind the snail.

    Cuckoo1.jpg
     
  4. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

    Sep 8, 2009
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    Don't see a problem with the tail but the rack hook is stuck behind the rack. Probably just need to free it up and 'maybe' bend the rack in a hair if needed.

    20180218_122104.jpg
     
  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    I think Chris has it. So, Novice: that dark lever at the right of TH's picture, under C has to interact with the teeth on on that saw looking thing (the rack). When the rack is fully raised, is has to sit under the bottom of it. Otherwise, it has a part at the bottom that grabs a tooth and holds it so the rack can't fall back down while the cuckoo's are counting. Perhaps the rack is too far away, the bottom piece is broken, or the whole lever is too close to the movement. Look it over, and see if you can spot the issue. Otherwise, try to get a video of it running, post it to youtube and link to it here. Be sure it's "public".
     
  6. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
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    Jul 3, 2016
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    at 14 minutes into this video he goes through how the rack and gathering pallet work together

     
  7. NoviceCuckoo

    NoviceCuckoo New Member

    Feb 18, 2018
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    Thank you all for your help! Each of your replies helped to understand a little more about my clock and about the issue at hand.
    The rack hook was indeed falling behind the rack creating the cuckoo count inconsistencies. I pulled the rack hook forward and bent the rack back (both very gently and very gradually) between several turns of the clock to check my progress. Now my cuckoo can keep count and my son is still impressed with his mom's ability to face life's little challenges with curiosity and perseverance
    I'm going to let it run for 24 hours before I put the face back on just in case.
    Once again thank you all! This is a fantastic site and I've learned a great deal!
     
    Chris D likes this.
  8. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    Good job. Crude as they may look, these are ordinarily reliable little clocks. They usually succumb only to dirt and grandchildren and are quite repairable even then.

    The repair of cuckoos will be a lifelong profession and curse, because your neighbors are hiding thousands of the things in shoeboxes. Parts are available at Timesavers.com, among other places. Have fun.

    Mark Kinsler

    M Kinsler
     

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