cuckoo clock query

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by NEW65, Dec 13, 2018.

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  1. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    Hi Folks,
    Doing my first ever cuckoo clock repair! Its been in the family for many years but the movement has no power to drive the pendulum - the leader travels rapidly when the pendulum is detached!
    I have carefully taken the movement out of the case and taken many pictures as its quite complicated in there!
    I have checked for play in the pivots and at least 3 pivots have excessive play hence the lack of power. I am therefore going to take the movement apart and rebush it.
    My problem - please see the picture that I have attached. I am unable to remove the U shaped retaining clip that is just below one of the four locking nuts. I thought it located into a machined recess but I don't it does! Can anyone identify this type of retainer and advise the best way of removing it please? I didn't want to force anything and finish damaging it hence the query. There are two of these clips to remove. Any advice would be good? Thanks as always :) IMG_2767.JPG
     
  2. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    New,

    This question is a common one, with several answers. I like to use a piece of chime rod bent into an 'L' shape with one end ground to a very tight fitting diamond shape with a long taper. This is pushed into the little diamond shaped gap in the retainer and twisted about 45 degrees to open the clip. Often you can pull the retainer straight off with no proplem. The reason for the taper is so you can pry the retainer up about 1/8" above the plate, place a 1/8" spacer under it, and then force the tapered tool in the gap to furthur open the clip. One reason I like this is that the clip will remain in the forced open position, ready to reinstall later. It's easy to make several of these 'spreaders'.

    The factory made removal tool can be bought (or duplicicated) by modifying the tips of a small 'outside snap ring tool.
    This works OK too, but it's not as easy for me.

    Willie X
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Those clips don't fit into a groove like the common e-clip. They just slide straight up off the arbor. A small screw driver will help get them started.
     
  4. MARK A. BUTTERWORTH

    MARK A. BUTTERWORTH Registered User
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    Put the inside of the back plate over a crow’s foot and simply drive the arbor out with a hammer
     
  5. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
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    Sure can make a mess of the shaft,and possibly cause slippage issues. A cheap set of snap ring pliers with changeable ends(ground to fit) works well.Made a pair over 15 years ago,they are still in service. Gave them to a friend to use and he won't give them back! So, made another set.
    tom
     
  6. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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  7. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    #7 NEW65, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018
    Thanks chaps for the great advice on removing the E clips.
    I did manage it without causing damage...
    Just to update... I rebushed the cuckoo movement, it needed two bushings in time train and one in strike train. The movements are very basic, with just a few gears inside. I made a good job and power has been restored - pendulum swinging well and movement striking rapidly! Hardest job was getting to the movement as I had to break glue joints (where bellows are mounted either side of case). However I then made two silly errors, both since rectified........... first error, I left the flywheel out of the movement when i re assembled it BUT was very easy to refit as the brass plates are wafer thin and extremely flexy.... second error, I forgot to refit the E clips!! (would you believe). I could have removed the movement again but I had glued everything back into place and didn't want to remove it all again! So, i used two slide retaining clips that I use to retain the dials to movements!! They fit perfect, very snug and secure so should prevent the components on the front of the movement from falling outwards. The clock is in the family so can easily be monitored. I did have trouble timing this movement though and sometimes the cuckoo door opens just before the cuckoo starts up on the hours. Can anyone advise on what I've done wrong here? This was my first ever Cuckoo repair :) One thing for sure is that the movement has to be set in perfect beat otherwise it stops everytime! Been running now for 3 hours with a strong tick
     
  8. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Did you take off the gathering pallet? If so, you probably didn't put it back on correctly in relation to the 'wings/tabs' on the arbor that opens the door. When looking at the front of the movement the tips should point to 10 & 4 o'clock and the pallet should be in it's home position.
     
  9. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    Thanks Chris :) Yes I I had to remove the gathering pallet as it wasn't aligned properly when i reassembled the movement. I have been monitoring the clock all evening and its stopped doing the cuckoo at the half hour now but 10 mins before the hour strike is due there is a partial sound of the cuckoo and the door slightly opens. On the hours it does what it should and strikes out the hours. So, just messes up on the half hours now. Everything else is fine - ticking away and keeping excellent time. I did take a few pictures before dismantling which I have added here: You mentioned about 10 and 4 o clock positions as viewed from front of movement - do you mean I need to alter the position of the adjustable wheel which I have pictured below? Thanks Chris for your help.
    IMG_2758.JPG
    IMG_2766.JPG
     
  10. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    ps also can someone tell me why one has to break glue joints to remove components (bellows mounted either side) to enable the removal of the movement?? This to me is such a bad idea - there was no other way of removing the movement though!
     
  11. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    That heart shaped gathering pallet should be in a position that allows the pin to stay in the very bottom of the heart shaped gathering pallet during the warning process. No pin movement at warning. And, the cam that moves the perch out should be in the 'do nothing' position. Both of these things have to be in sync. I'm guessing that the relationship between the heart shaped gathering pallet and the perch cam has been altered. Willie X
     
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  12. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Oh my! So sorry I remembered that wrong! They should point at about 2 & 8 o'clock when looking at the front. Here's a picture without the plate in the way so you can see it.

    15450933884182496732995411911171.jpg
     
  13. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    Thanks Willie for the information - I am going to try and adjust it today if I get the chance (Unless I am dragged out to do more Christmas shopping!). You have explained it very clearly as always, your advice is excellent. Thanks mate:)
    Chris - I have noted the position of the gathering pallet (as viewed from front of mechanism), will ensure that the pin is located exactly in the middle as Willie suggested (at warning) along with the cam position that operates cuckoo in the do nothing position. And yes Willie, the two positions were altered when I took the movement apart although I did adjust the gathering pallet but that will have to be adjusted again to align the cam which operates the cuckoo.
    I should also add that the clock has been ticking away now with a strong wide pendulum but oddly keeps stopping after 12 hour intervals? This is very odd but as I mentioned the beat of this clock has to be spot on it seems?
    Cheers chaps.
    :)
     
  14. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    Glueing the bellow tubes in place, as you found out, should never be done. That's a good indication that someone else worked on the clock that was not much of a repairman. The bellow tubes, are always held in place with a small screw through the outside of the side panel and a nail just below that to keep it from twisting. From the age and style of the one you are working on that is most likely the way these were originally mounted.
     
  15. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    Thanks Joseph for adding this... maybe it has been messed with then. One thing for sure is that the movement on inspection was covered in something like grey coloured grease! I have never seen such a dirty mechanism in my life. On top of all this gunge the dust and cobwebs had settled so you can imagine the state of it before I cleaned it. I thought it was a little odd that the tubes had been glued into position as there was absolutely no way the movement could be removed without first removing these. Thanks again for your help and advice :)
     
  16. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The newer cuckoo's are often glued instead of using screws. When replacing I usually put in screws and brads like the older ones had.
     
  17. NEW65

    NEW65 Registered User

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    I think Shutt has a point here - I have just checked out the cuckoo clock case and there is no evidence of wood screws or brads anywhere? Just glued in which I find ridiculous but there you go... :)
     
  18. Joseph Bautsch

    Joseph Bautsch Registered User
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    OK, learned something new. This is a hobby for me and I only buy the older cuckoo clocks for my collection. I have never run in to the newer ones with “glued” in bellow tubes. I suppose glueing is faster and cheaper for the mfg. I agree put them back with the traditional screw and nail.
     
  19. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    That's what I do.:)
     
  20. Bradford Needham

    Bradford Needham Registered User
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    Regarding glued-in bellows: If the bellows fabric can take it, you can use a heat gun and a putty knife to gently separate the bellows from the clock case. I learned about the technique in a video posted by a furniture restorer, and successfully tried it out on an Ansonia Kitchen clock whose gingerbreading had broken at some point. I summarized what I learned in a posting on my site: Loosening Antique glue Using heat | The Independent Nation of Needhamia.
     
  21. Bradford Needham

    Bradford Needham Registered User
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    I misspoke. Evidently the heat gun and putty knife method works only for "Hide glue"; a glue that is often used in antiques and fine furniture. I discovered a few days ago that modern wood glues don't loosen with heat. I destroyed the bellows top of a cuckoo clock's whistle trying to pry the heated wood of the bellows off the whistle. I was going to replace that part anyway (which is why I was trying to remove it), so it's no great loss, but I was lucky the bellows top broke off instead of part of the whistle.
     
  22. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Not always. I've seen factory jobs with glued-in whistles. Clearly minions of Satan at work.
     

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