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Cuckoo Clock Repair

Les Sanders

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Apr 3, 2010
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MVC-001F.JPG MVC-002F.JPG MVC-003F.JPG MVC-004F.JPG I must be crazy! My Pastor ask me to repair a non working Cuckoo, It is musical and has 4 animations. First I want to know the best way to remove the movement giving consideration to the farmer w/ pitchfork, the lover on the ladder, the maid and related music box, the cuckoo. I do not want to do any harm. My experience with Cuckoo is limited since I am doing it gratis and it is my Pastor's clock I want to be very careful. Nuts in Arizona!!! LOL The movement is marked Regula 25-73
 

shutterbug

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Remove the whistles (screw on the sides, also a brad holding them straight - pry off from behind). Remove the hands (nut on the front, MAYBE another behind the minute hand). Remove the mounting screws for the movement. Unhook the wire from the inside of the bird door. Now you should be able to carefully pull the movement out. The animation parts should stay in place, but if not the figures are just pressed on from the front. Your easiest method of repairing the movement is just replacing it. They're cheap (and so is your pastor, if he expects this for free). When you order the movement, be sure you get the right pendulum length.
 

Les Sanders

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Apr 3, 2010
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I have the movement out and it appears to be in very good condition. The pastor told me his father bought the clock about 6 months before his death and it was then put away about 20 years ago. When his mother passed away 3 months ago he was given the clock. So I doubt if it has much running time. I think I will start with cleaning and oiling and see how it goes.
 

R&A

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Oct 21, 2008
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If your going to clean this movement. I would take it completely apart.

H/C
 

hookster

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Jan 14, 2011
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What is your knowledge of clock repair, Les?. My guess is that, by the limited number of your postings, it is not all that great. I ask this because totally disassembling the movement, and reassembling everything so it works, requires a certain degree of expertise. You may get by (and I know I will get vilified for this) by simply thoroughly rinsing and brushing the intact movement in naphtha fuel (Coleman Stove oil fuel), or other de-greasing solvent, and then oiling all of the pivots/plate holes. I say this because this is by no means an expensive or rare movement, and replacement ones are cheap. I would never recommend this process for high end movements. Also, if you do chose this route, make certain that it is done in a well ventilated area away from anything that could ignite the fumes.
Yes that is what I do, I am sure the movement has lacquer on the plates and if you don't take the apart it is just makes a mess in the clockworks!
 

shutterbug

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What is your knowledge of clock repair, Les?. My guess is that, by the limited number of your postings, it is not all that great. I ask this because totally disassembling the movement, and reassembling everything so it works, requires a certain degree of expertise. You may get by (and I know I will get vilified for this) by simply thoroughly rinsing and brushing the intact movement in naphtha fuel (Coleman Stove oil fuel), or other de-greasing solvent, and then oiling all of the pivots/plate holes. I say this because this is by no means an expensive or rare movement, and replacement ones are cheap. I would never recommend this process for high end movements. Also, if you do chose this route, make certain that it is done in a well ventilated area away from anything that could ignite the fumes.
Vilified - Nah. Cuckoo's and cheap alarm clocks just aren't worth the time to take apart most of the time.
 

David S

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Dec 18, 2011
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Oh you guys! I just finished a regula 25-73 for a person. Needed some bushings, and is now under test. So far I haven't been able to find a replacement for under $75 including shipping, and of course the wait to get it, and then screw around to get things all back. I am loosing faith in you :)...just kidding of course.
 

shutterbug

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Check Mark Butterworth's price. I think you'll like it :) log on and password are both butterworth.
 

David S

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Dec 18, 2011
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SB I did check them and they are all around $55, plus shipping. Getting into Canada seems to be a crap shoot as to what I get charged for shipping and if Canada post gets involved they charge pst, then and a friggen handling fee. So gets back up to the $75 range.
 

Les Sanders

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Apr 3, 2010
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What is your knowledge of clock repair, Les?. My guess is that, by the limited number of your postings, it is not all that great. I ask this because totally disassembling the movement, and reassembling everything so it works, requires a certain degree of expertise. You may get by (and I know I will get vilified for this) by simply thoroughly rinsing and brushing the intact movement in naphtha fuel (Coleman Stove oil fuel), or other de-greasing solvent, and then oiling all of the pivots/plate holes. I say this because this is by no means an expensive or rare movement, and replacement ones are cheap. I would never recommend this process for high end movements. Also, if you do chose this route, make certain that it is done in a well ventilated area away from anything that could ignite the fumes.
My knowledge is good, but I avoid cuckoo's, so when it comes to cuckoo's I am a novice. If it was anyone else's clock besides my Pastor I would not be working on this example.
 

hookster

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The movement is a fairly simple one, so, given your background, why not go for it. Just take photos and notes as to where everything went before you disassemble. It looks, from your pictures, like the bellows lifting (star) wheel has a set screw which will help in adjusting things once you get it back together.
My knowledge is good, but I avoid cuckoo's, so when it comes to cuckoo's I am a novice. If it was anyone else's clock besides my Pastor I would not be working on this example.
 

Les Sanders

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Apr 3, 2010
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OK we have cleaned and oiled movement with 2 running problems the 2 levers in the attached photo are hanging up and will not allow the cuckoo side to run. The short lever is for the bellows and the long lever move the arm with the pitchfork, if I put a little pressure they work, but the bellows and striking won't stop. Any input? MVC-001F.JPG
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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The wires to the bellows and such keep the levers from falling
down too far and jamming. You need to put back the wires
and have them attached before you can run the strike.
Fix that first and we'll look at more issues of timing next.
Tinker Dwight
 

shutterbug

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Yeah, just bend them so they don't interfere with each other. Do you still think you're coming out ahead on charging less than $75.00 for this repair? :D
 

harold bain

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The timing internally is likely off. If you are using the case as your test stand, it may get frustrating having to take the movement out. If you had the gathering pallet off, it is likely now out of position relative to the cam on the arbor it runs on. You can test the movement's action in your hand easier than in your case by pushing on the ratchet wheel and watching it.
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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Now for the next lesson in cuckoo's.
You need to get some of the pieces in the
strike chain lined up.
Do you know what the gathering pallet is?
The easiest way to deal with things is to
pull it off and let the rack hook down By lifting
the rack, such that the stop pin catches the
warning pin.
Let it rotate one stop at a time until the bird goes
back to its nest.
Then put the gathering pallet back on such that
the rack hook's pin that follows the cam on the gathering pallet
is at the bottom of the cam.
Readjust the star wheel on the chain wheel so that
the strike and cuckoo start in the right order and that
there is a little free run of the strike before starting
to lift the first lever.
Now, if the rack hook doesn't stop the warning pin
you'll need to figure out why.
If you don't want to pull the gathering pallet off, you'll
have to split the plates and rotate the warning wheel
such that the warning pin is just coming to the stop pin
when the gathering pallets cam and rack hook align.
Sounds easy! Your lucky the movement isn't one of the
new one with the fixed star wheel.

Tinker Dwight
 
Last edited:

R&A

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Oct 21, 2008
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Sounds like the gathering pallet isn't locking out. The cam on the inside of the movement has to be almost parallel to the front of the movement. Make it with about a 15 degree angle, as it rises. When the arm drops into the gathering pallet, it should lock and stop the warning pin. If you keep turning the pallet you will see that the cam changes position. This cam is on the same wheel that the gathering pallet goes on. It's on the inside the movement. Then you position the the bellow and hammer pick-ups after you get this set. Don't bend the lift wires to get them out of the way. They are already set, from when you took them off. I don't even have these on when on the test stand. They can be removed and replaces easily. The pick up cam is the last thing I install before I install the movement into the case.

H/C

H/C
 

Chris D

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Sep 8, 2009
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I have 2 of these right now. check the wire that goes straight up to the music box governor, it's probably hung up.
 

Les Sanders

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Apr 3, 2010
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OK, back at it this morning! I have movement out of the case and mounted on my holder. it seems to work fine. so what else could be causing it to cuckoo without stopping when the movement is in the case with everthing hooked up?
 

shutterbug

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Also look at the bird extension. If it can't fully extend, it may not be able to lock.
 

Chris D

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Sorry, should have given you more details. When the movement is not striking or in warning, the wire should be to the left of the governor fan and the fan should be able to spin freely. When it goes into warning, the wire should move over to the right to stop the fan from turning until it finishes striking. What can happen is, when the wire moves to the right to stop the fan it can get caught on the bracket and never release back to the left and it will just keep cuckooing. You just need to bend the wire towards the front of the clock so that it clears the bracket.

Good luck,
Chris
 

shutterbug

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I'll rotate the image for you :) Cuckoo Bird.JPG Interesting pic! I've never considered using a stand like that! Great idea!
 

Tinker Dwight

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Oct 11, 2010
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What Chris is talking about is when the music box and movement are together.
If the whip ( as it is often called ) hanges it will cause repeated
cycles.
The other thing that can cause this is the rack catching on
something in the case.
In your case I think Chris is likely right
Tinker Dwight
 

shutterbug

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Yep, the 'whip' needs to have full movement to be able to shut off. You can move it pretty easily at the attachment point.
 

Les Sanders

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Apr 3, 2010
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Yes!!!! Anything this much fun should be illegal. We have lift off, it is working like a good clock should! A heartfelt thank you for all of your input, it has been another wonderful learning experience.

Best Regards,

Les Sanders
 

shutterbug

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Good Job! Feels good, doesn't it? :thumb:
 

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