Cuckoo Clock Test Stand

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Schatz70, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2019
    83
    0
    6
    Male
    Country Flag:
    Photo #1 My first cuckoo test stand, used only for a movement out of the case, was a flimsy, precarious, accident-waiting-to-happen affair made from pieces of scrap wood held on to the top of a table with C clamps with paint stirrers and whatnot put across to provide support for the bottom of the plates. When I was ready to put the movement back in the case, I wanted something sturdier and safer that could be used both for a movement out of the case and a fully assembled clock.

    Photo #2 William Bilger's Cuckoo Clock Repair Manual has some plans for a test stand with a hinged contraption for supporting the case by the roof so that you can look in the back while the clock is running to make adjustments to the hammer and bellows lifters. Maybe I'll make one of those eventually but for now I've come up with a simpler solution

    Photo #3 My solution was to take a board I had lying around measuring 21" long by 10" wide and cut two rectangular holes in it and screw it down firmly to support underneath. I own three cuckoo clocks, all of which have trim pieces that hang down from the front of the clock. My shelf needed to provide clearance for three things: the trim piece, the chains, and the pendulum. I measured all three of my cuckoos using the back of the trim piece as the key reference point to see how far back the chain holes and pendulum slot are. As you can see, I can put tools on the back of the shelf, and I can sit in a chair while working on the hammer and bellows lifters with the back panel off of the clock while the clock is running.

    Photo #4 This shows the underside of the test stand showing the two rectangular holes. The little strip of wood left in between the two holes is important because it provides support for the bottom of the plates when the stand is used for a movement out of the case.

    Cuckoo Clock Test Stand 10 27 2019 002.JPG Cuckoo Clock Test Stand 10 27 2019 001.JPG Cuckoo Clock Test Stand 10 27 2019 004.JPG Cuckoo Clock Test Stand 10 27 2019 003.JPG
     
  2. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,790
    224
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I've used old plastic or metal milk crates. Set the movement atop the crate and string the weights and pendulum through the holes. The weights won't have much space to fall through, but generally enough to diagnose the clock. Or the whole crate could sit on slats so that the weights can drop through the bottom side of the crate. Works quite well, though plastic stationery-store milk crates used for holding files can flex if you've got the heavy weights of an 8-day cuckoo clock.
     
  3. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    3,347
    175
    63
    watchmaker
    Western NSW, Australia
    Country Flag:
    I've used two screws to attach the clock to a high shelf. This way I can see everything and the weights can fall most of the distance.
     
    Schatz70 likes this.
  4. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,790
    224
    63
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    But sometimes (often) you need access to both front and rear of the movement.
     
    Schatz70 likes this.
  5. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    1,572
    67
    48
    Cabinetmaker,clock repair
    Moultonborough,NH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    this is the test stand I use-fits most I have worked on
    tom

    Cuckoo Test Rack 086.JPG
     
  6. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
    3,347
    175
    63
    watchmaker
    Western NSW, Australia
    Country Flag:
    That's why it is on a high shelf. So I can see all around. It is screwed to the edge of the shelf.
     
  7. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2019
    83
    0
    6
    Male
    Country Flag:
    That is very impressive - it probably took you some time to make it but worth it. The design is very similar to what is in Bilger's book.
     
  8. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,238
    622
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    You can buy those roof holding stands from some of the usual suppliers. They're not great for 8 day clocks though - the roofs of modern day clocks are not fastened strongly enough to hold the weight.
     
    Schatz70 likes this.
  9. MartinM

    MartinM Registered User

    Jun 24, 2011
    2,954
    79
    48
    Male
    Medical Insurance Systems Analyst
    El Dorado, CA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I don't work on enough cuckoos to worry about making a test stand.
    A friend uses a piece of plywood mounted to the side of a bookcase using hinges.
    It's about a foot wide and two feet tall and is attached to the front corner of the bookcase, at eye level, so that it can fold away, up next to the side of the bookcase.
    In the plywood, there are three holes cut in a vertical line in the center of the board that roughly replicate the back opening case dimensions of the three most popular sizes of clocks.
    He mounts the clock on the board as you would on a wall and over the appropriate hole.
    The clock's front is available with the board parallel to the front of the bookcase. The back is available by hinging it so the board is parallel to the side of the bookcase and reaching through the hole in the board.. It works very well and takes up virtually no space when not in use.
     
  10. Willys_1

    Willys_1 Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    116
    8
    18
    Male
    Project Manager
    Pleasant View, Utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Here is a cuckoo stand I made from one of those old drill presses that you strapped your handheld drill into. Got it at an estate sale for a buck. The other pic is off its big brother. It was a large drill press that was worn out, so I cut a slot in the table to fit weights and pendulum. It will hold anything!

    IMG_2004.JPG IMG_2005.JPG IMG_2006.JPG
     
    Uhralt and Schatz70 like this.
  11. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2019
    83
    0
    6
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I have a video of a movement out of the case running on my shelf test stand:

     
  12. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,238
    622
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Love that minute hand :D
     
  13. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2019
    83
    0
    6
    Male
    Country Flag:
    I got the idea for that from William Bilger's Cuckoo Clock Repair Manual - he calls it a crank. The idea is to allow you to turn the minute tube without risk of damage to the real minute hand. I took a piece of scrap metal, drilled a 3/32" hole in it and used a small file to square off the hole to fit the square part of the minute arbor.
     
  14. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,238
    622
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
  15. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    1,572
    67
    48
    Cabinetmaker,clock repair
    Moultonborough,NH
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    What a great recycling idea.
    tom
     

Share This Page