dirty cuckoo case

Discussion in 'Clock Case Restoration and Repair' started by crazy cuckoo, Nov 29, 2011.

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  1. crazy cuckoo

    crazy cuckoo Registered User

    Sep 20, 2011
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    what kind of oil would you use for a dirty dusty dry cuckoo case before it starts cracking and gets trashed?also what can you clean the hands & face with witch are plastic.thanks
     
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Start by cleaning the case. I use GOJO waterless hand cleaner without pumice, a toothbrush and paper towels. When clean, you could wipe it down with something like Old English lemon oil.
    I use Spray 9 to clean the hands and numbers. Spray it on a paper towel, and wipe.
     
  3. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    Ditto, HAROLD> any oil based cleaner for the case and a strong detergent for a plastic dial, hands, and numerals. If dial is wood, then again an oil based cleaner.
     
  4. Patch

    Patch Registered User

    May 11, 2010
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    I would've never thought about GOJO. One question: Will it hurt the modern plywood cases? (ie. cause it to swell..)
    Thanks, for the tip!
     
  5. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    You don't leave it on long enough to get the wood wet enough to worry. Put some on the toothbrush, scrub and wipe, just doing a small part of the case at a time.
     
  6. Patch

    Patch Registered User

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    Thanks, I'll give it a try!
     
  7. Dave Heise

    Dave Heise Registered User
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    Hi Al. I happen to be restoring a cuckoo in terrible condition; the wood gingerbread is dry, coated with a white powdery substance and was stored in much less than ideal conditions. Here's my method of restoration: first, I remove all gingerbread from the case. Then I brush the wood with a stiff bristled acrylic brush purchased at Harbor Freight Tools as a part of an acrylic/brass brush set - I do this outdoors. This usually not only removes the coating but serves as a light 'buffer' and will bring up a muted shine (see photo 1.) Then using a toothbrush, I apply the Old English Lemon Oil, wipe off the excess and give the wood a light buff with a soft cloth. Photo 2 shows the completed crown over a next-to-do case. It really doesn't take too much 'elbow grease' and a minimal amount of time but the results speak for themselves. BYW, I never use a wax - don't care for the look.
     

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  8. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Yes, I've used lemon oil after cleaning. It does bring back the color, giving the wood a nice look to it.
     
  9. Bradford Needham

    Bradford Needham Registered User
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    Oct 31, 2018
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    After having great results using Gojo on a '70s Schoolhouse clock, I recently used Gojo and toothbrush to clean a stained cuckoo clock. I'm concerned that it removed some of the stain. The following picture is the "before"...
    20190220_162634B.jpg
    The next photo is the "during". Notice that the 'dirt' coming off is exactly the color of the clock's stain...
    20190220_163416B.jpg
    ...and these are the 'after' photos. There seems to be less stain on the clock.
    20190221_141605B.jpg 20190221_141613B.jpg

    I'm not sure whether I should have used a milder cleaner. Would anything that could take off cigarette smoke also take some of the stain off? ...or should I clean the case, then re-stain it?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    I've never seen Gojo take off stain before, but I have seen it that dark or darker from the dirt. It looks like the case is pine, and I have not used it to clean pine so I guess it could pull some stain from the pine. I wouldn't worry about using Gojo. You can re-stain the wood, but pine does take stain unevenly. Another option is to use a thinned acrylic paint to try to get a more even color, but still be able to see some of the grain. What does the surround and crown look like?

    Tom
     
  11. Bradford Needham

    Bradford Needham Registered User
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    The surround cleaned up nicely, with no stain or paint removed; the crown is Missing In Action, likely from a fall that also broke the surround and which prompted the owner to put the clock up on eBay. 20190221_152615B.jpg
    I like your theory that the clock had a lot of dark smoke/dirt on it. Since this is a practice, 'beater' clock case, I think I'll give the roof another cleaning with Gojo. If what came off the first time was dirt, less/none should come off next; if instead it was stain (or a colored wash, or something strange), more should come off.

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Gojo and stain - that's reassuring to this newbie.
     
  12. Bradford Needham

    Bradford Needham Registered User
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    I'm puzzled. I gave the left roof of the cuckoo case a good scrubbing with a toothbrush and Gojo, several times, to test whether the dirt would stop coming off or the stain would continue to come off. Unfortunately, I can't tell the difference from the results. After a few goes with Gojo, the Gojo did start to turn a gray putty color instead of a dark brown color, but the roof kept getting lighter and lighter. Here is the Before and After of the left roof, before and after the latest series of cleanings with Gojo.
    20190306_165914B.jpg
    20190306_171811B.jpg
    Good point about pine not taking stain well. The topic continues to be a mystery to me. I'm thinking of trying Murphy's Oil Soap on the other half of the roof so see whether I get a better - or at least different - result. Thanks again.
     
  13. gleber

    gleber Registered User

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    Yeah, that looks like a lot of dirt came off. I suspect the "after" is the original stain without too much loss.

    Minwax has a wood conditioner to help soft wood like pine take stain more evenly. I didn't have great results with it, but I think it helped a little. In their defense, I think the can I had was quite old. You can Google for more information about it. Or, as I mentioned, you can use a thinned acrylic or mix it with the stain to help get a more even coating.

    Tom
     
  14. Bradford Needham

    Bradford Needham Registered User
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    Thanks for checking it out. Now that I've cleaned another cuckoo clock case (I'm a newbie clock repairer), I agree that Gojo cleaned the smoke, etc. off and left the stain alone. I love this cleaner!
     

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