Help with adjusting the star wheel on a Regula clock

mitchf2

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Hi all, I need help again. I'm working on a Regula cuckoo clock. On the test stand it works fine, but when I put it in its case it works for a while, then the levers stop before the last "coo" and it won't strike again unless I move the star wheel so that the second lever drops, then it'll work for a while again, until the same thing happens. The photo shows where it stops, but I emphasise, it does stop after the second "coo" sometimes!

Can anyone help me with a permanent fix? I can't give it back to the owner unless it's striking consistently. Thanks in advance!

IMG_1641[1].JPG
 

John P

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Loosen screw and set your star wheel just a hair below lifting the gong hammer when strike is at rest. Make sure you dont have a bent lift tab on that wheel.

johnp
 
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mitchf2

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Loosen screw and set your star wheel just a hair below lifting the gong hammer when strike is at rest. Make sure you dont have a bent lift tab on that wheel.
Thanks, JohnP - I've set the star wheel maybe 20 times. but it still seems to catch the short lever every now and then. I'll have to inspect the tabs - that makes sense if there's one that's bent... it would work fine unless it stops with the short lever in that position, right?
 
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disciple_dan

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I have found that on some units you may have to manipulate the lift arm on the hammer so that the star wheel drops off the short bellow lever but does not lift the hammer when it goes into warning. It can be a delicate operation. Danny
 
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lwalper

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That's a good picture Willie. I had a similar issue, but the gong was striklng once as the movement went into warning because the star wheel pin was too close (actually partially lifting) the hammer at rest. When the clock went into warning and the wheel turned that little smidge the hammer would drop. It would still turn far enough to sound the proper number of strikes. Make it look like that picture and you should have it.
 

mitchf2

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I would mark the pin that is left hanging. If it's always the same one, then thar's yer problem ... Here is a photo of how it should look at normal stop. Willie X
Thanks for the up-close view, Willie. I'll take a good look.
 

shutterbug

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The lower lever hanging down like that will stop the train. If you're running it without the bellows attached, tie that lever up a bit so it can't drop that low. Or set something under it.
 
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mitchf2

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The lower lever hanging down like that will stop the train. If you're running it without the bellows attached, tie that lever up a bit so it can't drop that low. Or set something under it.
Thanks Shutterbug, I swear this is the most temperamental and frustrating clock I've seen so far (okay I haven't seen that many, but still...) Now it's stopping at the right spot, but it sometimes seems to forget to strike. I think the gathering pallet might be the culprit now, so I'm going to try to adjust that AGAIN. I hope that works, otherwise the owner might get her clock back in pieces (after it hits the wall with great force!)
 
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shutterbug

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Sounds like you're making progress. Now you are beginning to understand why so many of us don't like working on cuckoo's :D
 
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Opa

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That's a good picture Willie. I had a similar issue, but the gong was striklng once as the movement went into warning because the star wheel pin was too close (actually partially lifting) the hammer at rest. When the clock went into warning and the wheel turned that little smidge the hammer would drop. It would still turn far enough to sound the proper number of strikes. Make it look like that picture and you should have it.
Thank you guys, I've printed this entire thread, hope to have it all squared away today.
 

Opa

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I think cuckoo clocks have driven many people koo koo, that;s why many won't work on them.
Hang in there, don't let it win!
Thank you sir. After serving 22 years in Air Force, I'm not used to letting anything win. Your comment inspires me greatly!
 

Opa

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The lower lever hanging down like that will stop the train. If you're running it without the bellows attached, tie that lever up a bit so it can't drop that low. Or set something under it.
I figured that out about three weeks ago because several of the ones I worked on were jamming up on the lifting arms. I figured out that a small paper clip suspended the arms so that they didn't tangle and hung the other end of it over the pendulum arm. It allowed them to go up and prevented them tangling.
 

Willie X

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When any machine stops, it does so because of problems in two main areas and luckily it's usually just one of the two!

#1 - Not enough power.
#2 - To much work to do.

In clocks, the 'not enough power' can be as simple as wrong weights, to very complicated things usually caused by wear.

The 'to much load', can be as simple as the bellows, or perch wire being pushed to far up, or out to far. It can also be something weird like a binding birdie idoor, or whistle top rubbing against the case, or an old top that has become to stiff, bird lifting to high, stuff like that.

Another thing (in cuckoo's) the loading is supposed to be incremental. That is, the gong starts up, well on its way, then the cuc whistle gets started and lastly the koo. A misadjusted clock can start two jobs at once. This misadjustment is usually done by a previous repairer.

In my book, when I see sloppy previous repair work, red flags go up and all things become suspect ...

Willie X
 
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Opa

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When any machine stops, it does so because of problems in two main areas and luckily it's usually just one of the two!

#1 - Not enough power.
#2 - To much work to do.

In clocks, the 'not enough power' can be as simple as wrong weights, to very complicated things usually caused by wear.

The 'to much load', can be as simple as the bellows, or perch wire being pushed to far up, or out. It can also be something weird like a binding door, or whistle top rubbing against the case, or an old top that has become to stiff, bird lifting to high, stuff like that.

Another thing (in cuckoo's) the loading is supposed to be incremental. That is, the gong starts up, well on its way, then the cuc whistle gets started and lastly the koo. A misadjusted clock can start two jobs at once. This misadjustment is usually done by a previous repairer.

In my book, when I see sloppy previous repair work, red flags go up and all things become suspect ...

Willie X
Well I hope that my work isn't "sloppy." That said, I also know that I have a great deal more to learn. To my good fortune I have a positive attitude and an almost scandalous reservoir of patience.
 

POWERSTROKE

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you sometimes need to have the bellows connected as the lever arms will stick and catch on each other.
 
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Mike Mall

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Well I hope that my work isn't "sloppy." That said, I also know that I have a great deal more to learn. To my good fortune I have a positive attitude and an almost scandalous reservoir of patience.
I think the tool that helps the most is a good test stand. I let a movement run on it's own at least a few days before installing it in it's case. I have a stand with a slot cut into it for the chains to hang through. Popsicle sticks work well to level the movement setting on the slot. As stated above, the lift levers need to be set up properly, so they don't bind.

Of course a movement has to run, and strike properly, "in hand' under thumb pressure - before it ever leaves the bench.
 
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Mike Mall

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I made a free standing test stand out of 2 x 3 pine (cheap), with a slotted hardwood seat board on top.
I set a loose 25 on top to show how I set up.
Also how I set up a Hermle 261, it's pretty versatile.
IMG_3789.jpg IMG_3787.jpg IMG_3780.jpg
 
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Willie X

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I use the same idea as in Mike's 3rd photo but using a heavy 'horse' made for GF clock movements. This horse has rails that span about 7 1/2", so you have to use heavier cross strips to stay on the safe side. The strips I use are made from oak flooring 3/4" x 1/2" x 15" long. The long strips can be used on edge, or flat. And, you can comfortably put up to 3 movements on one pair of strips. This also works for the whole cuckoo clock and makes it easy to set the beat before you hang it on the wall. Use clamps to make everything stable.

If you already have a horse for big movements, all you need are two strips of oak flooring and some hand clamps ...

Willie X
 

Opa

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I'd like to see your test stand
Gladly, I'm attaching three pictures. The first shows a horizontal piece of plywood, three holes in it. I use it to run the movements for a few days, I can test up to three at a time. The second picture is a horizontal 2"X3", I can mount three clocks with movements in them but rarely have even two on it. The third picture is a special piece I built which will hold up the clock by the roof while I run it, especially if it is too big to fit between the 2"X3" and the plywood part above. I can also put the back door on then it hangs there. I use wooden door shims to level things up. Currently you see no movements in the cases. That is because I just pulled 2 cases to put on the 2"X3" and one on the special piece but that is where and how I hang and test them.
 

Opa

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Gladly, I'm attaching three pictures. The first shows a horizontal piece of plywood, three holes in it. I use it to run the movements for a few days, I can test up to three at a time. The second picture is a horizontal 2"X3", I can mount three clocks with movements in them but rarely have even two on it. The third picture is a special piece I built which will hold up the clock by the roof while I run it, especially if it is too big to fit between the 2"X3" and the plywood part above. I can also put the back door on then it hangs there. I use wooden door shims to level things up. Currently you see no movements in the cases. That is because I just pulled 2 cases to put on the 2"X3" and one on the special piece but that is where and how I hang and test them.
I don't see the pictures I just sent so I'm trying again.
 

Opa

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I made a free standing test stand out of 2 x 3 pine (cheap), with a slotted hardwood seat board on top.
I set a loose 25 on top to show how I set up.
Also how I set up a Hermle 261, it's pretty versatile.
View attachment 719952 View attachment 719953 View attachment 719954
I like the way you have that slot for the chains and pendulum. It would probably be better for mine to try that. The cases will be more stable as well. Looks like a trip to my scrap wood supply tomorrow. I can make that same modification to mine probably only giving up a tiny amount (1/4" to 7/16") of height. Thank you.
 
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Opa

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Gladly, I'm attaching three pictures. The first shows a horizontal piece of plywood, three holes in it. I use it to run the movements for a few days, I can test up to three at a time. The second picture is a horizontal 2"X3", I can mount three clocks with movements in them but rarely have even two on it. The third picture is a special piece I built which will hold up the clock by the roof while I run it, especially if it is too big to fit between the 2"X3" and the plywood part above. I can also put the back door on then it hangs there. I use wooden door shims to level things up. Currently you see no movements in the cases. That is because I just pulled 2 cases to put on the 2"X3" and one on the special piece but that is where and how I hang and test them.
I don't see those pictures. Did they even come through?
 

mitchf2

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Sounds like you're making progress. Now you are beginning to understand why so many of us don't like working on cuckoo's :D
I still love them all and getting to know their quirks and foibles should help me going forward. But this one has got me beat. It seems to work fine until I put it back in the case although there's nothing in the case that impedes it. I'm going to put this one aside for a while and work on another one for now... maybe I was spoilt by the first few that I worked on that just needed cleaning, oiling and fixing the bellows!
 

disciple_dan

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Here's one I made to test them when installed in the case. I put them on a production stand for the initial testing after service.
20210331_133309.jpg
1659871830034.jpeg
 
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Opa

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Gladly, I'm attaching three pictures. The first shows a horizontal piece of plywood, three holes in it. I use it to run the movements for a few days, I can test up to three at a time. The second picture is a horizontal 2"X3", I can mount three clocks with movements in them but rarely have even two on it. The third picture is a special piece I built which will hold up the clock by the roof while I run it, especially if it is too big to fit between the 2"X3" and the plywood part above. I can also put the back door on then it hangs there. I use wooden door shims to level things up. Currently you see no movements in the cases. That is because I just pulled 2 cases to put on the 2"X3" and one on the special piece but that is where and how I hang and test them.
Is there some reason that I cannot see pictures I'm posting? Can others see them and I not see them? I click "attach files" select "gallery" and then select pictures, select "done" and "Post Reply." Is there something I'm missing or forgetting to do? I'm going to attempt to put them in again.
 

disciple_dan

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When you select the picture and it takes you back to NAWCC post, are you clicking on the thumbnail button and the picture shows up under your text?
 

Willie X

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When you place the movement in the case, make sure it is setting evenly on all four feet, no rocking.

The feet are thin and often bent from an accident, like when a monkey swings on the weights. The little wooden mounting blocks often shed one layer of their plywood too.

Willie X
 
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mitchf2

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Did I say that this darned clock is temperamental? Or maybe meant just mental! I attached the bellows in hopes that it'd help, so now it strikes 14 times on the hour and not at all on the half hour. This is seriously the clock from hell! o_O
 

PatH

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Is there some reason that I cannot see pictures I'm posting? Can others see them and I not see them? I click "attach files" select "gallery" and then select pictures, select "done" and "Post Reply." Is there something I'm missing or forgetting to do? I'm going to attempt to put them in again.
Interesting. I'm definitely not an expert on forum functionality, but a couple of questions might help others provide photo posting insight. Where are the files that you are trying to post? On your computer or phone? Are you using the camera icon at the top of the new post, or the Attach files button below the new post? I think you should be able to click Preview and see if the pictures are showing up before you save to post. Cuckoos are frustrating enough without having to worry with pictures showing up.:)
 

POWERSTROKE

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If it's striking too many times there is an issue with the lift lever. Use a needle nose pliers to adjust the star wheel in the holes.
The lift lever. Is lifting too high.
 
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Opa

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Interesting. I'm definitely not an expert on forum functionality, but a couple of questions might help others provide photo posting insight. Where are the files that you are trying to post? On your computer or phone? Are you using the camera icon at the top of the new post, or the Attach files button below the new post? I think you should be able to click Preview and see if the pictures are showing up before you save to post. Cuckoos are frustrating enough without having to worry with pictures showing.

The files are on my camera. I didn't notice a camera icon but I'll look for one. I had been using the "attach files" button at the bottom of the new post. I'll try your suggestions. Thank you VERY much.
 

Opa

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Interesting. I'm definitely not an expert on forum functionality, but a couple of questions might help others provide photo posting insight. Where are the files that you are trying to post? On your computer or phone? Are you using the camera icon at the top of the new post, or the Attach files button below the new post? I think you should be able to click Preview and see if the pictures are showing up before you save to post. Cuckoos are frustrating enough without having to worry with pictures showing up.:)
Attempting to send those pictures again.
20220806_195637.jpg
20220806_194557.jpg
20220806_194609.jpg
 
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PatH

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It worked!

On your test stand, you check to make everything works in the upper level, then move them to the cases when they're ready to test with hands on?
 

Opa

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It worked!

On your test stand, you check to make everything works in the upper level, then move them to the cases when they're ready to test with hands on?
Yes. I usually run them about 2-3 days and then into the cases.
 
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Opa

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Cuckoos need the minute hand installed before any testing. Snail will move forward and rack tail will fall behind snail.

johnp
O.k. I'll put a minute hand onto each one. Thank you.
 

PatH

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Cuckoos need the minute hand installed before any testing. Snail will move forward and rack tail will fall behind snail.

johnp
I don't have a cuckoo movement handy to check, but wondered...Will putting the hand nut on without the hand work to prevent the issue you mentioned?
 

John P

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Yes, but put on the brass bushing with the square first. Putting the hand on allows you to move the works forward to test operation.
 

mitchf2

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O.k. I'll put a minute hand onto each one. Thank you.
Opa I'm confused - why are you replying to messages on my thread? If you want to discuss test stands, etc, could you please start a thread of your own? I can't keep track of comments that are relevant to my problem.
 

Opa

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Opa I'm confused - why are you replying to messages on my thread? If you want to discuss test stands, etc, could you please start a thread of your own? I can't keep track of comments that are relevant to my problem.
My mistake. For I thought that this was a long continuation of my own thread and that somebody wanted to see my test stand which might lead to solving a problem with this movement I'm working on. Backing away.
 

POWERSTROKE

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I will add that there is little efficacy testing a cuckoo movement on a stand. The whole game changes when it goes into the case. As long as the trains spin freely by hand and everything stops and starts in the strike train as it should, I think it should be tested in the case.
 

shutterbug

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I test them on a stand to be sure everything is working. But yes, the case can introduce new challenges ;)
 

mitchf2

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Cuckoos need the minute hand installed before any testing. Snail will move forward and rack tail will fall behind snail.

johnp
You were right on the money, except that even with the hands installed mine was still falling behind the snail occasionally so it would sometimes cuckoo 13 or 14 times, seemingly at random hours. A bit of gentle persuasion (bending) applied to the tail got it to behave itself and now the owner has a fully operational clock - now I just need her to come and collect it before I add it to my collection!
A HUGE thank you to everyone for their help and suggestions.
 

mitchf2

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I will add that there is little efficacy testing a cuckoo movement on a stand. The whole game changes when it goes into the case. As long as the trains spin freely by hand and everything stops and starts in the strike train as it should, I think it should be tested in the case.
Powerstroke I agree to a point. Sometimes it's hard to identify a problem when you can't see both sides of the movement, especially if the problem is intermittent. E.g. sometimes the one I was working on would cuckoo 13 or 14 times when it was in the case and moving the hands manually fixed it until the next time. It would run fine for 30 hours or more, then suddenly do this - I couldn't work out why until I noticed that the rack tail would sometimes fall behind the snail and bending the tail ever so slightly stopped it from happening.
 

POWERSTROKE

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Yep. These are all things you will check off in your mental note list when you put these things together. Some of the herrs still have me stumped.
 
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mitchf2

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... Some of the herrs still have me stumped.
The Herr that I inherited (and that got me started on this journey) just keeps going and going. One day I'll have to take it apart and clean it, but 112 years old and still going strong!
 

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