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Cuckoo Hubert Herr Cuckoo

Brock Gains

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Apr 23, 2020
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Dunnville, Ontario, Canada
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After reading the forums on your site, you have given me the courage to attempt to jump right in on clock repairs. After spending my life working on boilers, turbines and other industrial equipment I figure this should be a real challenge.

I recently inherited a Hubert Herr cuckoo clock. The case is in rough shape, but I feel I have the skill to work on that part. Years ago the clock was my wife's grandparents, since, has been passed around until it came to me in bits and pieces in a bag.
I did manage to get it "working" but am sure it could use a good cleaning/oiling and have noticed that the wire that stops the musical paddles while the bird chirps is broken and will need replacing. As far as I can see, this means taking lots of pictures as I take the movement apart (my first disassembly), soaking it in kerosene, "scrub" parts with brush, dry with hair dryer, and putting new wire for paddles back on when re-assembling.
There is a coil spring on the side the hands should be on (on the movement), to me it looks like it should not be there but without it the lever it is attached to does not always return to position ??
I have attached a few pic's if more specific pic's are needed please let me know.
I am newbie and very open to advise as to any extra steps I should be taking or the order of things being done.

Bellows removed.jpg 20200429_114924.jpg broken wire - a.jpg broken wire - b.jpg Coil Spring.jpg Name.jpg
 

shutterbug

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Everything looks pretty normal there except that one spring, which I believe has been added. The arbor that goes through both plates appears to be the rack hook. I'm not sure what the circled parts are on it.
 

THTanner

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Jul 3, 2016
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Everything looks pretty normal there except that one spring, which I believe has been added. The arbor that goes through both plates appears to be the rack hook. I'm not sure what the circled parts are on it.
I think the circled parts are the broken music box wires?? - If so, to replace them, would you drill a small hole in the arbor and peen a new wire in place? Other options?
 

Brock Gains

Registered User
Apr 23, 2020
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Dunnville, Ontario, Canada
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THTanner your correct that is the music box wire. Was actually able to remove the broken piece. The wire was sort of a squared off U shape at the shaft end, wire went through one hole, over to the next hole, back through the arbor and crimped against the arbor shaft. Right now looking around trying to find a replacement wire. Rest of clock is ready for cleaning. May (will) need help reassembling I'm sure. Some small rust on non brass parts thinking about a mild rubbing compound to remove, would that be ok?
20200501_120122.jpg 20200501_115951.jpg
 

THTanner

NAWCC Member
Jul 3, 2016
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Carson City, Nevada
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Some small rust on non brass parts thinking about a mild rubbing compound to remove, would that be ok?
many of us use EvapoRust - you just soak the items in it for a few hours, then rinse and apply a thin coat of common oil to the steel areas with a rag. I sometimes use some steel or brass wool after the soak. EvapoRust leaves steel looking a bit grey, but otherwise does a great job. You can find it at Walmart or online.

The music box wire is nothing special. It is usually a mild spring wire that you can bend to proper actuation position and then it holds that shape. You can actually make some from non spring wire by getting it in approximate shape, then heating to a dull orange with a quick dunk in water. You will want to put the wire into the arbor and get all that secure before hardening the wire or it will break when you make those tight bends. If it gets too springy when you harden it you can anneal it and then try a little less orange when you heat it.

Others may have some good ideas as well - there are several ways to do this
 

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