Kaiser one day cuckoo clock

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Schatz70, Oct 18, 2019.

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  1. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2019
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    Kaiser one day cuckoo clock with some issues -
    1. Somebody who doesn't know much about clocks added some washers to one of the weights to get it going.
    2. Two of the hooks are missing from the chains (easy to buy replacements).
    3. The original minute hand has been replaced by one fabricated from a piece of metal (easy to buy new hands).
    4. It will run for a few ticks then stops.
    5. The cuckoo more or less works but needs some adjustments.
    6. There are some cosmetic issues with the case - trim piece on front is broken in four places and needs to be glued, veneer coming off the the roof in a couple of places.

    I haven't fixed the other one I'm working on yet, but, heh, for $5 at the Trinity Church thrift store, I couldn't pass it up. Who knows, maybe I'll get it working.

    As a novice I'm tempted to do a dunk and swish rather than take the movement apart. Does that sound like a good plan?

    Kaiser One Day Cuckoo Clock 10 18 2019 001.JPG
     
  2. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    I have a Kaiser cuckoo very much like yours and it seems to be a bit nicer than average and runs quite well, as I sure yours will with proper care. Like any other mechanical clock accumulated dirt, worn pivot holes, and worn and/or rough pivots are typically the main things to look for. Don't be tempted to do a dunk and swish. Waste of time in the long run and something you don't want to get comfortable doing. Do it right or put it aside until you are ready to do it right is what I think.

    RC
     
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  3. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Yes, cuckoo's are full of surprises. So, the best approach is to make a good assessment before going foward.

    You have already found a lot of 'little things' but I would suggest to go in the opposite direction. Check the 'big things' first, like the movement. First a visual ... is there a lot of black goop around the pivots, many call this 'pivot poop'. This is mainly a product of wear, powdered brass and old oil that accumulated over time. Next, use a small screwdriver to power the mainwheels sharply back and forth. If any of the pivots jump around in their holes, these places will need to be rebushed. That's bad news for a cuckoo and leaves you with the choice of doing a rather difficult overhaul, or replacing the old movement with a new one.

    So, to leave on a good note, if there is little or no pivot poop and the movement passes the 'wiggle test', a good rinse might get your old "60s" clock movement back in operation.

    WIllie X
     
  4. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

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    Thank you! I'm new to this but I get the feeling that taking it apart is the right way to do it. The tricky part is getting it back together, especially the strike side where the position of things like the pin on the warning wheel and position of the leaves of the star wheel when you reassemble matters.
     
  5. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    I work on a lot of cuckoos and always 'add on' to the estimates. Even then, I often come up short because of 'unexpected difficulties'. :)

    In my playbook, cuckoos fall into the 'labor of luv' category. This goes for the owner and the repairer.

    BTW, this is the time of year when cuckoo owners drag that ole cuckoo in for repairs. For many they are a reminder of better times and an important part of the Holiday celebrations.

    WIllie X
     
  6. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

    Oct 5, 2019
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    Assuming that what has stopped the clock is just dirt and none of the pivot holes require rebushing and the bellows are OK, how many hours would you say a typical job takes?
     
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

    Apr 4, 2006
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    Cuckoos are difficult as Willie has stated, mostly because you can't see much while the movement is in the case, and with the movement out of the case with all the "neat stuff" unhooked its hard to visualize it working, so you put it all back to test and if something needs a minor adjustment you pull it all out again. No so bad if you are working on your own time and have nothing better to do. You are in luck if it hasn't been messed with and was working OK until it just stopped running. Take lots of pictures and make notes as well. Try to power it by hand with the movement out of the case until you fully understand the cuckoo side - what opens the door and when, what makes the sound, what starts and stops the striking. Check worn pivot holes as Willie described. Just don't bend or force anything and with time and patience you will get it right. I've seen these movements come up on eBay for not much money. Other than having a live mentor, having an identical movement all in one piece is about the best help one can have. Good luck.

    RC

    Regarding your question to Willie about how long it will take, Willie can answer that, but my comment is if you have to worry about the time it will take you probably shouldn't get into one of these and just send it out to be serviced.
     
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  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    I wish Willie knew how long it would take. Willie
     
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  9. Schatz70

    Schatz70 Registered User

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    I'm not afraid to spend a lot of time on this - having spent $5 to buy the clock, if it takes me twenty or thirty hours and I end up with a working clock I will be happy.
     
  10. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
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    If it came in here I'd treat the assembled movement including the chains to an hour's soak in the ultrasonic cleaner (Zep Fast 505 degreaser with the heat set at 50C) and then see how it looks. If there's no ultrasonic cleaner available, just soak the thing for a long time. Then rinse it and blow-dry it and oil it (this last will help prevent rust.) As a precaution against rust I've been wiping the movement down with an oily rag and shooting the tiniest puff of high-quality spray lubricant.into the interior, there to condense on pinions and arbors and springs.

    For some reason I have not found cuckoo clock movements all that much more difficult to assemble and disassemble than, say, a kitchen clock movement. It is important, however, to examine the movement closely enough such that you learn how the cuckoo stuff works--i.e., how the cuckoo swings out and stays out during the strike sequence (answer: usually the bird's perch is connected to the rack hook) and how the strike sequence stops. The time trains on these are trivial and often enough consist of three wheels: chain, an intermediate wheel, and the escape wheel.

    The escapements aren't particularly finicky, either. Don't take the chain wheels apart unless you have to.

    M Kinsler
     
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  11. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    Schatz, clock movements should be disassembled before cleaning and oil should never be sprayed into a movement. But before disassembling a cuckoo (or any other movement) it is best to determine what is wrong first. If it isn't working because of accumulated filth then it will likely also need to have pivots polished and checked for wear.

    RC
     
  12. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    I think a good disassemble, clean, bush and re-assemble would take 3 to 4 hours. If the bellows need replacing, add an hour. Getting things back in the case and working together, maybe an additional hour. So, basically figure on a full day :)
     
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