Solved Music box not stopping

jwhicks

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Dec 21, 2020
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Hello!
I am new to the world of clocks but I am enjoying it so far. We recently obtained a 1985 Lotscher cuckoo clock from my wife's childhood. I had to clean it, oil it, and replace several parts(weights, chains, hands, and gong). There is cosmetic damage likely as a result of a tumble from the wall. I have been browsing this forum and have been helped a lot by what I have found here. But I have come to the point where I need to ask for help. I have been successful in getting the clock to run, the cuckoo bird works properly, and the music will start at the right moment(that last one was a challenge). However, once the music starts it will not stop until the weight hits the floor. I can see that the pin is misaligned to the hole on the side of the barrel. There is lots of play in the lever, but I think I read that this is necessary. I am not sure what to do to remedy the misalignment. If I hold my finger to the lever then it slips into the hole when it comes around. I have attached pictures to show what I have going on. I thank you in advance for any advice.
Thanks,
Jason
clock2.jpg clock3.jpg
 

jwhicks

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OK. What I'm seeing happen is once the pin exits the hole and the barrel begins to turn, the pin slides out towards the edge of the barrel. And then it misses the hole when it comes back around.
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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The pin should drop into the hole on every turn of the barrel. But, what actually stops the music is: when the pin is pulled downward about one mm this will lower the short leg into the fan. This is what stops the music. There is never any actual stopping force exerted by the pin in the drum, except the slight pull-in force exerted by the little spring attached to the odd three leg lever.

Hint, often there is a short length of tiny vinyl tubing pushed onto the short leg. This soft tubing decreases the harsh metal to metal contact sound. The MB won't stop because the missing tubing leaves the short leg to short to catch the fan.

Willie X
 

RJSoftware

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typical situation with these is making slight (very slight) adjustments to the activation levers. Finding sweet spot between too much or too little the lever pushes after cuckoo counts hours. Another common issue is the tiny spring's strength that holds the lever against the drum's gear with hole to land in. Then note the drum pulls lever and butts into fly.
If the lever doesnt stop the fly which stops music barrel turning, the drum will continue turning until the lever stops it. But when stopped at lever, not at fly properly, the lever gets stuck. To compensate some add extra bend to push/release harder. But this error as the lever wont drop in the hole.

To recap:
Check action of activation lever when cukoo count finishes. Adjust.
Check tiny spring and reduce coils if needed so spring pulls lever.
Check music box lever that tab on lever contacts fly. (fly is blade that catches air to regulate speed)
 

Willie X

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Don't know how to edit. Anyway, often the little vinyl tube has fallen off. The best replacement is the tiny yellow gas line used for string trimmers, etc. Willie X
 

jwhicks

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Thanks for the input. So what I have noticed is that the plastic tube will indeed stop the fly, but only if the pin drops into the hole. And I can only get the pin to drop into the hole if I slightly guide it with my finger to line up when the hole comes around. I considered adjusting the lever by bending it slightly but not sure if that is a good idea. I'm sure this clock fell off the wall at some point and I wonder if it bent when it fell.
clock3edit.jpg
 

roughbarked

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Not sure where the corrosion came from but it is also why I'd be careful about bending as the middle of that lever may be weakened by corrosion.
Usually I'd also say don't bend anything in a cuckoo clock unless it looks like somebody else was bending. In other words only bend to put back.
Why not have a look at the hole and see if it has wear on the side that drags the pin away?
 

Willie X

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Just carefully put a little more curl in the long arm. I usually take the 3 leg lever off to adjust it. That screw is a special one. If you loose it ... to bad so sad. Willie X
 

Willie X

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Peter,
I found the edit button. That's an important button for me. Thanks
 

jwhicks

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The corrosion likely came from less than optimal storage conditions over the past 25 years or so. In a home not always climate controlled in North Florida. So humidity would be a factor. I had a look and I don't see significant wear on that side of the hole. I hate to bend anything, unless like you said, it's a correction on an unplanned bend or something. But I'm not sure of my next course of action to keep it lined up with the hole otherwise. The little spring that pulls the lever is connected in a way that naturally pulls the bottom of the lever outward. Strange that it is angled like that but it has obviously been that way from the beginning.
 

shutterbug

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That spring should pull the stop lever behind the hole when the music is activated, not above it. You'll have to maybe remove the spring and check the position of the stop lever. It needs to be in line with the hole. Then attach the spring so it pulls the lever directly behind the hole on activation.
 

Willie X

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I will attempt to post a photo of the three leg lever. I've seen a few where the lever was actually bent at the slot, where the pivot screw goes. This may be the case with yours but you will need to remove the MB and then the lever to see what has happened. Willie X 20170724_171909.jpg
 

jwhicks

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OK! So I removed the three leg lever and compared it to Willie X's photo. The "pin" end of my lever was askew and was not in line with the rest of the lever. I carefully bent it back in line and reinstalled. Starts and stops on it's own now. Seems to stop a note or two early but that may be an adjustment of the plastic tube. But overall I am happy and I thank all who gave me advice! I have really enjoyed working on this clock and plan to learn as much as possible about them and look for more clocks to tinker with. Thanks again!
Jason
 

JimmyOz

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If it is stopping a note or 2 early it maybe another small adjustment need on the right screw that holds the tines down and holds a small plate that the lever is screwed into, moving the plastic tube may stop the fan too late and can jam the lever in the hole?
 
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shutterbug

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Glad to hear you caught the clock bug. It really does bring satisfaction when you resurrect an old movement that's been "dead" for years.
 
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RJSoftware

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Glad u got it. Stop adjustment is when tube hits fan. A touch shorter will contact fly later which will play dropped notes.
 
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jwhicks

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Glad to hear you caught the clock bug. It really does bring satisfaction when you resurrect an old movement that's been "dead" for years.
Yes, every bit of progress I've made so far with this clock has been very satisfying. When I brought it home I wasn't sure I would have any success. But now I very happy with the outcome so far! Hoping to continue down this path.
 

jwhicks

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Got the music starting and stopping at the correct times. I found a thread here about a similar issue and figured it out from there. Thanks to all.
 

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