Musical Cuckoo

Discussion in 'Your Newest Clock Acquisition' started by Tinker Dwight, Oct 11, 2010.

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  1. Tinker Dwight

    Tinker Dwight Registered User

    Oct 11, 2010
    Calif. USA
    I'm new to clocks but I'm learning quickly.
    I bought a Cuckoo Clock from ebay resently with a music box.
    I now have it working correctly but it did take many hours to figure
    it out.
    I will describe what I learned:
    First is to take pictures and have a lot of snack bags with marking pen
    to lable parts ( first rule of intelegent tinkering is save all the parts ).
    After removing, I cleaned the main movement and music box.
    I soon found that someone before me had been inside it and didn't
    get it put back together right.
    I used two 4X1 boards to hold it while looking at things.
    I found that the music box was stopping at the wrong place.
    There was a flat on the shaft but it was not correct relative to
    the drum for the stopping pin. I shifted it to the right location.
    I also needed to rebuild both flute's bellows. After looking at
    several web pages and look at the remaining shreds, I figured how
    to do it. One thing that I found on the web was wrong. It
    said to measure how high the bellows go to determine how wide
    to open. This is flat wrong. The opening is determined by the width
    of the top piece. If one tries to make it larger, the side folds
    will interefer with each other. I made a guage from some thin cardboard
    strip, that is the same width as the face of the bellow.
    This is the maximum opening. If the push rod wants to open more,
    bend the lever down a little on the movement or mount the
    flute a little higher.
    After fixing these, I had the basic clock working except the music
    box was not doing the right thing. It would start playing before
    the cuckoo came out and continue to play until then.
    I know now why most don't want to repair these.
    After many hours of watching each part of the process, I finally
    figured out what it takes:

    1. There is a lever from the side of the movement. After the
    hour, and with the drum-pin/fan-stop lever engaged, it should
    have no clearence to the wire coming from the music box.
    2. Sometime around 15mins after the cuckoo ( hour and half ).
    it should start to pull. Almost at the same time, the wire
    at the top of the movement should start to move.
    3. The drum-pin/fan-stop lever should now move just enough
    to let the fan spin a while but not enough to pull the
    pin from the drum.
    4. The next thing that happens is that the wire from the top
    of the movement should start to block the fan from spinning.
    It must do this before drum-pin/fan-stop lever pulls the pin
    from the drum.
    5. The lever from the side of the movement continues to pull
    and will now pull the drum-pin/fan-stop lever enough to
    get the pin from the drum. It is now properly cocked and
    ready to fire.
    6. When the cuckoo sounds and goes in, the music will start.

    On my clock, there was a setscrew on the wire from the top
    center of the movement. I was never able to tighten this to
    exactly the right place. I found that I had to bend it slightly
    to fine tune it. This often tripped the cuckoo and required
    advancing the clock again. It is important that the wire just
    clears the fan at the time of step two but blocks it before
    step 4.
    Tinker Dwight
  2. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
    NAWCC Member Deceased

    Nov 4, 2002
    Whitby, Ontario, Canada
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    Hi, Tinker, welcome to the message board. Sounds like you have it down pat fixing these. They really do require patience and a mechanical aptitude to get them running properly. The second one should be a piece of cake for you:thumb::thumb:
  3. Dave T

    Dave T Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 8, 2011
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    Tinker, Think this thread might just be what I'm looking for. Right now I'm where you were ten years ago. I've been working on a musical cuckoo for nearly 4 weeks now. Just yesterday I have come from clock not working at all to running well, cuckooing well, but no music.
    Took about two weeks to figure out the music box stopwire, was preventing the bird from going back in the house. I now have it adjusted to correct that problem, but now the music does not play
    I had the music box out, and took it apart, (except for the comb). I didn't change it at all because it engages with the pins on the drum properly.
    Still haven't figured out why I now have no music. I did at one point!

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