Odd Music Box Problem

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by bangster, Nov 4, 2017.

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  1. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    music box 2 copy.jpg

    Never seen one exactly like this, and I have a problem with it. It has the usual controls: a "pull lever" which in this case actually a push lever --pushed down when the rack drops; a fan lever, which intercepts the fan and stops the movement; a drum lever with pin that rides on the side of the drum and eventually drops into the hole.

    When pin drops into hole, fan lever intercepts fan, action stops.

    Except this one doesn't do that, because the pin never drops into the hole. Because the spring not only draws the drum lever back against the drum, it also pulls it outward sideways, so when the hole comes around, the pin is off to one side, so it cain't go in.

    The spring does that because the pivot joint isn't tight; it's floppy with lots of play, allowing the lever to be pulled sideways as well as backward. The pivot screw can't be tightened further. It rides in an oval slot that allows the lever to move up and down.

    For the life of me, I can't figure out what THAT's all about. I see no reason why it shouldn't be an ordinary pivot, like in an civilized music box.

    It was running OK before. It's not now. I wonder if any of y'all are familiar with this beast, and can make suggestions.

    Tell me something I don't know.
     
  2. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

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    Hello Bangs,

    As I see it, the problem is the pin not falling into the hole to stop the operation.

    If the return spring is consistently misguiding the pin away from the hole in the drum, you may have to bend the arm, aiming the pin for the hole. I would make that bending adjustment somewhere near the end of the arrow for your #3.

    Once the pin falls into the hole, the drum lever will slide in the slot at #5 arrow and pull the tubing at the end of #2 arrow into the fan.

    If the spring is pulling the drum lever inconsistently away from the hole, there is another problem.

    Best,

    Dick
     
  3. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    New governor? Did you move the bracket that the pivot screw and spring attach to?
     
  4. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Thanks Dick. I understand how it's supposed to work. It doesn't work because de pin don't go in de hole. That's what I said above. Thing is, it used to work OK. Nothing was bent before, shouldn't need bent now.

    Here's the story. I was giving the music a test run when it stopped in mid tune. The mechanism was locked up tight. Wouldn't move. With much effort (it has a 3" waterwheel shaft sticking out the side) I managed to wrestle it out through a bird'snest of wires without removing the movement.



    Never did find the source of the jam, but it managed to unjam itself so I struggled it back in. In the process, the spring came unhooked from the drum lever so I hooked it back up and started testing it. Now it's doing what I said.

    I can't help thinking it has to do with that strange drum lever business. Why is it so loose? And what's that oval slot about?

    My rule is: Bending stuff to make it do what it did before is generally a bad policy.

    cuckoo inside.jpg
     
  5. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    I can explain the "oval slot" if you want.
     
  6. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    So the drum lever would drop into its hole, but the finger lands on one side or the other of the hole? Or does the finger remain pulled away from the surface of the drum gear? And then it keeps on repeating Edelweiss and The Happy Wanderer until the weight hits the floor or someone throws a shoe at it, I suppose.

    This could happen if the drum was somehow off its pivot, but then it wouldn't mesh with the governor gear.

    I wonder if the bracket into which the pivot screw is threaded could have shifted on its own screw. I think I recall that the position of that bracket is more critical than anything in a cuckoo clock ought to be.

    M Kinsler
     
  7. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

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    Bangs,

    So--- what if the lever got bent when someone took the music movement out of the case without removing the whistles, wires and other paraphernalia?

    Intentional or not, something happened to that lever that is now being steered away from its intended destination (the drum hole).

    Whilst you were busy dodging all of the other things (that maybe you should have removed) you may have bumped that lever and it got bent.

    Bend the lever to hit the hole and it is my bet the drum will stop at the end of the tune and you will be a hero.

    When all that happens, you will appreciate the action of the lever sliding in that elongated slot. The elongated slot is good.

    I wish I had one around so that I could send a video.

    Till then, you will have to trust me.

    Dick
     
  8. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Lemme work on that.
     
  9. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Do, pliz. :)
     
  10. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    It occurs to me that one might be able to make a little ramp that guides the pin back to the hole. It's not original by any means, but is reversible later if desired.
     
  11. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    When it works properly, the pin falls into the drum and the lever gets pulled down about 3/4 of the way down the length of the slot. It needs to do that so when the music is triggered next time, the lever will be pulled up by the spring and the pin has no chance of falling back in the hole.

    How close is the fan to hitting the bracket that holds the pivot screw? Also, is the stop finger with the tube on it possibly hitting the governor?
     
  12. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    Thanks for the info. The slot replaces the warning run that moved the hole away from the pin. So that's not where my problem lies. I think I'll pay a little more attention to the spring. It may not be attached correctly, though I can't see another way.
     
  13. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Probably not the spring. Is your lever close to parallel to the comb and the end of the drum like in this pic? IMG_20171105_155452094.jpg
     
  14. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    btw, I don't know of any cuckoo music boxes that need a "warning run". may just be me or a difference in terminology.
     
  15. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

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    Well, like the drum on a chiming clock they seem to like a second or two for the governor to get up to speed. There's typically enough of a space between musical selections to allow for this.

    M Kinsler
     
  16. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Well, I'm just talking cuckoo clocks here. I think there's a misconception that there's a needed 'warning run' so the 'pin' doesn't fall back into the drum hole at the end of the cuckoo cycle. But, like I said, it may just be a difference in terminology.
     
  17. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    I'm with DF. It's easy for these levers to get bent, often the bend is at the slot. Looks like the tip needs to come outward about 1/2 mm.
    Willie X
     
  18. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

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    Well Willie, that's great. I've asked 4-5 question to try and help, but they have gone unanswered. I mostly only work on cuckoo's and could help here, but I suppose my low visibility on the board doesn't give me much credibility.
     
  19. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    I believe that this is the problem based on picture in post #1. The screw is at the wrong end of the slot. So, once the lever falls into the drum hole, the drum continues to rotate thus pulling the lever a short distance until the finger intercepts the fan. I think if you adjust this bracket, it should work.
     
  20. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

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    One of my competitors did not understand the operation of music movements in cuckoo clocks and refused to learn. His solution was to remove the music movement and to tell his customers that the clock will no longer play music. He gave me a sizable box of used music movements that were of no apparent use to him. To me that is sort of like Hitler’s Ultimate Solution. .

    Bangs is correct in that: ”de pin needs to go in de hole”. What he has to do is something that makes “de pin go in de hole”. Be it a bend, reposition the spring, etc. Otherwise he will spend the rest of eternity watching that thing run till the weight hits the floor.

    The primary problem is to get the thing to stop on its own. Let’s get that done and then later worry about terminology, warn and the next steps.

    Best,

    D
     
  21. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    #21 bangster, Nov 7, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    Dear friends...
    I'm baffled, but not disappointed. Cuckoo music boxes are a menace to sanity. For reasons unknown to me, the beast has healed itself and now is behaving as it ought to. Makes no sense, but there it is. Pin now goes into hole on schedule. :?|o_O

    I thank you all for your suggestions, even though I may not have responded individually. Actually, I was just about to start bending levers. Now I think I'll go have a drink of something stimulating. I encourage you to do the same. :yoda:

    As for warning runs, I think I beg to differ. When the fan lever releases the fan, the drum has to move a bit before the fan is blocked again. If drum don't move, hole don't move and pin falls back in. That's what I think of as its warning run: the drum movement between unblocked and reblocked. Apparently, this particular box is supposed to pull the drum lever up away from the hole so the drum movement is unneeded. But most boxes don't.
     
  22. matthiasi

    matthiasi Registered User

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    #22 matthiasi, Nov 26, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2017
    Bangster-
    I've done several hundred of these music boxes over the years. They work well.
    On these,as you know, when the music is to stop, the pin goes into the hole whilst the drum is still rotating. The pin is dragged by the hole downwards, which pulls the lever 3 and its' tension spring down, which then brings the silicone tube 2 into the fly so as to stop it. Lever should be dragged down, but does not have to travel to the bitter end of its' slot.
    When the music box is to be triggered, lever 1 pushes down on the top tang of lever 3, bending it towards the front face of the clock. The pin then comes out of the hole in the drum and the tension spring pulls it up (preventing it from re-entering the hole), thereby releasing the silicone tube 2 from the fly. (Therefore, the fly and/or drum does not really need a 'warning run' in order to function correctly). Lever 4 simultaneously drops into the path of the fly in order to stop it. This would be your "Warning run", which ideally amounts to around 1/4 - 1/2 revolution. I usually try to align it so that that it immediately catches the opposing wing of the fly, so only 1/4 revolution of the fly.

    After lever 3 is 'bent' to the front of the clock (thereby gently moving the pin out of the hole), the spring does the releasing and prevents the pin from going back into the hole. I usually apply just a tad of grease to the pin so that it doesn't bind when being released. I have also often seen tiny burrs here due to wear. Adjust the silicone tube 2 so that it just stops the fly, no more. I find that I often have to adjust levers 3 and/or 4 to correctly enter hole (3) or the fly's path (4), as often the owner or a previous repairman has inadvertantly "mis-adjusted" it. Numerous plier marks, scuffs and/or twists generally give that away.

    Didn't want this to become a diatribe, however, I have often seen problems in this area being had by others. Maybe it will also help those.
     

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