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Question about helper spring on old cast Cuckoo movement

bchaps

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Dec 16, 2001
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I have overhauled a number of these old cast cuckoo movements now and a doubt just popped into my head. I'm referring to the inside front plate mounted, straight wire spring that is apt to puncture your hand while doing re-assembly. Normally, I have placed the needle-like spring underneath the strike lever so it propels the hammer downward as the lift pin drops off the main wheel. That seemed right and has apparently been working on the clocks I've overhauled.

But a momentary thought flashed through my brain while working on another of these century old birds. The spring could also be positioned on the top of the strike lever, acting as a damper. Herschede has spring dampers on their tube units that are adjusted to allow the hammer to strike, but prevent a double-strike. Could that be the real purpose of this needle?

Sorry, I know a photo would help my explanation immensely, but it's running on the wall ....a photo is not easy.

So is this needle spring a strike assist or a strike damper?
 

harold bain

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Nov 4, 2002
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Bill, the only older movement I have has a coil spring helper, definately there to give a harder thump on the gong. So I would say it is a helper, not a damper.
 

Mike Phelan

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Dec 17, 2003
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The wire spring is indeed a helper, as it is on many German and French clocks.
The thin wire hammer is enough to give it enough "bounce" to keep the hammer clear of the gong.

HTH
 

Willie X

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Feb 9, 2008
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bc,

It's a helper sping (and a tiny harpoon) just as you thought.

Willie X
 

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