Schmeckenbecher Wood Cutter Clock Questions

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Chris M., Jun 20, 2019.

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  1. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Sep 15, 2018
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    Working on a E. Schmeckenbecher wood cutter cuckoo clock ca 1974. Have the movement cleaned and bushed and running well. Put it back in the case for testing and the strike and time trains are working well but having some issues with the music box train. 1) Does anyone know how the chain should be installed with how many twists and in which direction to get the water wheel, animation and music box to run properly? The chain was uninstalled when clock was purchased so I don't have an example to look at. I made my best guess and the chain fell off the music box chain wheel after a few trial runs. Reinstalled with another best guess and it is so far running the wheel and the music box, but the chain seems to slip occasionally like it's slipping off of a chain wheel tooth occasionally. 2) Also, the music box seems to run a little fast. Any simple tricks to slow the music box down short of modifying the governor? See pics - one pic has no chain installed and the other pic has my best guess. Thank you. Chris

    74woodcutter1.JPG 74woodcutter2.JPG
     
  2. bangster

    bangster Moderator
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    I see the felt wheel where it drives the water wheel, but I don't see anything about woodchoppers. Where do they enter into this picture? Show us pictures of the front of the clock where the woodchoppers are,please.
     
  3. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    I have attached photos of the front of a woodcutter clock showing the wood chopper, but the issue is how the chain interacts with the chain wheel and the water wheel drive wheel. i.e. how does the chain course around the drive wheel and chain wheel - a twist in the chain below the drive wheel and a twist above the drive wheel? A counter clockwise twist in the chain? A clockwise twist in the chain? etc. I have attached a marked up photo that shows the wire that runs the wood chopper on the front. It runs on that star cam that is attached to the chain wheel. The red arrows show the wire as it comes through the case and then interacts with the star cam. The wood chopper part of the animation is working fine as long as the chain is running the chain wheel of the music box. Note: the two guys with the saw are run by the pendulum so not part of the music box animation. Thanks, Chris

    74woodcutter1.JPG woodcutterfront1.PNG woodcutterfront2.PNG
     
  4. disciple_dan

    disciple_dan Registered User

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    It looks like a counterclockwise wrap around the waterwheel driver might be worth and try. I see some deformed links in the chain too, you might want to address that.
     
  5. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    The sawers run off the crutch. Usually the water wheel and chopper run off the music box. The water wheel should turn very easily (that could be your problem) and the chain just rubs against it. I turns with just friction from the chain and weight. The chopper sound is created at the upper pulley, using a wire.
     
  6. Peter John

    Peter John Registered User
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    I think you have the chains wrong. The chain coming off the back of the clickwheel should go across the front of the waterwheel rubber pulley. That end of the chain should have the weight on it. The chain coming off the front of the clickwheel should just drop thru the front hole in the bottom of the case.
     
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  7. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    What Peter just said.

    The front chain should be a straight vertical drop to the hole and the rear (weight) chain should have a slight offset where it touches the rubber roller.

    This often doesn't work very well, because the rubber roller has hardened, shrunk, worn, etc.

    Willie X
     
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  8. Oldbo

    Oldbo New Member

    Jan 16, 2016
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    I happen to have a similar clock right behind me. See picture for chain run.
    In order to restore some "stickiness" to the rubber wheels I have found that adding one tight wrap of self amalgamating rubber tape helps.

    clock chain.jpg
     
  9. Chris M.

    Chris M. Registered User
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    Thanks. That seems to be the ticket for the proper chain wrap. Makes perfect sense now. The rubber wheel seems to be engaging the chain ok. I will remember the rubber tape trick for next time though.

    Any hints or tricks to slow the music box down some - it is really fast. The governor fan doesn't seem to be slipping but I guess I am not absolutely sure. When the whip touches the fan it stops the music box or if I stop it with my finger it stops, so no obvious problems with the fan slipping. Not really wanting to put a different governor in if I can avoid it. This one seems to be in good shape. Could the synthetic clock oil be to slippery! Music sounds like it's on caffeine! Thanks!
     
  10. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    #10 Willie X, Jun 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2019
    You could try one size lighter on the MB weight.
    Your clock probably came with 320gm weights.

    BTW, the wire "whip" doesn't stop the MB. It is stopped by a small brass projection being pulled into the fan from the other side. The wire whip only comes into play during warning and is released at the hour (or?) half hour drop off. Except during this time the wire whip should remain about 1 mm distant from the fan.

    WIllie X
     
  11. Peter John

    Peter John Registered User
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    The music on the woodchopper cuckoo is faster than one would think it needed to be. The woodchopper really would like to get his job done quickly. Peter
     
  12. Corey R

    Corey R New Member

    Jul 18, 2019
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    Howdy, folks. I'm going to swerve into this conversation only because I have the same clock and have a question. This forum and thread have been helpful in my getting a recently acquired 1969 model of this woodchopper clock running. I managed to get my clock functioning "almost" properly with one exception. The number of cuckoos chimed does not match the hour (it's either 5 hours ahead or 7 hours behind). What's the proper way to adjust the cuckoo count to match the time? Pictures will be helpful!

    Thanks!
     
  13. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    Just turn the short hand to where it needs to be ... The shaft is slightly tapered so if the hand loosens push it inward to tighten it on its shaft. Don't push it in to hard or it may break. Most will have a little tab on the side opposite the hand. This is for your thumbnail to push against, very convenient. Willie X
     
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  14. Corey R

    Corey R New Member

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    Thanks! That did it! My clock is now about 95% fully functional. I have the problem with the water wheel rubber wheel not being "sticky" enough. It turns when it wants to, but it turns better now that the chain is routed properly (as discussed higher up in this thread). If there is a way to make it more sticky without taking the clock apart, I will give that a try. I saw the reference to amalgamating rubber tape, but I neither know where to get it nor how best to apply it.

    Thank you for the quick response!
     
  15. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    You could try roughing up the surface with a wire brush. It should turn pretty easy on it's axle, and not need a lot of pressure against it. You might have to look at that part for a better solution.
     

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