Sizing bellows & tubes on 1901 cuckoo clock. . .

Jim Smith

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Sep 9, 2020
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Hi All,

New to the forum, but have been reading lots. Just acquired my grandparent's 1901 cuckoo clock (date stamped on the inside), that I am restoring. My mom indicated that "it never 'cuckooed'", and that is because the bellows and tube were removed at some point. The screws and pins for the tubes are still in place.

I'm now trying to size appropriate bellows/tube combinations from clockworks.com, and ideally would like the output of the tubes to be roughly centered in the ports on the clock's walls. The ports are roughly centered 5 inches up from the inside floor of the clock. Any advice on sizing? I'm guessing something between 6 inches and 6 3/4 inches.

Pictures include the front (without the top decorative part attached), left inside, right inside and full inside pictures.

Thanks for any input!

cuckoo1.jpg cuckoo2.jpg cuckoo7.jpg cuckoo5.jpg
 

roughbarked

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Dec 2, 2016
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You should see the shadow of the cuckoo on the inner walls of the case. This should give you the length and width of the box part of the cuckoo. The top(including bellows measurement is also required when ordering. It is usually just a little wider and longer than the sound box (longer because it usually sits flush at the back). It also needs to fit comfortably into the space.
 

Jim Smith

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Sep 9, 2020
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You should see the shadow of the cuckoo on the inner walls of the case. This should give you the length and width of the box part of the cuckoo. The top(including bellows measurement is also required when ordering. It is usually just a little wider and longer than the sound box (longer because it usually sits flush at the back). It also needs to fit comfortably into the space.
Thanks -- that's exactly what I did. In addition, here are some photos of the G.K. (George Kuehl) movement.


cuckoo_movement_back.jpg cuckoo_movement_front.jpg

I also discovered that the reason my bird won't sing isn't just because the bellows have been removed. I'm missing a ratchet (please correct my terminology) from the wheel that is driven by the weight for driving the cuckoo. I've taken a picture of the ratchet that is still extant on the time side of the movement. So, I guess I'll go looking for junk clocks or try to fabricate my own ratchet. It appears that it is pinned (riveted) in, as opposed to screwed. cuckoo_makers_mark.jpg cuckoo_missing_piece.jpg
 

tom427cid

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Mar 23, 2009
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Hi all,
It has been my experience that the whistle (that's the whole thing) size on a clock of this vintage generally had whistles that almost touched the floor of the case and the sound aperture was pretty much centered or slightly above center in the opening of the case side. Also the bellows were the trapezoidal shape. You might have to add a little bit of weight to improve the sound. And to keep things looking "correct" I use marbleized paper. You can find it looking for bookbinding supplies.
Hope this helps. You have a nice clock that deserves some tlc.
Just to add the wire that activates the bird is mounted on the left bellows as you look from the back and that whistle is also the low note.
 
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