Sluggish Cuckoo

Discussion in 'Clock Repair' started by Selenaserval, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. Selenaserval

    Selenaserval Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    25
    2
    3
    Female
    Jeweler, Disaster Recovery Coordinator
    Washington State
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    My older 8 day cuckoo clock with a newer Regula movement has a sluggish cuckoo bird! He is sluggish and hesitant on the first cuckoo, then he speeds up for the rest of the cuckoos. Do I just need to adjust the bellow lift arm up a a little higher? I did adjust the two arms because the back one for the higher pitched whistle was hanging up on the arm for the lower note (or second) whistle. Maybe I inadvertently messed things up. Does this problem sound familiar to anyone? Also, it doesn't cuckoo on the half hour. Maybe it's not supposed to? The half hour is the only time the clock seems to have the slightest gong. I know I need to adjust the gong hammer a little more. Odd that it will hit ever so slightly on the half hour, but not at all on the hour.

    Cuckoo Albert Schwab.jpg Cuckoo Albert Schwab movement.jpg
     
  2. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

    Sep 8, 2009
    416
    9
    18
    Coplay, PA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    What size weights do you have? They should be 1260g. I can't see any problems with the bellow lifting arms or wires, but the bellow on the left seems to have a strange covering on it. If it's stiff, that could stall the movement when it tries to open that bellow or it could be trying to open too far. Try holding the clock and watching the operation of the bellows. You can just pull the chain by hand.

    It should do one gong and cuckoo on the half hour. Not sure how you're only getting a faint gong and no cuckoo. If the movement is stalling after it hits the gong on the half hour, I would think it would stay that way and not be able to run at the top of the hour.

    It is an older movement, probably from the 70's, so it may just need a rebuild is another thought.
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  3. Clocks In The Grove

    Clocks In The Grove Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    80
    7
    8
    Male
    Oregon
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Look to see if the star wheel (the black wheel on the back of the movement) starts to rotate before the any of the levers are lifted. Levers should not be in contacted until wheel starts to turn.
    ..Bob..
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,020
    700
    113
    The cuckoo bellows have different weights in them. Someone may have put a 1-Day bellow in your clock instead of the 8-Day type which has a lighter weight. The bellow lift is also less on a 8-Day. The lift should be about 1/2". Regula has been recommending a 1500 gm weight for there 8-Day clocks for quite a while now. If a cuckoo movement is worn out, it is usually obvious, with those thin plates the pivots are easy to see jumping around.
    Willie X
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  5. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

    Dec 7, 2011
    2,018
    28
    48
    watchmaker
    sydney Australia
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    That's a shame, not the original movement to the much older case
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  6. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

    Sep 8, 2009
    416
    9
    18
    Coplay, PA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It looks to me like they are the original (one day) bellow tubes with one new top (on the right) and one 'possibly modified' original top on the left. Does that mean they won't work with this movement?
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  7. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    2,237
    119
    63
    Male
    Carson City, Nevada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    It does look like original tubes with a new top, but usually they are mounted at the same height above the bottom board if they are a matched size. The right one with the new top appears to be mounted a bit lower? That would affect the lift of the bellows.
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  8. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,020
    700
    113
    It's the bellows top that has the weight in it, doesn't matter about the whistle, as long as it whistles. The weight is a steel slug on the top of the bellow top. It is in a drilled recess and covered with the decorative paper. Easy to check, just use an Exacto knife to cut the decorative paper and lift out the slug. The weights should match. The one day weights are thicker or larger in diameter than the 8-Day weights. If you are using an old bellow top it might be way to heavy.
    Willie X
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  9. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
    12,020
    700
    113
    Just took a closser look at those bellow tops. A pair of new 8-Day bellow tops (large but rectangular). Might be all you need. 1-Day tops are fine with a slightly lower lift. Not sayin that you don't have other trouble but the present mismatched tops need to be changed. Changing the complete whistle is easier but if the sound is good, I would stay with old whistles and just change the tops. Willie X
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  10. Selenaserval

    Selenaserval Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    25
    2
    3
    Female
    Jeweler, Disaster Recovery Coordinator
    Washington State
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    #10 Selenaserval, Jan 27, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    The bellow top on the right is a nice newer one, and is triangular. The left one was older, with brown leather, and was falling apart. So I used paper from a 3-m Tyvek priority mail envelope and rebuilt it. I think that's not ideal, because the paper is a little stiffer than replacement bellow paper you can buy online. I'll check in the weight slot under the paper to see if anything is in there. Maybe I need to get some better paper, or just order a new bellow top. Since trying to adjust the lift arms, and adjust the gong hammer, my clock will only run for about a minute, and is back to cuckooing a random number of times. My gong wire is really old, and is not lying flat and low like it should. It is so old that the nut that holds it on seems to be fused in place. I think I must take it off to bend it so it will be in a better position, and not touching the whistle towers.
     
  11. Selenaserval

    Selenaserval Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    25
    2
    3
    Female
    Jeweler, Disaster Recovery Coordinator
    Washington State
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The picture of the movement I posted was of the original bellows, prior to my restoration of the left bellow. It is definitely stiffer than the right one, which works very nicely. Who carries good bellow tops? Thanks to all for your input and advice. It is much appreciated.
     
  12. THTanner

    THTanner Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jul 3, 2016
    2,237
    119
    63
    Male
    Carson City, Nevada
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Timesavers.com and Blackforest both have them. Not too expensive but you need to measure the length and width and know where the hole is located. They are usually sold in pairs and are catalogued for 8 day and 1 day and some specials. It is fine to call them instead of ordering online. They are very helpful.
     
  13. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

    Feb 5, 2011
    5,023
    24
    38
    Clockmaker/Watchmaker
    Chiefland,Fl.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I hate to rain on your parade but that movement is naaas-ty,needs a proper overhaul. Sluggish starts is a sure sign of power loss. Your clock should strike the half hour,you may have an issue with the lifting lever or strike cam on the center shaft. Making your own bellows from either cuckoo paper or hide is the best way to go. Hide is pricey so only use it for clocks that had hide originally.
     
  14. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

    Sep 8, 2009
    416
    9
    18
    Coplay, PA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Maybe you could try removing the wire for the left bellow to verify it's causing the problem? Just be aware the lifting lever may jam because the wire isn't holding it up anymore. You should be able to tie it up somehow so it works. If it runs properly, then the bellow is most likely the issue. If it doesn't, it's looking more like the movement needs an overhaul.

    I don't think you need to remove that nut holding the gong. If the coil is touching one of the bellow tubes, move the bellow a little. You should be able to look through the side doors with a flashlight to check the clearances. You can also bend the gong coil itself. The flat part in the center is where you make the adjustment, then adjust the hammer to match it.
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  15. kinsler33

    kinsler33 Registered User

    Aug 17, 2014
    2,911
    257
    83
    Male
    Science teacher, writer
    Lancaster, Ohio, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    That movement looks like it needs at least a cleaning. The difficulty is that 8-day cuckoos have rather light weights for an 8-day clock and thus don't have much power to work with. Hence even a slightly sticky pivot on a cuckoo-train wheel will cause all sorts of odd symptoms.
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  16. Chris D

    Chris D Registered User

    Sep 8, 2009
    416
    9
    18
    Coplay, PA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    May be a candidate for an 'intact cleaning'?
     
  17. Jay Fortner

    Jay Fortner Registered User

    Feb 5, 2011
    5,023
    24
    38
    Clockmaker/Watchmaker
    Chiefland,Fl.
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:

    No such thing!
     
  18. Selenaserval

    Selenaserval Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    25
    2
    3
    Female
    Jeweler, Disaster Recovery Coordinator
    Washington State
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
     
  19. Clocks In The Grove

    Clocks In The Grove Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 3, 2011
    80
    7
    8
    Male
    Oregon
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    So, Selenaserval, the problem was the star wheel starting under load because the lever rested on the cam? Hope your star wheel is held on with a set screw and you did not have to use a wheel puller to get it off for repositioned.
    Levers are lifted in this order:
    1)Gong lever
    2) Hi note lever
    3) Low note lever
    Gong lever should be close to but not touching star wheel cam.

    THE CLOCK REPAIR FIRST READER, By Philip E Balcomb has a good section on cuckoo clocks.
    Cuckoo movements are okay to work on but I do NOT like roof mounted music boxes.
    I hope your bird is cuckooing to you in a good clear voice.
    ..Bob..
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  20. Selenaserval

    Selenaserval Registered User

    Jan 9, 2018
    25
    2
    3
    Female
    Jeweler, Disaster Recovery Coordinator
    Washington State
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Thank you so much for the information Bob. I'll check out the book you mentioned, and will be studying! Lol :) The cuckoo bird does have a good, clear voice. On another note, some of my jewelry making tools can do double duty, however I need to buy some clock repair tools.
     
  21. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    40,799
    732
    113
    Male
    Self employed interpreter/clock repairer
    Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    The star wheel has a set screw that can be loosened. Turn the wheel so the train stops right when the last call is made. That will give you some lag time when it starts again to get up to speed before the lift begins.
     
    Selenaserval likes this.
  22. bangster

    bangster Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Jan 1, 2005
    19,293
    328
    83
    utah
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Listen to what Grove (Bob) say. If the star wheel is "on the lift" at the start of the strike, it will start out slowly, just as you describe.
     
    Selenaserval likes this.

Share This Page