Cuckoo Clock Parts
The most common cuckoo clock parts sold is the bellows and the hands. The bellow tubes are usually good on the cuckoo, just the bellow tops have cloth that rip over time and therefore the clock will not cuckoo the time out.
So if this is the situation you do not need the entire cuckoo bellows as in CU1, you only need the tops as seen on CU4. If just replacing the tops it makes it a lot easier to get the correct size for your clock as the CU1 comes in only one size tops. To get the proper tops you only need to measure the length and width of the top only. You would snap off the old tops off of the bellow tubes and clean the surface with a knife, then epoxy the new tops on the same way, the same position. Then you would transfer the cuckoo lift rings from the old tops to the new ones and your done.
If the Cuckoo Will Not Cuckoo
This can be a many number of things why the bird will not come out or it will not cuckoo. It may be the same issue as if the bird can’t come out of the door. So check these things and see if it helps the issue.
1. There is a wire above the cuckoo door that locks it into position if the clock is being transported. It just acts as a lever and moves down to prevent the door from opening or up to allow the door to open. Be sure this is out of the way so the door can open.
2. There may be a silence lever if the cuckoo movement is equipped with one. This would be located on your left as you face the front of the clock or your right if you’re looking at the back of the cuckoo clock. If you have the type of cuckoo that has it sticking out of the side of the case, then this is easy. You just have to push it down. Usually up is off and down is on, but it may be different on your clock. Just move it to the opposite direction and see if the clock will cuckoo. If the movement has a silence switch that does not stick outside of the case, you would need to look at the back of the cuckoo with the back panel off. You will see a lever on your right as you face the back of the movement on the top right side. Push it down to activate the cuckoo again. Now keep in mind not all cuckoos have this feature as the manufacturer will sometimes just assume you will silence the cuckoo just by locking the bird door so it will not open.
3. Next thing to check is that there is nothing in the way of the chain that drives the strike side of the clock. One weight controls the time and the other the strike or cuckoo you can say. If there is anything rubbing the chain, such as the wood case, or if there is something preventing the weight from dropping, this will cause it not to cuckoo. Even the side of the chain that there is no weight attached to, that you pull to raise the weight, if this is caught up on something on the loose end it will cause it not to be able to travel in the upward direction and therefore the weight cannot drop to run the cuckoo sound.
Installing Cuckoo Clock Hands
1. Remove the old hands - To remove the cuckoo hands you will only need a pair of needle nose pliers. You hold the minute hand still (longer of the two hands) while you loosen the minute hand nut some with the needle nose by turning the nut in the counter clockwise direction.
Once the nut is loose, just turn to the left until it is off. Then the minute hand will come off with its round bushing that has a square hole in it. Remove the bushing out of the minute hand when it’s off of the clock, it is only a friction fit, just push it out or pry it out of the hand with a flat screwdriver. Now to take off the hour hand, this is only a friction fit so all you do is twist it and pull toward you at the same time and it will come off.
2. Installing the hands First you put the hour hand on (the shorter of the two hands) as a friction fit. Just push it onto the tube that is goes on. The tube it goes on is tapered although you may not be able to tell this by looking at it. So the more the hour hand is twisted and pushed down at the same time, the tighter it will be on the clock. Do not worry about having it point to the right time yet, we will do that later. Next you put the brass bushing with the square hole in it, on the clocks hand shaft arbor’s square portion. The flat side of the hand bushing will go toward the clock dial and the side with the ridge on it will point outward toward you. Now put the minute hand on (the longer of the two hands). You put this on the bushing and the ridges will somewhat lock it into place in the hole of the hand. Now put the hand nut on the threaded portion of the hand shaft as to sandwich the minute hand between the bushing and its nut. Now it’s time to set the hands to point to the correct time when the clock cuckoo’s.
3. Setting the cuckoo strike with the time Put the clock up on the wall and turn the minute hand to make the clock cuckoo out the top of the hour. Count the number of cuckoo’s the clock sounds out and point the hour hand to that number. For example, if there were 6 cuckoos you would point the hour hand to the six. The minute hand will require you to loosen the nut that holds it on some so you can turn the minute hand without turning the shaft that it is on at the same time. So you loosen the nut some and point the hand to the 12 representing the top of the hour at 6 o’clock. Retighten the minute hand nut while holding the minute hand still at the 12. Now you’re done, just check the next hour and see if it will point to the correct spots when it cuckoos again. It may take a couple of times to get it perfect but when it’s perfect it will stay that way.
Cuckoo Strike Quantity Issues
If the clock is striking 12 o’clock and then striking 12 o’clock again at 1 o’clock, or similar to this, here is the correction. This has to do with the mechanical components behind the dial. You would remove the hands and then also the dial.
1. Remove the hands. To remove the cuckoo hands you will only need a pair of needle nose pliers. You hold the minute hand still (longer of the two hands) while you loosen the minute hand nut some with the needle nose. Once the nut is loose, just turn to the left until it is off. Then the minute hand will come off with its round bushing that has a square hole in it. Remove the bushing out of the minute hand when it’s off of the clock, it is only a friction fit, just push it out or pry it out of the hand with a flat screwdriver. Now to take off the hour hand, this is only a friction fit so all you do is twist it and pull toward you at the same time and it will come off.
3. Remove the dial. Removing the dial is done after the hands are off. There is anywhere between 2 and 4 small nails holding the cuckoo dial on the clock. Sometimes, on rare occasions, the dial is glued to the clock case. Either way, it is the same method to remove the dial. You take a small flat head screwdriver and lift gently on the dial on one side and then the other until little by little it will come up and off the case.
Once the dial is off of the clock, take note of the saw tooth rack, it looks like you could saw something with it. It falls down on a snail looking thing that is on the same tube as the hour hand. This set up is called a rack and snail count system. There are at least 12 saw looking teeth on the rack, one tooth per hour totaling at least 12. As it falls on the graduated portions of the snail, it moves up one notch at a time, each tooth being one strike sound. The graduated portion of this snail that is located on the hour hand tube, has humps that represent the quantity of strikes 1 through 12. The highest hump is 1 o’clock as the saw tooth rack cannot drop down that far. The 12 is the deepest hump because it needs to expose 12 teeth on the rack so it must fall down the farthest.
If there is any error in the quantity of strikes a clock plays, the issue is in this area. The best thing to do is to make it strike over and over as you look at these components in action. There is usually no parts to buy to fix this (unfortunately for the author) and it’s usually just a matter of tweaking something here or there to let the rack fall as it should and when it should. Something to note is that if it strikes ONE and TWELVE ok, then the snail is on correctly and the rest of the hours will automatically be ok. So the goal is to be sure the clock strikes the 12 times ok and then the one o’clock also.
Cuckoo Door Will Not Close
The cuckoo door not closing could be a number of things. Please check the following to see if it solves the issue of the door not closing all the way.
1. If the pine cone weight that controls the cuckoo portion of the clock is not heavy enough then sometimes this can be the issue. You can pull down some on the currently used weight and see if the door shuts. If the below issues are checked, and the door only shuts when you pull the weight down some, then consider adding a heavier weight to the cuckoo strike side. It maybe the wrong weight to begin with.
2. The cuckoo clock movement may need oiling as least on the arms that make the bird go in and out of its house. Also, it is good to put a drop of clock oil on the door hinges and the connections for the wire that goes from the bird to the door.
3. Try bending up the wire that goes from the bird to the door. If you put an upward hump of a bend in this wire, it will basically be the same as shortening this wire. With a bent or shortened wire, the bird will not come out as far, but also the bird will pull the door shut more when it goes back in the clock case to sleep.
4. The arm that pushes the arm to make the bird come out, may need to get bent inward some. This may be tricky to see or get to, but sometimes there is a small side door on the side of the cuckoo clock case that you can open and see this wire, or arm, that pushes the arm that connects to the bird. Other times there is no door on the side of the case and you will need to do it from the back of the movement by taking the back panel off of the cuckoo case.
When looking at the back of the movement, this arm will be in a horizontal direction on the back right hand side of the clock movement. Your right as you look at the back of the movement that is. In some cuckoos this is even trickier to see or adjust as the right hand bellow tube maybe in the way and has to be removed. Locate this horizontal wire that is in the approximate middle of the movement, located on the strike train side, this is the wire that can get bent. This bending in of the wire more into the movement, will in turn make the door come out more. If bent out some toward the case side, will allow the bird to go in more and therefore the door will shut more.