I’m repairing a cuckoo clock that has a commonly-seen problem: one of the screws mounting the movement to the case has stripped its hole. Normally, I’d try filling the hole with a wood filler, but this time I tried something different: “Bushing” the hole with a plug of new wood.Continue reading Repairing a Clock Case’s Stripped Wood Screw Hole
Once I had the eBay cuckoo clock cleaned, adjusted, repaired, and running, I put the hands on. To my surprise, the minute hand kept slipping, no matter how I tightened the hand nut that’s supposed to hold it in place. The solution to this mystery lay in a troubleshooting video from a cuckoo clock seller in the Black Forest.Continue reading Problems Adjusting the Cuckoo Clock Minute Hand
A while ago I bought a beat up cuckoo clock on eBay, to practice cuckoo clock cleaning and repair. Its face was missing most of its numerals. In this post, I describe how to use a 3D printed template to glue the numerals on a cuckoo clock’s face.Continue reading Replacing the Numbers on a Cuckoo Clock Dial
An older clock has usually spent years in the company of a smoker or near a smokey fireplace, accumulating layers of tar, ash, and who knows what else. A simple dusting or cleaning with a wood polish won’t necessarily remove these layers of smoke, so when it’s time to clean a vintage clock, it doesn’t hurt to clean the case as well.Continue reading Cleaning the Cuckoo Clock Case and Figures
I’m in the process of cleaning and repairing a family musical cuckoo clock. I’ve watched a lot of videos on repairing cuckoo clocks, and have disassembled, cleaned, and repaired one cuckoo movement, so I think I’m as prepared as I can be for working on the clock movement.
The musical movement is another matter. What follows is a detailed How To that captures what I learned, what to do, and what not to do.Continue reading Cleaning and Adjusting a Cuckoo clock’s Musical Movement
My Ansonia kitchen clock had a loose warning pin – the pin that stops the clock’s gonging at the right time – so I decided to bite the bullet and do my very first actual metalworking, no-going-back, clock repair!Continue reading Replacing a Loose Warning Pin
Because of the economics of cuckoo clock repair, you can easily find old, dirty cuckoo clock movements on eBay for a fraction of what a new movement costs. These movements come with no documentation, so you get to work out which chains, weights, and bellows (cuckoo whistles) are right for them.
In this post I calculate the run time (1 day vs. 8 day) of a cuckoo movement I recently bought, and the Links Per Foot of the chain it uses. These two numbers tell me what parts to buy to make a clock case for this movement.Continue reading Is that Cuckoo a 1-day clock, or an 8-day clock?
In an earlier post I calculated the ideal pendulum period for the Korean clock by counting its wheels’ teeth (outer teeth) and pinions (inner teeth). This post is an update based on the errors I made while attempting to do the same for my second clock: the Ansonia kitchen clock.
What follows is a more detailed “how to” for calculating the pendulum period based on gear ratios.Continue reading Calculating a clock’s Ideal Pendulum Period, The Sequel
As I said in my previous post about the Ansonia Derby clock, it seems that long ago part of the upper gingerbread broke and the owner sawed off the rest, reducing the upper gingerbread to a simple arch. I’d like to create new gingerbread for this clock. To do that I need to unglue the original, cut remnant and glue my to-be-designed gingerbread in its place.Continue reading Loosening Antique glue Using heat
(first published on Needhamia.com in 2007)
I find the rose windows of Gothic cathedrals awe-inspiring. From the rigid formalism of Chartres to the flamboyant explosion of Tours, their marriage of geometry, philosophy, and aesthetics with stone and glass is awesome. Built at a time when science and spirit weren’t as divided as today, each window is a statement of the beauty, order, and harmony in the world. Using only a pair of compasses (dividers) and a straight-edge (an unmarked ruler), the Gothic architects created myriad lace-like designs, making stone hang in the air and glass sing.