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
I just now learned how the great wheels – the mainspring gears – work, by finding they didn’t work correctly in my Korean clock. The strike train Tension Washer, that is supposed to hold the gear firmly against the ratchet, has come loose. …so I had to disassemble the clock, after it had run fine for over 11 days.Continue reading Clock Repair 101: How the Great Wheel Works
In my previous post about this clock I ordered a replacement pendulum suspension rod and bob, because the originals were missing. In this post I cut the suspension rod to length and adjust the speed of the clock, using audio recording to measure the timing of the tick-tock.Continue reading Clock Repair 101: Adjusting the Korean Clock Speed
Since I was making good progress on my first clock, I decided to haunt the antique malls looking for a second one to repair. I wasn’t really planning to buy a clock until I’d finished the first, but I found the perfect second clock to work on.
I found it in an antique mall in Hillsboro (Oregon). It’s a mantel clock – a Kitchen Clock – similar to my family Seth Thomas clock that is my eventual target for repair (once I know what I’m doing). It also fit the bill of a) not working well, and b) not worth a lot.Continue reading The Second Clock: A Craft-Altered Ansonia Derby
In my previous post I calculated the theoretical length of the pendulum my Korean 30-day clock requires. You may recall that the clock as I bought it had a broken pendulum suspension spring, and the pendulum parts – the suspension rod and bob – were missing. In this post I order replacement pendulum parts.Continue reading Clock Repair 101: Ordering Replacement Parts