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Q: Koo Koo clock setting ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Koo Koo clock setting
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: jodymcbrayer-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 08 Apr 2005 21:33 PDT
Expires: 08 May 2005 21:33 PDT
Question ID: 507064
I have a koo koo clock from Germany.  My father gave it to me before
he died.  I have no idea how to set it or make it work.  It has 3
heavy weights on the bottom and two doors at the top.  How do I make
this thing work?
Subject: Re: Koo Koo clock setting
Answered By: alienintelligence-ga on 08 Apr 2005 23:50 PDT
Hi jodymcbrayer,

From the description, your clock
is one of the more highly prized.
A 7 or 8 day Cuckoo clock with
dancers that are accompanied
by music. Something like this.
[ ]

That is why there are 3 weights
as opposed to the common 
2 weights. One weight for the
clockworks, one weight for the
chime and one weight that drives 
the dancers and their music.

Has the clock always been in an 
upright position? If not, the
chains may have jumped teeth on
the gears. It's important to check
that before attempting to set the 
clock in motion. 

To check the chains you will
have to look through either of
the sight-holes that may be on
the vertical sides. Or open the
access panel on the back. Only
do this while the clock is sitting
somewhere safely in an upright

You can see the chain-wheels, 
clockworks, dancers, music 
drum and bellows in this image:
[ ]
[ ] <-large image

A closer image of the chain-wheel
with chain strung properly. The
sight-hole is visible to the left.
[ ]
[ ] <-large image

The chain can be returned to the
chain-wheels by removing the 
weights, coiling the chains and 
securing them with wire or string
so they won't slip off.

The clock should be turned upside
down and the chain balanced
upon the chain-wheel. Return the 
clock to upright when done.

Once you have ensured the chains
to be in their proper place, and
the clock is hanging at least 7 ft
from the floor, you can bring the
weights to their topmost position.

You do this by pulling the free
part of the chain. The part of the
chain with no weight attached.
There should be three chains that 
hang free. 

You pull each in succession
til the weight is drawn up to
the body of the clock. You 
should do this gently and with 
even force. Do not allow the 
weight to strike the body of 
the clock. 

How long the clock will run is
related to the distance of the clock 
from the floor. The weights may 
end up on  the floor after a certain 
amount of time and if the clock
is mounted  too low, the clock 
will stop too soon.

When setting the time, you should 
only move the hands in a clockwise
fashion. Only move the minute hand.

I have been told that you should
let the clock strike each position
you pass while setting the clock
otherwise the clockworks could
get damaged. To avoid this, I
have seen people let the time
catch up to their clock.

Being the impatient type, I
tend to run quickly through the 
half hours and hours, stifling
them and only allowing the last 
to one ring out. My clock still 
works, and it's an antique.

You will at least want to have
noon or midnight ring out to
make sure the works are moving
smoothly. Not only that but
you will want to count to make
sure the cuckoos are agreeing
with the hour. If not, you will have 
to gently loosen the thumb-nut
that tensions the hands in place,
move them by hand to the proper
time and retension the hands.

Is the carved leaf/pendulum present?
It needs to be suspended properly
from the pendulum support wire and 
it needs to swing freely as well.

Now that you have pulled the weights
up and set the time properly you can
gently nudge the leaf pendulum into
motion. You should hear an even
rhythmic tick. Both sides should
sound even in cadence and pitch.

Here is an excerpt from a clock
webpage that describes how to set 
the rhythm of the pendulum if it is off:
[ ]
"Putting a cuckoo in beat
    In beat is term that means to make the tick and the tock
evenly spaced. A cuckoo that is out of beat would run for a bit
and then stop unless its tilted crooked on the wall. When you
tilt a cuckoo clock on the wall, it is the same thing as
adjusting the beat. You will notice the tick tock sound is not
spaced evenly depending on how tilted the clock is. A cuckoo the
is out of beat when the clock is straight and level can be
corrected fairly simply."

"    Take the weights off the clock, take the pendulum off, take
the clock off the wall, and take the back off. Your now looking
at the wire the pendulum hangs on going straight up the center.
Now look at the wire that whacks this pendulum wire back and
forth, this wire is called a verge. To bend this verge one way
or the other makes the clock either in beat or out of beat. Best
to bend it in the middle with your fingers one way or the other,
not on the top because if you bend it on the top to often, it
loosens up the wire at its connecting point. Its kind of tricky
to do this without a cuckoo clock stand, its just trial and
error with the process of bending the verge a bit and then
trying it on the wall with its weights and pendulum. A cuckoo
stand is to pieces of wood supporting the clock up and level so
you can work on it while looking at the back of the clock. With
this it is easy to bend the verge without taking the weights and
pendulum off, if your working on many cuckoos, it would be
worthwhile making a stand such as this. Two parallel running 1
inch square strips of wood that are about an inch and a half
spaced between them is all you need. How the wood is supported
in the air is up to you as long as at least one of the strips
can be moved back and forth to take different clocks and the
boards a laying level. "

After a few days you will notice
if the clock is running fast or slow.
The leaf pendulum can be adjusted
by sliding the leaf up and down on
the 'stem'. Up to make it run faster,
down to make it run slower. I would
suggest removing it from the clock
to make the adjustment. 

I hope my descriptions were vivid 
enough to help you get your clock

Please ask for any clarifications
you might need or any additional
pictures you would like for me to
take of my clock, to help you.


Search terms used:
"Cuckoo Clock"
[ :// ]

Additional Resources:
My grandmother's clock

Good luck and don't forget to ask for any clarifications
you might need before you accept this answer.

Subject: Re: Koo Koo clock setting
From: nchantedinoz-ga on 29 May 2005 06:49 PDT
Hi there,

WOW! I just read your reply about the Cuckoo clock - fantastic description.
I have a Cuckoo question of my own.

I have a Cuckoo, approx 25 years old from West Germany. I think its
just a one dayer.

Its been in storage for about 8 years and I can't get it to work. 
I've made the mistake of taking the chains off and fiddling. I got
them back on with no trouble, but now, I don't know which end the
weights should go on!!! Looking at the back of the clock, the chain on
the right only wants to travel one way, I dont know if somethings
broken or wrong with it, or whether I'm doing something wrong!!

I've been looking at cuckoo clocks on the net tonight to see if say
both weights should be on the outside, with both pulling chains in the
centre, or the weights on each left hole, but clocks seem to be all
different!! Im confused!

If you have the time, I'd love to find out what Im doing wrong!

Take care

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