Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Cuckoo lifting wire

Sometimes, after years of good use or a day of jostling during shipping, a cuckoo bird's tail can become lodged so that the bird stops calling. If this happens to your cuckoo clock, your bird may not be able to fit back inside its door once it is outside.

Like most care for mechanical clocks, the adjustment is easy to make if you can see what you are doing. This article should provide you with visual guides to help you adjust your clock properly. As always, if you are applying any kind of significant force STOP IMMEDIATELY. None of these simple adjustments should require any kind of real effort, and if you find that you are forcing anything you should call a clock care professional.

Below you can see a picture of the inside of a typical cuckoo clock.

Notice the placement of the bellows and whistles (the long wooden tubes to the left with the white tops) and the long wire sticking out of the top of one of the bellows. Your cuckoo clock may have one bellow and whistle on each side, rather than both on one side (as pictured). Still, there should be a wire sticking out of the top of one of the bellows.

Pictured below, you can see a closeup of the same picture showing how this wire should be underneath the tail of the cuckoo bird.

When the cuckoo door is closed the bird should be fully inside the clock case. Below you can see a picture of how the gray lifting wire (extending from the top of one of the bellows) is below and underneath the bird's tail. The tail may be resting on this wire at the closed position.

If your cuckoo is not performing its regular call, or if it is stuck outside of the clock case or wont go back into the house, your clock may have the following problem. The following picture shows the cuckoo bird's tail in the INCORRECT position.

Notice in this picture how the bird's tail is BELOW its lifting wire.

To solve this problem, you need to gently lift the cuckoo tail and move the lifting wire below the tail.

You might consider gently pushing the wire forward (away from the viewer in these pictures, towards the front of the clock) and a little down, so that the bird's tail does not slip past the wire in the up position. In other words, you can gently lift the lifting wire extending from the bellow to check that the bird's tail does not fall off and again get stuck on top of the lifting wire.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Adjustments to feeding-bird cuckoo clocks

Pay special attention to this article if you have a feeding-bird cuckoo clock, especially the models 8207 and 8307. These fine clocks may require special attention for proper care and enjoyment.

If your clock only sounds one note of the cuckoo call but otherwise runs perfectly, this article will be of great help to you. It is possible that, during shipping, the large, finely-carved, animated bird gets knocked slightly out of place. This requires a very simple adjustment.

Listen to your cuckoo call. If you only hear a "CUCK," but no "COO," the following information should help you.

The following two pictures show the outside of the clock (focusing on the feeding bird) and the inside of the clock after opening the back door to the clock. Notice the placement of the bird in this, its at-rest position.

Notice that the beak of the carved bird is down, close to the baby chicks it is feeding. Notice also that there is a corresponding wire on the inside of the clock that rests down against the floor of the clock case. This can be more easily seen in the following pictures.

If your bird is stuck upwards (its beak is up towards the sky) gently turn the bird according to the green arrows. While doing this, notice the corresponding wire (circled above in green) on the inside of the clock comes down as well. It is important that this wire should correspond to the bird. When the bird is down (as pictured) the wire should be down (as pictured).

Most likely, if your clock only sounds one note of the cuckoo call, your carved bird got itself stuck too far up and it will be a simple release to allow the carved bird to drop to its proper at-rest position.

These adjustments should be very very easy to do and no forcing should be necessary. If you are forcing in any way, be sure to call a clock specialist.