Saturday, March 03, 2007

Unpack your Black Forest Clock, or Cuckoo Clock

Here are a few words on unpacking your new Black Forest clock. The pictures below are of a Rombach und Haas "Dumpling Eater," but the instructions can also be applied to unpacking almost any Black Forest clock - including Cuckoo Clocks!

North Coast Imports, Inc. is proud to use recycled and/or renewable materials in packaging. Enjoy the old-world charm as you unpack your new clock. These cherished pieces are lovingly packed by the careful clock makers in the Black Forest in Germany.

After carefully cutting the tape and opening the top of the box (find the top by paying attention to which way the lettering is facing on the ends of the box) lift the cardboard flap to reveal your exciting new timepiece.

Using two hands, carefully lift the top of the clock out first and sliding the clock upward and out of the cardboard surrounding the bottom of the clock.

The Dumpling Eater figure may have a plastic bag rubber-banded around. Carefully remove the rubber band and bag being careful not to disturb the delicate figure's moving arm.

There may be another rubber band around the figure itself. Use great care to remove this band.

Remove the back of the clock. You will have to push aside the metal latch and pry the door open (from the top) with a pen or screwdriver. It should come open easily.

Once the back is removed take a moment to admire the fine craftsmanship of the mechanical movement inside. This solid brass and steel mechanism is made according to hundreds of years of practice and modifications.

During shipment the pendulum leader (circled in red) may have jostled to the side. You should be able to easily push this leader back so that it falls through the slot - see following picture.

On the back of the clock you can remove the paper which deadens the sound of the gong during shipment. This paper may have already been knocked loose and might be floating around in the back of the case. It is not a problem. The paper does not protect the clock from any damage - it only keeps the clock silent during shipment.

Pictured above you can see a bag that bundles the chains together. Again, this bag does not protect the clock from damage. If this bag has fallen loose in the box no harm has come to your clock. Now is the time during unpacking when you can untwist the wire from around the bag. For now, let the chains hang free without the bag, but leave the wire threaded through the chain links.

The untwisted but still-threaded wire will allow you to handle the clock more easily before you hang it.

Now would be a good time to hang the clock. If the clock is an 8-day (as the dumpling eater is) you should find a stud and anchor a good-sized screw in at an angle. Hang the clock so that it hangs flat against the wall. In order to get a full run out of your chains you should hang the clock high enough so that the chains are just barely touching the floor. If you don't have room to let the chains hang all the way down it won't hurt the clock but you may find yourself winding the clock more often. Here is a good article on how to hang your weight-driven clock.

Clock packaging uses every millimeter of space. Be sure not to throw anything away because it might contain something important! This also points out why it is imperative to always double-box clocks for shipment. There is not enough soft packaging in the factory box to withstand domestic shipping.

Unwrap the pendulum.

Find the weights.

Once you have the clock securely hung you can remove the wire threaded through the chains. This wire was threaded through the chains to keep them from falling back into the clock and jamming the movement.

You will probably have to remove labels and tags that are hanging below to allow for a free swing of the pendulum.

Hang the weights on the BRASS HOOKS.

Hang the pendulum on the pendulum leader that falls through the slot.

This article was meant to give you a pictorial introduction to unpacking your clock only. Be sure to pay close attention to the instructions that came with the clock for other aspects of owning a mechanical clock. You can also frequently check this site for updates and helpful articles for the continued care of your timepiece.


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