Archive for the ‘Clocks’ Category

Basic Tips and Information on Cuckoo Clocks

posted by Karen Hood
Thursday, June 17, 2010

1) What does 8-day movement and 1-day movement mean?

There are basically 2 types of movements for cuckoo clocks.  The 8-day movement needs to be wound only once a week.  You can recognize a clock with 8-day movement by the larger pine cones (weights).  A cuckoo clock with 1-day movement runs for about 30 hours before you have to wind it again.  Remember to hang the clock high enough (about 6-1/2 feet high), otherwise you have to wind it more frequently.

2) What movement type is right for me?

If you are puting your cuckoo clock in a place where you won’t be every day, you might want to go with an 8-day clock, so you don’t have to reset the clock every time you aren’t able to wind it.  Usually 8-day clocks are more expensive than 1-day clocks because of the bigger movement, and they tend to be more intricately crafted as well.  So if you don’t mind winding your cuckoo clock once a day, a 1-day movement is a good choice, otherwise an 8-day movement is the way to go.

3) Is it difficult to rewind a cuckoo clock?

It is actually very simple and takes only a couple seconds.  Simply pull smoothly on the little ring on one side of the chain, until the pine cones are all the way up.  (I personally support the weights for 8- day clocks with one hand, while I wind it with the other.

4) What are the different styles of cuckoo clocks?

There a basically 2 main styles, the carved and the chalet style.  Carved- style cuckoo clocks usually have traditional carvings attached to the case, often themes inpired by nature, like animals and leaves.  Chalet-style cuckoo clocks look like alpine houses and often feature moving figurines and animals.

5) Why do some cuckoo clocks have 2 pine cones and others have 3?

Authentic Black Forest cuckoo clocks are mechanical clocks (no batteries required).  One pine cone drives the time, the 2nd drives the cuckoo bird and cuckoo sound, and if there is a 3rd weight, it will drive the musical movement.  So a cuckoo clock with 3 weights plays music and sometimes features moving figurines as well.

6) How difficult is it to initially set up a cuckoo clock?

It is quite simple.  Please refer to the manual section to see the setup instructions.  The most important thing to remember is to hang it on a strong nail (driven in a stud) or screw (picture hangers don’t work).

7) Why are cuckoo clocks so expensive?

Cuckoo clocks are are still handmade today, and it takes a lot of skill and manpower to make these mechanically driven wonders of engineering.  Cuckoo clocks often feature intricate carving work made by German master carvers, which makes a cuckoo clock a piece of art rather then a time piece.  Unfortunately the declining value of the Dollar is partially responsible for high prices as well.

8 ) How long do these clocks last?

The movements in these cuckoo clocks are engineered to last at least 30 years.  If you maintain them right, you will be able to pass them down to your kids or grandkids.

9) Do these clocks require a lot of maintenance?

Occacionally dust the clock, and carefully clean it on the outside with a damp cloth.  Occasionally open the lid in the back and remove dust and other build up. Get the movement oiled every 3-5 years.

10) I want the real thing.  How do I recognize an original Black Forest Cuckoo Clock?

All original Black Forest cuckoo clocks carry a certificate of authenticity by the Black Forest clock association.  In order to receive this certificate, a cuckoo clock has to operate mechanically, has to be handmade in the Black Forest, and all major parts have to be from the Black Forest.

Some very beautiful clocks are up for grabs at our online store, get yours here.

Troubleshooting and Shipping Information for Cuckoo Clocks

posted by Karen Hood
Thursday, June 17, 2010

After unpacking the clock the cuckoo (and the music with musical clocks) does not work  

Cuckoo Clock Care

Cuckoo Clock Care

Please follow the SETUP INSTRUCTIONS carefully when unpacking the clock. If the clock should not work in the end, please check the following points:   

1. Have the clamps been removed from the bellows inside the clock as described in the instructions (see picture)?   

2. Has the cuckoo’s door been “unlocked?”   You have to turn a little wire to the side that secured the door while shipping (see picture).   

3. Please check the position of the night shut-off.  The most common reason why cuckoo and music do not work is that they have been turned off.  With some clocks the night shut-off is a switch at the left side of the clock, with other types it is a wire under the clock (see picture).  CHECK both positions of the night shut-off and make sure that the switch is not “somewhere between” the ON and OFF position.   

After the cuckoo call the door stays open   

If you open the clock on the back, you will see a thin wire that starts at the bellows and goes up to the cuckoo.  This wire should move the cuckoo up and down a little while it calls.  It is not connected with the cuckoo, but usually ends under the cuckoo’s tail (see picture).  During shipping it may happen that this wire is turned above the cuckoo.  If it is above, it may block the cuckoo and the door.   

To fix this you can simply turn the wire around the cuckoo – carefully – so it is under the cuckoo’s tail again.  This should be quite easy if you open the cuckoo’s door (the cuckoo will move forward when the door is opened).   


The clock does not cuckoo on the full and on the half-hour, but at other times   

It is not the cuckoo that goes wrong, but the minute hand is in the wrong position.   

To adjust the hand, you should loosen the hand nut and reposition the minute hand to the proper hour, then retighten the hand nut.  If the cuckoo calls the wrong hour (cuckoos 3 times at 4 o’clock), loosen the hour hand by carefully pulling it off the shaft, move the hand to the 3 o’clock position once it is loose, and push it back onto the shaft.  Never adjust the time by moving the hour hand, since this will cause this exact problem.   

A chain is off the wheel   

If one of the weights always drops to the floor at once, the chain has fallen off the wheel.  Fixing this is not so easy; it will require patience.  To fix this pull the other chains fully up, remove all weights.  Take a piece of wire and secure the other chains under the clock’s case “as close as possible” to the bottom of the case (see picture).  This is VERY IMPORTANT, otherwise the other chains will fall of their wheels as well during the next step.  Take the clock from the wall, and open it on the back.  Now turn the clock upside down, and try to balance the chain back on the wheel.   

The clock runs too slow / too fast   

The pendulum is responsible for making the clock keep time.  If your clock runs too fast, you can move the pendulum disc down a little on the pendulum to correct this.  If the clock is running too slow, you have to move the pendulum disc up.  This should also be described in your clock’s setup instructions.  Keep in mind that moving the pendulum leaf or disc 1/8 inch (3 mm) on the pendulum stick is equal to a 3-minute change in a 24-hour period.   

How to prepare your clock for shipping back to us.  

Cuckoo Clock CareTo send a clock to a service station, pull the chains so the hooks are under the case.  Insert a piece of string, wire, or a twist wrap through all the chains as “close as possible to the case bottom.”   Bundle up the chains in a piece of aluminium foil, and tie up tightly with a rubber band, tape, or string.  This prevents the chains from coming off the wheels and creating a snarled mess of chains inside the clock.  

Put a strip of paper in the spiral gong on the inside of the back access panel.  Pack the clock in an oversize box with crushed newspaper (do not use Styrofoam peanuts), and then wrap and label the pendulum and place in the box.  Do not send the weights.  If there are any numbers on the weights ( 275 or 320, etc.), write them on a piece of paper, along with your name, address, phone number, your E-mail address, a short description of any problems, and enclose in box.

Musical Cuckoo Clock by Hubert Herr

posted by Karen Hood
Thursday, June 17, 2010

17 inch musical with dancerMusical cuckoo clock by Hubert Herr plays 2 tunes (Edelweiss, Happy wanderer). Nicely carved cuckoo clock with animals with top squirrel, musical dancers (“Glockenspiel”, the dancers turn around while the music plays), night shutoff to silence the cuckoo call and the music. Clock also features wooden dial and hand-painted wooden dancers. Musical cuckoo clock by Hubert Herr plays 2 tunes (Edelweis, Happy wanderer). Nicely carved cuckoo clock with animals with top squirrel, musical dancers (“Glockenspiel”, the dancers turn around while the music plays), night shutoff to silence the cuckoo call and the music. Clock also features wooden dial and hand-painted wooden dancers.