by | Dec 9, 2019

Bringing Cuckoo Clocks Back From Extinction, One Clock at a Time!

My Granddaughters say, "If your cuckoo is sick, our Papa will make it tick"!

Instructions for Unpacking and Hanging your Cuckoo Clock

  • Unpack the cuckoo clock with care! When removing the cuckoo clock from the box please hold it at the roof. Be sure to check and remove, from the box, the other parts such as pendulum, roof, and weights. At this point do not remove the twist ties and plastic bags from the chains. The chains will come off their sprockets when you lay it on its back if you remove these before the clock is hung on the wall. Please wait till instruction #6
  • Lay the cuckoo clock face down on a soft flat surface like a folded towel and open the back door by sliding the latch to the side. You can insert a small screwdriver, letter opener, chopstick, etc., into the square hole and gently pry the door off. Don't worry, they are all made this way and the door is a tight fit to resonate the sounds of the gong and the cuckoo whistles.
  • Once opened, be careful not to bend any of the wires in the clock. Remove the slip of paper from the gong wire (coil) on the back door. You will notice two red ribbons that are attached to bellows clips that say REMOVE. I make these to protect the bellows during shipping. Just pull the ribbons and the clips will come right off.
  • Now replace the back and turn the clock over. Open the bird door by gently moving the crank like latch to the left so the cuckoo can come out. If the clock has double doors open both latches. Now is a good time to attach the roof (also known as a crest or decorative headpiece) to the clock.
  • Hang the clock on a strong nail into a stud, or use a molly bolt which is secure in the wall at a slight upward slant. You can hang the clock at any level but you are best to hang it at least 6 1/2 ft or 78" off the floor. You don't want the chains or weights to touch the floor.
  • Remove the twist ties from the two small plastic bags, containing the cuckoo clock chains, that are located underneath the cuckoo clock. Undo any knots in the chain so they dangle freely. Now, after the clock has been hung, carefully undo the extra twist ties that are right at the base of the clock. These have prevented the chains from coming off the sprockets during shipping and unpacking.
  • Hang the weights on the hooks. If you have a 3 weight musical clock and one of the weights is heavier than the others, I will have marked it and given you instructions on which chain hook to put it on.
  • Hang the pendulum on the wire loop which will hang thru the elongated hole at the bottom of the clock. Make sure the clock is vertical and flush against the wall so that the pendulum will swing freely. Gently push the pendulum to one side to start the clock. If the clock is level on your wall the pendulum will have an even rhythmical beat. Contrary to popular myth it should sound more like tick,tick,tick rather than TICK tock,TICK tock, or TOCk, tic TOCK-tic. A clock that is not level will only run for a short time. I've set your clock to run best when level on the wall. You can put a level against the side which is best or put one underneath. A clock that is not level will not run over a few minutes.
  • To set the correct time, turn the minute hand (long hand) clock-wise to the correct hour. Stop at every half hour and hour to allow the clock to cuckoo and/or finish playing music until the correct time is attained. Once the clock is striking the correct hour, then move the hour hand to that hour. The hour hand is a press on fit. It can be moved either direction, but it may slip loose. Don't worry, just take both thumbnails and press on each side of the hand near the hole. It will just press back on. The hour hand does not affect the time-keeping.
    CAUTION! Some people write me saying that other clock repairers have told them they can move the minute hand in either direction. In theory, on clocks after 1950 that is true. I have found that theory and practicality don't always mix. Some clocks slip back easily and some don't. Also if there is a music box complication you can cause a world or trouble. My feeling is this. You've paid good money to have your treasured family possession restored. Take the time to move the minute hand clockwise, stopping at the half hour and the hour. Let it strike completely at both places, as well as let the music box play if there is one. It only takes a few minutes. Or you can risk it and risk sending it back to me with a broken part on the inside. I won't fix it for free if that part has been broken, because the only way to break it is to turn the minute hand counterclockwise.
  • To wind the clock, gently pull down on the loose chain (opposite chain the weight is on). The weight will rise to the bottom of the clock. You can wind the clock at anytime but it is best to wind it before it reaches the floor. If the clock has an 8 day movement please, gently lift up on the weight while pulling the opposite end of the chain.
  • The proper timing of the clock can be regulated by moving the pendulum leaf/ornament. If the clock gains time, push the pendulum leaf /ornament down along the stick. If the clock looses time, push the leaf/ornament up along the stick. Make the adjustments in small increments and let the clock run an hour or so and re-adjust if needed. You can remember this process by remembering "Lower is Slower".
  • Many models come with a night shut-off switch which turns the cuckoo and/or music off. The shut-off lever is located on the side of the clock or can be a push-pull rod located underneath the clock.

Helpful hints to good clock performance

  • If your clock is hanging on a nail that is too long, it may interfere with the inner workings of the movement. Be sure your nail is no longer than 3/4 inch from the wall and is at an upward angle.
  • In winding the clock, pull the chain gently straight down. Don't pull to one side or pull it towards you. Teach your children at a young age how to pull straight down on the weights. Do not pull on the weights, all that will do is spread open chain links and possibly stop the clock. Rewind the clock before the weights reach the floor.
  • If the hour hand (the smaller hand) is loose, it can be tightened by pressing towards the center opening on the clock dial.

MOST IMPORTANT -- Now Sit Back and Enjoy Your Cuckoo Clock!