Addition of fine adjustment to cuckoo clock?

Thread: Addition of fine adjustment to cuckoo clock?

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  1. #1
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    Addition of fine adjustment to cuckoo clock?

    I have a cuckoo clock that is about 20 years old. It has a simple wooden stick with a weight that is attached to it with a crimped piece of sheet metal. You adjust the speed by sliding the weight up or down the stick assuming that it stays in place. Well, it no longer does (stay in place). Not to mention that it is very finicky to adjust - I'd really like to know that 1/2 turn = 2 minutes per week or whatever it comes out to, rather than "slide it up a whisker to make it faster"...

    I'd like to retrofit a mechanism that uses a screw, but maintain the look of the simple cuckoo clock design. Pics as follows:

    Cuckoo clock overall:
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Size:  1.31 MB

    Detail of cuckoo clock pendulum with friction adjustment mechanism:
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    Detail of screw type adjustment mechanism:
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    Any suggestions?
    -dnw

    Tissot PRC 200 T055.427.11.057.00
    Citizen Eco-Drive Stiletto AR1050-53E
    Orient Multi-Eyes White CET06001W

  2. #2
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Addition of fine adjustment to cuckoo clock?

    A pendulum could be adjusted by shifting the entire rod and pendulum assembly with a threaded screw attached at the top of the suspension spring. Commonly seen on mantle clocks with timing adjustment done thru the dial. Difficult but not impossible to retrofit on an existing movement.

    Or a pendulum can be adjusted by sliding on the rod. It might be possible to fix a long screw with standoffs to the rod. A nut would serve as a stop. Then a pin attached to the pendulum bracket could be adjusted to ride on the nut.

    Honestly I doubt that the results will be worth the bother.

    When I was growing up my dad kept a cuckoo clock in somewhat passable time by making sure the movement was clean and lightly lubed and working carefully with the pendulum.
    Last edited by John MS; 2 Weeks Ago at 16:09. Reason: typo

  3. #3
    Member ned-ludd's Avatar
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    Re: Addition of fine adjustment to cuckoo clock?

    The shaft wood looks pretty soft. Why not drill a series of holes for a thin pin/nail that will stop the weight sliding down? Adjust the length by moving the pin to a different hole.

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    It doesn't offer the truly fine adjustment a screw would provide but it is a cuckoo clock after all.

    You only need to drill holes when needed. See that I've put offset holes on either side so you can get a finer adjustment without unduly weakening the shaft.

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  5. #4
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    Re: Addition of fine adjustment to cuckoo clock?

    Quote Originally Posted by John MS View Post
    A pendulum could be adjusted by shifting the entire rod and pendulum assembly with a threaded screw attached at the top of the suspension spring.
    Quote Originally Posted by ned-ludd View Post
    The shaft wood looks pretty soft. Why not drill a series of holes for a thin pin/nail that will stop the weight sliding down? Adjust the length by moving the pin to a different hole.

    It doesn't offer the truly fine adjustment a screw would provide but it is a cuckoo clock after all.

    You only need to drill holes when needed. See that I've put offset holes on either side so you can get a finer adjustment without unduly weakening the shaft.
    Two very interesting ideas. I need to think on it more. Option 1 would appeal more to my engineering mind but Option 2 seems more in keeping with the gritty/primitiveness* of the clock.

    *as if precision brass cut gears, cogs etc. are such... but still - it's the overall "feel" of the clock.

    Thanks for the ideas guys!
    -dnw

    Tissot PRC 200 T055.427.11.057.00
    Citizen Eco-Drive Stiletto AR1050-53E
    Orient Multi-Eyes White CET06001W

  6. #5
    Moderator Public Forum John MS's Avatar
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    Re: Addition of fine adjustment to cuckoo clock?

    Find an old mantle clock from Seth Thomas, New Haven, Gilbert, etc, and remove the adjusting mechanism.

    edit: An example of the adjusting mechanism is at the backside top of this movement.
    https://midwest-clock-repair.myshopi...clock-movement
    Last edited by John MS; 1 Week Ago at 17:11.

  7. #6
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    Re: Addition of fine adjustment to cuckoo clock?

    Another idea for judging the result of sliding the adjuster would be with simple, say, millimeter calibrations, black dots or tiny lines on the back of the shaft you can tell how much faster or slower the clock is running by how many increments you’ve moved it. Of course, you would still need to make sure the clasp doesn’t slide...

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