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American Time-Strike Clock Instructions


American time-strike clock instructions

American time-strike clock instructions apply to the replicas made in India also. Here we will cover the basic installation steps for a time-strike movement as well as time only units. The name time-strike implies the clock will keep time and also strike out whatever the hour is at the top of each hour.

1. Setting the verge lock tab

This note is for front escapement movements only, meaning the pendulum is in the front of the clock. There is a part that has to be in place for the clock to operate before you mount the movement. The part is the tab that comes over and locks the rocker pallets in place on the verge. The verge is the wire that whacks the pendulum back and forth as the clock tick tocks and travels up to the rocker arm that engages with the escape wheel. This is called a verge assembly and is only sitting on a post that sticks out the movement. For the verge not to fall off of the clock there is a brass or steel metal tab that rotates up or down. This tab goes on the post that the verge is riding on, as to prevent the verge from falling off of the front of the movement. So with this tab in place the verge should still be loose and be able to freely rock back and forth as the clock runs.

2. Mounting the movement

Keep the winders aligned with the winding holes in the clock dial and mount as it was previously with the old unit. The hand shaft is in the center of the hand shaft hole in the dial at the same time. It maybe needed to bend up or down the movement mounts on the four corners of the movement to adjust.

3. Winding the clock

This movement can be wound ALL the way up, all the way up until it will not wind anymore. This movement cannot be “overwound”. On a full wind up it will last 8 days before needing to be wound again.

4. Adjusting the pendulum wire

The pendulum length where the clock will keep approximate proper time is called the drop. The drop is the length of pendulum needed from the hand shaft and down to the bottom of the pendulum. This is the length we need to verify when we put the pendulum suspension wire onto the movement. Notice on this pendulum suspension wire that one end has the spring steel and the other end has a hook. The end with suspension steel will go in the small slot of the movements suspension post located right near the escapement of the clock. On the front of the movement one can see the escapement with the verge under it to make the tick tock sound. Right by this area there is a mounting post that has a slot in it to slide the top of the spring steel into. The suspension wire will hang on this post and then travel down through the look in the verge wire.

5. Adjustable bob installation

By adjustable is meant there is a rating nut with threads under the bob. This allows time adjustment for fine time keeping on the clock movement. Turn the nut to the right and therefore raising the bob on its wire will speed up the time on the clock. The opposite is true for lowering the bob, this will slow the clocks time down more. To install the bob it only needs to be hung on the loop end of the suspension wire. A new installation may require the loop to be made at the given length required for the drop specification to be right.

6. Hour hand installation

The hour hand goes on first, this is the smaller of the two hands. This is only a friction fit and the tube it’s going on is tapered on its way down. Although you may not be able to see that the hour hand tube is skinny on the top and fatter on the bottom in other words. The more down the hour hand is the tighter it will be. Twist and push at the same time and the hour hand is installed. Be sure the hand will not rub anything in its travel such as the clock dial or the outside bezel glass.

7. Minute hand installation

The minute hand has an oblong hol to mount it on the movement with. This hole will go onto the oblong portion of the clock hand post. With the minute hand on its post its time to put the clock minute hand nut on the end and tighten with needle nose pliers.

8a. Clocks need to be put “In Beat”

All mechanical clocks that have a pendulum need to be put into beat to run. If the clock is not put into beat and runs fine it is only by chance and luck only. More common is the clock will run for 5 or 10 minutes and slow down to a stop. It is usually known that something about leveling the clock has to be done, but often this misunderstood. The clock needs to be put in beat to run and it really does not matter if the clock is level to do this. It is just an obvious preference to have the clock straight and level when running instead of crooked or off level.

8b. Why a clock would be "Out of Beat"

A clock can be put out of beat if it was knocked or moved from one place to another with the pendulum still on. If replacing the movement it will be required to put the new movement in beat upon installation also.

8c. The "Out of Beat" clock

Out of beat is a term used in clock repair that basically means that the clock's ticks and tocks are not even. They need to be evenly spaced in time so there is the same time delay between the tick and the tock. If the clock is needing to be crooked to keep running this is the reason and the clock is out of beat.

8d. Attempts to avoid the inevitable

Antique clock owners who do not know how to put a clock in beat sometimes have the case crooked for it to run. The beat can be corrected by putting a shim under one side of the clock or setting the case crooked. The clock will run fine for years this way and the user may not realize how easy it is to correct. To not have a crooked clock it is required to put the clock in beat. The clock gets leveled to the extent one cares to have it level only. In other words if the mantle the clock sits on is not level maybe it is wanted for the clock to run off level. Either way the clock gets put where it will be for a long time either level or not, then put into beat.

8e. Not all clocks are the same

Early American time strike units as well as the India replicas are put into beat different from German clock movements. These units have a suspension spring that is permanently attached to a steel wire going from the escapement and down through a loop in the crutch and verge wire. At the end of this suspension wire is a hook for the pendulum bob to hang on.

8f. USA and replica beat setting

The pendulum rod travels up to a post on the movement where it is mounted. In the middle of this pendulum rod in the movement area there is a loop that whacks the pendulum back and forth. This loop is known as the crutch and is made of brass wire that comes from the movement’s escapement. If the clock is out of beat it will be needed to adjust the crutches wire left or right more. Just bend this wire that comes from the escapement to the pendulum, to the left or right a little and listen to the tick tock. Ideally the clock will be in beat while the clock case is sitting level but this is optional.

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Antique American Clock Movement Replacement Information Tabs

Antique ReplacementsMovement IdentificationOptions for a clockWhy order new?DescriptionBuilding a replicaOrdering

Please view these Antique American Clock Movement Replacement Information Tabs to help with replacing your movement.

American clock movement matching

American clock movement matching is to replace the antique unit with a modern equivalent. Us American's loved the mass produced eight day time strike units back in the 1920's through the 1940's. These are the ones seen in the Kitchen clocks, ginger bread clocks, Steeple clocks in the shelf clock series. Mantle clocks, short drop wall clocks and the long drop units were also popular in this time period.

The American mass produced movements

Most of these units had a bar style outer plates instead of a full brass plate. The winding arbor distances between each other and also the hand shaft were often the same. All of these units had the type of suspension with the feather steel at the top and a hook on the bottom. They were all 8 day run time on a single full wind up with the clock key. All the pendulum lengths were reduced to mainly 4 lengths for the mass produced American units. The hand shaft length from the front plate and all the way out to the end had some consistency in later years also.

Advantages of a mass produced movement

With constancy in there production runs the India manufacturers starting producing replacement units. The India movement even goes as far as calling them replicas but this is not 100% accurate. Although they do the trick and get the clock up and running for many years, its not the same quality. Brass quality is not the same from when it was back in the 20's - 40's. The brass is thinner and also the quality of the brass is not the same as it was. We do offer these units despite this because they do serve well as far as just making the clock work for a bunch of years instead of giving up. When an antique clock movement has been repaired wrong or already has 20 bushings in it or something silly, it may just make more sense to stick one of these in there instead.

Basic movement matching

First see if the old movement looks like the style we are offering here. These are bar style movement that is used on many antique American time strike units. You would need to measure some things to be sure it’s a fit. The dimensions of the winding arbors in relation to each other and also the hand shaft hole in the dial. These will all have to match the below diagrams. This is to be sure it will fit the old clock dial and line up with the key holes to wind the clock. Then there is the hand shaft length from the front outer plate of the movement and all they way out to the end. The pendulum length is from the hand shaft and all the way down.

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American clock movement repair options

Its a shame when a clock is not able to operate for years on end. It sits for so long until one day it is just time to something about it. For the antique American made clock to function again there are two main routes that can be taken. Replace the movement with a modern reproduction made in India, or repair the clock movement.

Send in for repair

The movement is no longer in production and not available new. However if you choose to send in the movement alone we can offer an overhaul instead. A clock movement overhaul or restoration does require the unit to be disassembled.

Repair process description

Inspection is done on every pivot and bushing hole to determine the best course of action. When a mainspring breaks there could be damage to the wheel train on the pinions and pivots and all this is looked over with magnification. Then we manually clean the clock parts with cotton cloth and peg wood to be sure we get off all the old oil. Oil that has solidified and became an abrasive rather than a lubricant in other words. This tedious process is then followed by pivot polishing and rebushing, where it is required. After all this, it’s time for the ultrasonic cleaning machine with the clock cleaning solution. Rinsing is next and then followed by the drying process. Rebuilding of the clock movement piece by piece and then testing for a week. If it fails the testing, all this is done again if needed.

Replacement option

These Indian made movements and are reproductions of some of the most common American antique units. Basically the last resort where the clock movement is beyond repair or just repaired so many times incorrectly. The clock movement come out of the clock case and do some measuring to see if it’s a match.

Getting the replica unit

The first thing to measure is the pendulum length and this is measured the American way not the German way. This means you are measuring what is called the movements “Drop”. The drop is the length of the pendulum from the hand shaft all the way down to the bottom of the pendulum threads. The next thing is to measure is the hand shaft length from the front plate of the movement all the way out to the end of the minute hand nut threads. If these are both a match to your old unit, it is time to measure the clock movements winding arbors from left to right, center to center, and then from the winding arbor to the hand shaft hole center to center. This will tell you if the clock dials winding hole will line up on the movement just as the old unit did.

The American clock replacement units come in two ways. Just the movement or the movement kit that includes the key, gong, gong base, pendulum, and hands. It’s best to get the kit since it’s only $20 more and you can be sure to have all you need with some spare parts for your clock also.

American clock repair options summery

It is best to preserve history and get the antique unit repaired whenever possible for the sake of the antique clock. However for various reasons this may not be practical. It may come a time where the movement is not worth chasing and a replacement is better. The clock will no longer be a historical antique but it will be a functioning clock again.

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Why replace an American clock movement?

Sometimes an American clock movement made 80 to 100 years ago is just too worn out and needs to be replaced. We offer these units as replacements for when the old is just worn beyond reason. It will make a clock that has not run in a very long time work as it did before. The clock would lose any antique value but it may have had no value as a broken clock anyway. It is not uncommon where the clock is damaged beyond reason and the parts are not available.

Evidence of wear

The oil becomes a solid instead of a liquid and creates wear over time just like all mechanical clocks. When clock oil gets old, it gets solid and turns into an abrasive. Solid or semi-solid oil creates wear and is evident in the movement’s outer brass plate pivot holes. Overall the clock has too much resistance in the movement to function under the power of the mainsprings. At the same time the pivots that spin in these holes get worn and distorted. If a pivot is worn beyond reason it would require re pivoting and this is costly and time consuming.

Mainspring trouble

Sometimes a mainspring may break and break teeth on the gears from the impact. The mainsprings also may end up stuck in the coiled position from being wound up for many years. Basically stuck in the coiled position instead of expanding to a large length. In the clock maker world we call this the mainspring is "SET" and means its stuck in the coiled position. If its wound all the way up and left that way for 10 or 20 years, it sort of gets used to being that way and ends up being SET.

In the end

The movements we offer on this page are made in India. These are sold as replacement units for the American movements that are too worn out to keep chasing. These are 10-15 year movements instead of the very long life the old movement has lived. The new movement from India is economical so it can be swapped out after a decade or two instead of being serviced.

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American replica clock movement

The American replica clock movement's on this page are based on the most common American units that were mass produced during the 30s and 40s. Therefore they have a good chance of being a replacement for your worn out movement. By "time strike" units this means the clock tells time and also strikes.

Quality Comparison

The quality is not the same as the antique American time strikes because the plates are thinner. The brass is not what it used to be in 1930 because of all the times its been recycled also. However these serve well as a replacement for the American time strike unit that is worn beyond reason. Life expectancy is about 10-15 years rather than the very long life your antique clock movement has lasted.

Dial fitting

These American replica clock movements have a center shaft and arbor configuration that will match up to many original dials. In other words the holes in the current dial have a very good shot of matching up to one. Chances are it will wind in the same places in the dial winding holes. Ideally it will not be required to drill new holes to wind the clock or need to get a new dial face.

Measurements

Measurements to match up to be sure its compatible with what you have now.

  • The length of the pendulum from the hand shaft to the bottom of the bob's nut threads
  • The hand shaft length from the front plate of the movement and all the way out
  • Winding arbor measurements in relation to the hand shaft so the clock can be wound in the same places through the dial.

Movement or kit options

The drop down menu will prompt you to choose either the movement alone or the complete kit. The kit form comes with hands, key, gong, gong mounting base, and the pendulum.

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

Building an American antique clock replica

Between 1900 and 1945 the Americans made many clock movements with the same themes in common. The most produced USA clock movements during this era were time and strike 8 day units. Here 80 years later and these movements are no longer produced in USA for these popular clock styles. India introduced replica movements into the market that matched the antique American units by measurements and functions.

Avoid building a mantle clock

The mantle clocks are not easy because of the dial / bezel / glass requirements that are unobtainable in the modern market. The more complex the dial requirements the less chance of obtaining such a thing in the modern market. Mantle clocks such as Tambour style and Adamatine have dial bezel glass combinations that all fit together like a glove. This increase of complexity makes it less obtainable from the start without even getting into drilling the holes to wind it. Clocks with this style dial requirement is the least likely to come out successfully.

Nice clocks to build

Other clocks are good to build such as the kitchen units and the long and short drop clock kits. Be aware these kits do not include the wood case or instructions on creating a case. We are only offering the internal components of these kits for the craftsman. The plans would need to be obtained elsewhere or replicate an existing clock.

clock case measurements

When planning the clock case to build for the new movement it is best to consider the depth and height requirements. The depth would be determined with the hand shaft length in mind. The height would be dependent on the pendulum length of the new movement and how much height overall it would take. These antique clock cases were mass produced so it would not be hard to find a case to duplicate. The idea is to examine an existing case to build ones own clock with a unique personal twist.

Pendulum length

The pendulum length on the American movements and therefore also the replicas is called the drop. The drop is the pendulum length from the shaft that the clock hands go on, down to the very bottom of the pendulum rating nut threads. This measurement is approximate and will vary if a lighter / heavier pendulum bob is used. Building an American antique clock replica case is best done by duplicating the basic measurements of an existing clock.

Hand shaft measurement

This is the length of the shaft that the hands go onto. It is measured from the front plate of the clock movement and all the way out to the end of the minute hand nut threads. This would need to be considered when creating a clock case and figuring out the depth to make it. When planning the clock case the best way to be sure all will fit ok is the get the movement first. With the movement in hand it can be measured in whatever way to create the best wooden enclosure.

The dial

Clock dials are not what they used to be in the antique world. The dial bezel glass combinations are pretty much obsolete. What is still on the market is modern looking instead of antique. Best to stay away from clocks with this dial requirements such as mantle units and banjo clocks. Kitchen and steeple clocks are better to build because we can supply a 6 1/2 inch dial that is drilled to wind the clock. These dials are not already drilled, however clockworks drills them out before we shipping. Dial grommets are installed in the winding holes after drilling so the holes are pretty. This dial that is provided with the clock kit is optional to use. It is possible for the customer to do whatever alternate dial solution that is in mind of course.

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

Antique clock movement replacement ordering

Ordering a replacement clock movement is done by matching up certain measurements. The new movement will when the pendulum length, winding arbor spacing, and hand shaft length all match the antique. The clock movements offered measure the same as the mass produced units made in USA from around 1900 to 1945. Nice replacement movements for many of the antique movements such as Sessions or New Haven and others.

The pendulum drop

The "drop" is term used to indicate the pendulum length however it is not measuring just the pendulum alone. The length is measured from the shaft that the clock hands go on and down to the very bottom of the pendulum rating nut threads. This measurement is approximate and will vary if a different if a lighter or heavier pendulum bob is used.

Hand shaft length

The hand shaft is the shaft that the clock hands are on that tell the time. To match the measurements properly, the antique clock movement should have its dial and hands off the clock. With the front of the movement accessible the hand shaft can be measured in its entirety. This would be from the front plate of the movement and all they way out to the end of the minute hand nut threads. This measurement is important to match up because if wrong it can create depth issues.

Winding arbor configuration

The winding arbor measurements from one to the other and also to the hand shaft would need to match. This allow the clock to use the same clock dial is used in the past.

Movement alone or the clock kit

There are two choices, the movement alone for replacing a current movement or a kit that includes the movement / pendulum / hands / key / gong and base so you can swap out everything but the dial. It may be best to get these added parts just in case you need them.

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Cuckoo Clock Parts Information Tabs

Cuckoo PartsCuckoo parts descriptionIf it will not cuckooInstalling the cuckoo handsCuckoo Strike Quantity IssuesCuckoo Door Stuck Open

Please view these information tabs to help with determining the proper parts for your clock.

Cuckoo repair parts

The most common Cuckoo repair parts sold is the bellow tops and the hands. The bellow tubes are usually good to reuse on the clock, just the bellow tops have cloth that rip over time and therefore the clock will not cuckoo the time out.

Repairing cuckoo bellows

So if this is the situation you do not need the entire cuckoo bellows as in CU1, you only need the tops as seen on CU4. If just replacing the tops it makes it a lot easier to get the correct size for your clock as the CU1 comes in only one size tops. To get the proper tops you only need to measure the length and width of the top only. You would snap off the old tops off of the bellow tubes and clean the surface with a knife, then epoxy the new tops on the same way, the same position. Then you would transfer the cuckoo lift rings from the old tops to the new ones and your done.

Cuckoo Clock Repair

Cuckoo Clock Repair

The help section can help with many of the most common issues the clock may have. We also have the cuckoo clock movements for post 1950 German made units. This is about 80 percent of the cuckoos out in the world so chances are we have the movement you need.

If the movement is worn out and is post 1950 its just as well to get the new one instead of overhauling the old one. The process of the movement overhaul is time consuming and therefore expensive, when the new movement is 100-200 dollars and will last alot longer than the best overhaul.

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New cuckoo clock movement not striking

When the new cuckoo clock movement will not go into striking mode for the hours. The bird will not come out and the clock will not indicate what time it is with the cuckoo call. Here are some guidelines on what to check in this situation.

See if the cuckoo door is latched shut

There is a wire above the cuckoo door that locks it into the closed position. This is for either shipping the clock and also for chime shut off. It is a small wire that stops the door and just gets turned to either in the way or out of the way of the door. Be sure it is out of the way so the door can open and it can cuckoo.

Check the silence lever

There may be a silence lever if the cuckoo movement has one. This would be located on the side of the cuckoo clock movement and stick outside of the clock case. Push it down for cuckoo on and up for cuckoo shut off usually. Just move it to the opposite direction and see if the clock will strike out the cuckoo calls. If the movement has a silence switch that does not stick outside of the case it may still be on the movement itself. Just look at the back of the clock with the back panel off and you may see the silence switch. You will see a lever on your right as you face the back of the movement on the top side. Not all cuckoos have this feature as the manufacturer will assume you will silence the cuckoo just by locking the bird door.

Clock chain resistance

Be sure nothing is in the way of the chain that drives the striking side of the cuckoo clock. One weight controls the time and the other the strike. If the chain is rubbing anything like the hole in the bottom of the cuckoo case it will be just like not having enough weight to make it run. The chain that holds the weight should be straight from the ratchet wheel and down without rubbing anything. Also the side of the chain that there is no weight attached to cant be caught up on anything also. This is the side that you pull to raise the weight on the other side of the chain loop.

Bellow lift wires in the way

On a new movement install it is required to bend the lift wires so they do not get caught up on each other. During the travel up to lift the bellows they could be hitting each other and creating resistance. These just get bent this way or that way so they can go up and down with the bellow tops. If the bellow top is broken or ripped it can cause this to happen also.

Bird arm position

The arm that the bird rests on could be bent in a way that it is trying to go forward too much. Therefore it hits the front of the clock case instead of in a position where it just opens the door. The intent is for it to open the cuckoo door only and not hit the front of the clock case. It will only cuckoo if the bird arm is able to be all the way forward with no resistance.

Cuckoo door opening wire

If this wire is too long it will try to open the door too much. With the door open too much it will not be able to start the cuckoo strike. The solution is to make the door wire shorter or put a bend in it. Putting a bend in this wire so its sort of a hump instead of straight will be the same thing as making it shorter.

Cuckoo Clock Not Striking Conclusion

If the cuckoo will not go into striking mode is caused by resistance. There is only like 4 or 5 gears that have to spin around to make the clock cuckoo. If there is any resistance for this to happen it will not function. These 4 -5 gears need to spin to have the bellows lift and open the cuckoo door at the same time. There is much action that is dictated by these few gears spinning, any resistance in any part will stop it from working.

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Installing cuckoo clock hands

Installing the cuckoo clock hands that you purchased from clockworks.com starts with getting the old hands out of the way.

Removing the old cuckoo hands

To remove the cuckoo hands you will only need a pair of needle nose pliers. While holding the minute hand still (longer of the two hands) while you loosen the minute hand nut with the pliers. Turning the hand nut in the counter clockwise direction while holding the hand still, it will loosen up. Now it can be turned with the fingers only and come right off.

The cuckoo minute hand bushing

With the minute hand off it will expose a round bushing that has a square hole in it. This bushing may or may not come off with the minute hand, in fact it maybe stuck in the hand itself. If the bushing is stuck in the hand just remove it by prying up and off with a flat screwdriver. Hour hand is next and is only a friction fit. Twist it and pull toward you at the same time and it will come off.

Install the hour hand

Hour hand is first by a twist and push at the same time, it is only a friction fit. The tube it goes on is tapered although it may not be noticeable. So the more the hour hand is twisted and pushed down at the same time, the tighter it will be on the clock. Do not worry about having it point to the right time yet, we will do that later. Now put the minute hand on (the longer of the two hands). You put this on the bushing and the ridges will somewhat lock it into place in the hole of the hand. Next is the hand nut on the threaded portion of the hand shaft. This will sandwich the minute hand between the bushing and its nut. Now it’s time to set the hands to point to the correct time when the clock cuckoo’s.

Install the minute hand

Next put the brass bushing with the square hole in it, on the clocks hand shaft arbor’s square portion. The flat side of the hand bushing will go toward the clock dial and the side with the ridge on it will point outward toward you.

Setting the cuckoo strike

After the install of the cuckoo clock minute hand you will need them to point to the right place. Putting the hands in a position to point to the right place when it cuckoos the hour. Put the clock up on the wall and turn the minute hand to make the clock cuckoo out the top of the hour. Count the number of cuckoo’s the clock sounds out and point the hour hand to that number. For example, if there were 6 cuckoos you would point the hour hand to the six. The minute hand gets loosened some and turned to the 12 to represent the top of the hour. Tighten the minute hand nut while holding it still at the 12. Now you’re done with the Install Cuckoo Clock Hands, just check the next hour and see if it will point to the correct spots when it cuckoos again.

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Cuckoo Strike Quantity Issues

Issues with the strike quantity on a cuckoo clock is a common ailment upon setting up a new movement. The clock will strike 12 o’clock and then 12 again at 1 o’clock or something like this. This has to do with the mechanical components behind the clock dial. You would remove the hands and dial to get to that section of the cuckoo movement.

Remove the hands

To remove the cuckoo hands you will only need a pair of needle nose pliers. You hold the minute hand still (longer of the two hands) while you loosen the minute hand nut some with the needle nose. Once the nut is loose, just turn to the left until it is off. Then the minute hand will come off with its round bushing that has a square hole in it. Remove the bushing out of the minute hand when it’s off of the clock, it is only a friction fit, just push it out or pry it out of the hand with a flat screwdriver. Now to take off the hour hand, this is only a friction fit so all you do is twist it and pull toward you at the same time and it will come off.

Remove the dial

Removing the dial is done after the hands are off. There is anywhere between 2 and 4 small nails holding the cuckoo dial on the clock. Sometimes, on rare occasions, the dial is glued to the clock case. Either way, it is the same method to remove the dial. You take a small flat head screwdriver and lift gently on the dial on one side and then the other until little by little it will come up and off the case.

Component description

Once the dial is off of the clock please notice the saw tooth rack. The rack looks like a saw with sharp teeth and it flops up and down in the front of the movement. It falls down on a snail looking thing that is on the same tube as the hour hand. In other words the smaller of the two hands that points out the hour is also on this same tube as the snail. A rack and snail count system these components determine how many times it will cuckoo each hour.

How it works

There are at least 12 saw looking teeth on the rack, one tooth per hour totaling at least 12. The rack will fall onto the portions of the snail then moves back up one tooth at a time. Each tooth that climbs back up lets the strike train run for that time duration. That time duration of the strike wheels spinning will allow the clock to cuckoo one time. The lowest portion of the snails humps would be 12 strikes for 12 o'clock. This is because the lowest hump on the snail will expose 12 teeth on the rack.

Correcting Cuckoo Strike Quantity Issues

If there is any Cuckoo Strike Quantity Issues, the issue is in this area. The best thing to do is to make it strike over and over as you look at these components in action. There is usually no parts to buy to fix this and it’s usually just a matter of tweaking something here or there to let the rack fall as it should and when it should. Something to note is that if it strikes ONE and TWELVE ok, then the snail is on correctly and the rest of the hours will automatically be ok. So the goal is to be sure the clock strikes the 12 times ok and then the one o’clock also. This will solve the Cuckoo Strike Quantity Issues.

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

Cuckoo clock door stuck open

Upon installation of a new cuckoo clock movement this is a common issue. The Cuckoo clock door stuck open could be a number of things. Please check the following to see if it solves the issue of the door not closing all the way.

Weights not heavy enough

If the pine cone weight that controls the cuckoo portion of the clock is not heavy enough then sometimes this can be the issue. You can pull down some on the currently used weight and see if the door shuts. If the below issues are checked, and the door only shuts when you pull the weight down some, then consider adding a heavier weight to the cuckoo strike side. It maybe the wrong pine cone weight to begin with.

Needs Oil

The cuckoo clock movement may need oiling at least on the arms that make the bird go in and out of its house. Also, it is good to put a drop of clock oil on the door hinges and the connections for the wire that goes from the bird to the door.

Bending the door wire

Try bending up the wire that goes from the bird to the Cuckoo clock door. If you put an upward hump of a bend in this wire, it will basically be the same as shortening this wire. With a bent or shortened wire, the bird will not come out as far, but also the bird will pull the door shut more when it goes back in the clock case to sleep.

Bird wires bent

The arm that pushes the arm to make the bird come out, may need to get bent inward some. This may be tricky to see or get to, but sometimes there is a small side door on the side of the cuckoo clock case that you can open and see this wire, or arm, that pushes the arm that connects to the bird. Other times there is no door on the side of the case and you will need to do it from the back of the movement by taking the back panel off of the cuckoo case.

Correcting a bent bird wire

When looking at the back of the movement, this arm will be in a horizontal direction on the back right hand side of the clock movement. Your right as you look at the back of the movement that is. In some cuckoos this is even trickier to see or adjust as the right hand bellow tube maybe in the way and has to be removed. Locate this horizontal wire that is in the approximate middle of the movement, located on the strike train side, this is the wire that can get bent. This bending in of the wire more into the movement, will in turn make the door come out more. If bent out some toward the case side, will allow the bird to go in more and therefore the door will shut more.

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

Mechanical movement replacement note

Mechanical movement replacement

Because this is the same clock movement only new, all the old components will fit the new unit just as they did on the old. Components such as the dial, weights, pendulum, hands, and chime block will not need to be replaced to have a new movement.

Sold as only the new movement

Offering a brand new clock movement alone and does not come with the other components. The dial, weights, pendulum, chime block, hands, maybe available as a separate purchase. This high quality German movement comes oiled and includes its leader, suspension spring and hand nut.

Movement removal

Removal instructions to get the old unit out are contained in the installation instructions also. The movement swap is not difficult, changing a car tire is along the same level of intensity. After the hands and the dial are out of the way the movement will be fully exposed. The movement can come out by removing the two screws that mount it from the underside.

Movement installation

Installation is reverse of removal with some extra set up things to be done. Instructions will cover these few things to be done, and we are here if questions come up for the operation or installation. We are full time clock makers and retailers both, so if you need any assistance with install we can help.

A new clock movement is best

Mechanical movement replacement is less costly than a restoration of an old unit. The clock will be problem free right away instead of months, last longer than a repair ever would. It is just the best choice all around for a trouble free mechanical clock. Urgos had gone out of business a while back and the Hermle purchased the company and is still making the same movements with the same machines.

About Mechanical Clock Hands Tabs

Mechanical Clock HandsHand RemovalHand InstallationOrdering Mechanical HandsChime On Time Fix

Please view these information tabs to help with getting the Mechanical Clock Hands.

Removing Mechanical Clock Hands

Removing Mechanical Clock Hands is fast and easy to do. The following are instructions for German mechanical movements post WW2 hand removal.

German Post WW2 wall, mantle and floor models

Turn the hand nut to the left while holding the minute hand with your fingers. Some small needle nose pliers may be needed to loosen the nut first. Once the nut is loose, you can turn it with your fingers until it comes off. The minute hand will be able to wiggle straight off its square arbor and off of the clock. The hour hand is a friction fit, so just twist the hour hand back and forth and pull toward you until it comes off. If you have a second hand bit, that is only a friction also, so just grab it with your fingernails and pull toward you.

American Antique time and strike

These type of movements come in two styles. if there is a minute hand nut, the first style is the same as above. Be very careful not to lose this hand nut. They are very hard to find and replace. The second style will have a pin holding the minute hand on instead of a nut. This pin is tapered, meaning it's fat on one side and skinny on the other usually. Just grab the fat side with needle nose pliers and yank the pin out. The minute hand will fall out with a washer. Save the washer and the pin for ease of reinstalling the hands.

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

German Mechanical Clock Hand Installation

The installation of the clock hands on a German mechanical movement is reverse of removal. If either the movement was replaced, or the hands are new, the minute hand must be adjusted. This is so it will point to the correct time when it chimes.

Installing the hour hand

First comes the hour hand as a friction fit. Put the hand on its round post and twist and push toward the front front of the dial. Be sure it is not in contact with the dial at any point of its travel in the circle. This includes the base of the hour hand, it cannot rub against the hole in the clock face itself. As its only a friction fit, it can be turned to point to whatever hour it is, just with your fingers.

Installing the minute hand

The minute hand installation is done by putting the square hole in the hand, on the square post of the hand shaft. The bottom of the minute hand cannot be rubbing the hour hand tube or the hour hand. If it is, the hour hand has to be set lower on its tube. With the minute hand on its square post now its time to put the nut on. The nut goes on finger tight and then a little bit more with needle nose pliers to make it secure.

Mechanical Clock Chime On Time

These are the directions to get a German mechanical clock to chime on time. This means having the clock hands point to the right spot when the clock chimes. When replacing a clock movement, or getting new hands, either one, you will notice it will chime 5 minutes before it is supposed to, or 10 min after, something like this. This page explains how to correct this situation. It is unbelievably fast and easy to do.

Working with the minute hand

After a new mechanical movement is installed, or if you are just installing a new set of hands, you will notice the clock will not chime at the time it's supposed to. To correct this, take the minute hand off of the clock. This is the longer of the two hands. With this minute hand off of the clock, turn it upside down and you will see it has a square hole where it attaches to the clock. This square hole is in a bushing that will rotate WITHIN the minute hand itself.

The correction

So, all you have to do is just use needle nose pliers to turn this bushing ever so slightly. Put the hand back on the clock and see if it’s pointing to the correct place where it chimed. If it is, then you are all set. If it is still not right, take the hand off and try again. Once you get the minute hand to point where it just chimed you then set to the correct time.

The conclusion

It is really that easy. You do not have to mess with the clock at all, only the hand itself. In other words, to put it in a silly way, take the minute hand off of the clock and walk to the garage with it. Take it far, far away from the clock. When in your garage take needle nose pliers and turn the bushing within the hand itself. Then walk back to the clock and put it on. See if it's now pointing to the right spot. Sounds silly but you get the idea!

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

Mechanical Clock Hands

The German mechanical clock hands are sold by the time track diameter. When ordering these mechanical clock hands, you will need this measurement. The dial diameter is the measurement of the time track, and this means from just outside the 9 to just outside the 3. For example, if this explained time track diameter is 6 inches, you would order hands for a 6 inch time track in the option list. When you get the hands for a 6 inch time track you will have a minute hand about 2 7/8 long from the mounting hole to the end. The proportionally smaller hour hand will come with the minute hand. This is a vastly different way of measuring than the quartz clock hands.

Ordering Hands

After getting the time track diameter measurement as explained, its time to choose a style of hand. On the style you choose, drop down the option menu and see if your measurement is listed. Remember, the minute hand will come a little less than half of this time track measurement.

How they are sent

Comes as a pair, hour and minute hand both. Ships the next business day from Clockworks.com in Huntington MA USA, via the method you chose upon checkout.

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

Mechanical Clock Chime On Time

These are the directions to get a German mechanical clock to chime on time. This means having the clock hands point to the right spot when the clock chimes. When replacing a clock movement, or getting new hands, either one, you will notice it will chime 5 minutes before it is supposed to, or 10 min after, something like this. This page explains how to correct this situation. It is unbelievably fast and easy to do.

Working with the minute hand

After a new mechanical movement is installed, or if you are just installing a new set of hands, you will notice the clock will not chime at the time it's supposed to. To correct this, take the minute hand off of the clock. This is the longer of the two hands. With this minute hand off of the clock, turn it upside down and you will see it has a square hole where it attaches to the clock. This square hole is in a bushing that will rotate WITHIN the minute hand itself.

The correction

So, all you have to do is just use needle nose pliers to turn this bushing ever so slightly. Put the hand back on the clock and see if it’s pointing to the correct place where it chimed. If it is, then you are all set. If it is still not right, take the hand off and try again. Once you get the minute hand to point where it just chimed you then set to the correct time.

The conclusion

It is really that easy. You do not have to mess with the clock at all, only the hand itself. In other words, to put it in a silly way, take the minute hand off of the clock and walk to the garage with it. Take it far, far away from the clock. When in your garage take needle nose pliers and turn the bushing within the hand itself. Then walk back to the clock and put it on. See if it's now pointing to the right spot. Sounds silly but you get the idea!

- - The content of this web page and web site was written and copyright by James Stoudenmire of Clockworks.com - It may not be used commercially without permission. - -

Clock Hand Measurement
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