Dorrin K Mace, Horologost

Dorrin K Mace, Horologost
The Clock Man in a pensive moment

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cuckoo Clock Maintenance

     Cuckoo clocks can be a charming addition to a home and are relatively simple to maintain. Although the makers creativity allows for an infinite number of designs for the exterior of a cuckoo clock, the interior mechanics of most clocks are the same.
1. A pendulum that regulates the time keeping
2. Bellows on sound tubes and a gong to call the hour.
3. Weights (1,2,or 3 depending on the complexity of the movement)

     Winding and simple cleaning are all most clocks will require, although you'll need to consult a professional clockmaker for some of the more intricate maintenance needs. A well-maintained cuckoo can run for decades.

        Most cuckoo clocks need a daily winding. Each clock will come with its own individual instructions for windings, but the basic mechanics are similar in most clocks. Hold the clock steady with one hand, and use the other hand to pull down on the chain lifting the weight on the opposite end of the chain until the weight reaches the base of the clock. Do the same for the other chain(s) Try and do this the same time each day to get in a habit.. Some clocks require winding weekly rather than daily. If you need to move your clock, take off its weights and pendulum and tie the chains together with a thin wire to keep the chains on their wheels.

        Cleaning your cuckoo clock regularly will keep it running smoothly and looking new, though a professional's touch will be necessary to keep it running for its lifetime. Polish the outside of the clock with a product containing natural oils (use a natural bristle paint brush on the exterior to keep from catching on the gingerbread and breaking the trim).  Every three years or so, take the clock to a professional clockmaker for a thorough cleaning and checkup. The professional can perform tasks such as checking for missing screws, ultrasonically cleaning and lubricating the movement and disassembling the clock to clean individual pieces. This is necessary because over time, dust can build up in the mechanisms and become a paste that wears them down.

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