Modern Cuckoo Clock Instructions

These instructions apply to modern weight-driven cuckoo clocks (typically 1950's and newer).



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Prepare the Clock:

Open up the back by moving the latch aside and gently prying the top out. Remove the shipping clips (if any) from the bellows (on top of the whistles that produce the cuckoo sound). Remove the paper (if any) from the gong. Reinstall the back and rotate the latch down. Untwist the wire, which is holding the chains, and remove it.
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Hanging the Clock:

Install a #8 or #10 wood screw in the wall, angled upward at a 45 degree angle. It should be 6 to 6 1/2 feet above the floor. The screw must be long enough to be securely fastened into a stud in the wall. The screw should protrude about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches from the wall. Hang the clock on the screw. Hang the pendulum on the hanger at the bottom of the clock (near the back). Hang one weight on each hook.
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Unlatch the Cuckoo Door:

If the cuckoo door is held closed by a wire latch, move the latch aside.
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Starting the Clock:

Give the pendulum a push and the clock will start ticking. Move the bottom of the clock to the left or right until it is ticking evenly.
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Winding (pulling up the weights):

Place one of your hands on the clock to steady it, and with your other hand, pull down on the free end of one chain, bringing the weight on the other end up to the bottom of the clock gently. Do this for each weight. This needs to be done whenever the weights get close to the floor.
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Setting the Hands:

Move the minute hand clockwise, pausing at each hour and half-hour for the cuckoo call. Never move the minute hand counterclockwise past 6 or 12. After setting the hands, pull up the weights if they are down.


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If the Clock Cuckoos the Wrong Hour:

The hour hand is a friction fit on its shaft, and may be moved around to point to the correct hour, if it is not on too tight.
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Regulating the timekeeping:

The clock can be made to go faster or slower by means of the bob (usually a leaf) on the pendulum. On most clocks the bob is a friction fit. Move the bob up to speed up the clock or down to slow it down. Move it a small amount each time. Typical accuracy is one to two minutes per day. Move the minute hand to the correct time when it is wrong by more than several minutes.
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If clock does not run:

1) Make sure weights are up. 2) Make sure clock is ticking evenly. If not, move bottom of clock to left or right until the ticking is even. 3) Make sure pendulum hanger wire is not rubbing on slot in case bottom. If this is the problem, make sure the clock case is flush against the wall, or shim out the top or bottom of case if necessary.
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If cuckoo door does not close:

Look inside the back of the clock and make sure the wire which lifts the cuckoo bird’s tail is under the tail, not above it.



Remove the weights and pendulum. Obtain a thin wire and thread it through each chain where it enters the clock. Twist the ends of the wire together. This will prevent the chains from coming off the wheels inside the clock.