Setup and Operation of a Modern Cuckoo Clock

Cuckoo Clock
Cuckoo Clock

Modern, weight-driven Cuckoo clocks must be set up a certain way. Read on to discover how to prepare, operate, and adjust your modern cuckoo clock.

When your cuckoo clock arrives, it will have several safety measures in place to prevent damage to your clock during transport. First, move the rear latch aside and gently pry out the back of the case. Disengage any shipping clips from the bellows, which are located atop the whistles that produce the cuckoo sound. Next, clear any paper that may be wrapped around the gong.

Hanging a cuckoo clock is not very different from hanging a painting. Choose a spot approximately six feet above the ground, and install a screw at a forty-five degree angle. Make sure the screw hits a stud, or else your clock may fall. Next, hang the pendulum from the bottom of the clock, usually near the back. Finally, hang a weight on each hook.

To start the clock, simply give the pendulum a push. If you can see and hear the clock ticking, you’ve done this step correctly.  Ensure the clock is balanced by nudging it to either the left or the right. Once the ticking is perfectly even, your clock has been properly started.

Don’t forget to wind your clock, which is also known as pulling up the weights. To do this, use one of your hands to steady the clock, and the other to pull down the free end of one chain. Repeat this procedure on both sides, and remember that this needs to be done every time the weights get near the floor.

To set the hands of your cuckoo clock, gently push the minute hand clockwise. Remember to pause at each half-hour interval to allow the cuckoo to emerge. As a general rule, never push the minute hand counterclockwise past six of twelve.  After this procedure, the weights may be close to the floor. Pull them up.

Making Adjustments

Sometimes, the cuckoo clock chimes at the wrong hour. To fix this, simply push the hour hand to the correct hour.

If you want to make your clock run faster or slower, move the bob up or down the pendulum. Moving the bob up increases the clock’s speed, and vice versa. If the clock’s minute hand is off by more than two minutes, manually push the hand to the correct time.

Sometimes, your clock will simply not run. First, ensure your weights are up. If not, pull them up to wind your clock. Next, check to see if your clock is ticking evenly. Move the bottom of the clock to the left or right until it does. If none of these steps work, your pendulum hanger wire may be rubbing on the bottom of the case. Ensure the clock is plum with the wall, as this can cause the wire to hang too far back.

If you are having trouble closing the cuckoo door, check the back of the clock and make sure the wire is not caught up on any part of the cuckoo bird.

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