Hi Bron, Did you try to email or call John he is the expert I go to when I have problems I can't figure out. I have never heard of a kerosene cotton ball helping to keep the clock clean. These are the only other options that you can try from my notes. Not having the clock in my shop I can only suggest what I look for.
First of all, you need to check to make sure there are no obstructions affecting the time train weight. If the downward movement of the chain or the weight is obstructed, the pedulum will not swing. If anything is obstructing the movement of the chain or the weight, it causes a reduction in the power needed for the pendulum to operate properly. In addition to obvious obstructions, a slowed or stopped pedulum can be caused by a warped wooden clock case. If the chain is rubbing against a wooden clock case chain hole, it will affect the movement of the chain which will cause the pedulum to slow down or stop swinging. If this happens, you can fix the problem by making the chain hole a little bigger. This can be done by drilling the hole a little larger which will allow the chain to move freely. If the chain and weights are free of obstructions, it could be a problem with the way the time weight chain is or is not wrapped around the sprocket wheel. A cuckoo clock time train has a set of wheels which gear into each other. The weight is hooked onto a chain which enters a hole in the bottom of the cuckoo clock then loops around the sprocket wheel, then exits another hole. If the chain is not properly looped around the first wheel spocket, it will cause a problem. You can check to make sure the chain is properly looped around the first wheel sprocket by slowly pulling up the weight. If the chain is in the correct position, you will hear a clicking sound as you pull the weight up. If it is off the sprocket, the chain will be hard to pull, you won't hear a clicking sound and the weight will rapidly fall when you release the chain. If the weight chain is off the wheel sprocket, you can fix it by removing the movement, looping the chain back onto the wheel sprocket then reinstalling the movement. Another method to repair the problem is to take the back cover off the clock, turn it upsdie down, grab both of the chains and while looking at the sprocket wheel, dangle the chain loop around the wheel then pull both ends of the chain. This will cause the chain to firmly wrap around the sprocket. Hold the chains firmly at the base of the clock case and turn the clock upright. Although a little more difficult, this method can be faster.
Depending on how the clock has been treated there may well be a lot of dried up oil around.
This can slow the clock and you will need to remove it all if you want your cuckoo clock to keep good time.
Careful what you use, the best cleaner is a concentrated ammoniated clock cleaning solution.
Just mix 1 part of this solution to 8 parts of water to clean old clock oil from the movement.
Use a cotton swab and try not to soak the internal movement, use just enough to accomplish the cleaning job.
Don't expect to get the clock back to pristine condition.
The internal workings of an antique cuckoo clock will have aged over time and is never going to look new again.
In fact you could destroy the value of your old cuckoo clock if you tried to achieve such a goal,
just remove what you need to make the clock work properly.
When you are satisfied you need to replace the lubricant.
There are several options our favourite being graphite.
This is a dry powder and is ideal for cuckoo clocks as it is not absorbed by the wooden parts.
Alternatively could use a very light oil like WD40 but you are better going to a cuckoo clock parts supplier
to see what else is available.
Finally if the your clock is valuble its best not to even start to clean its better left to an expert.
To enable the pendulum to swing freely just hang the clock so that it is flat against the wall. Take the pendulum stick in your hand move it to one side until you hear a tick. Using the pointed end of the pendulum stick as your marker, mark the EXACT position that the pendulum was in when you heard the tick. (Use a pencil or drawing pin to mark the spot on the wall.) Now repeat this process on the other side of the clock. When the pendulum is allowed to come to rest it should be equidistant from the two spots on the wall. If this is not so, adjust the angle of the case so that the pendulum hangs exactly halfway between the markings. Once this adjustment has been made the pendulum will be in plumb, thus swinging through the same number of degrees on both sides of the clock.
Clock stopped working after it was moved:
This usually happens if someone moved the clock without taking the pendulum (III) off and this puts the clock out of beat. Out of beat means the clock is going tock-tick, tock-tick instead of tick-tock, tick-tock. A cuckoo clock that is out of beat will run for a bit and then stop. It is sometimes corrected by putting a matchbox or small piece of wood under one side of the clock case to make the tick and the tock evenly spaced. This can temporarily correct the problem and the clock runs fine. This method however is not as good as correcting the beat and having the clock run when it is truly straight and level. Take the weights (IV) off the clock, take the pendulum off, take the top ornament off (II)(if any), take the clock off the wall, and take the back panel off. You are looking now at the wire the pendulum hangs on going straight up the center. Now look at the wire that whacks this pendulum wire back and forth, this wire is called the verge. In order to correct the beat, bend the verge one way or the other. The best is to bend it in the middle with your fingers, not on the top because if you bend it on the top too often, it loosens up the wire at its connecting point. It is kind of trick to do this, it is just trial and error whit the process of bending the verge a bit and then trying the clock on the wall with its weights and pendulum.
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