Cuckoo Time Ratchet Wheel Issue

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  • #48711
    danacv2
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 20

    Hi All,

    I took apart a cuckoo clock with a regula #25 movement and cleaned it. I couldn’t see any easy way of taking apart the ratchet wheels so I left them as is when dipping into the cleaning solution. After rinsing and drying everything up I noticed that the the time ratchet wheel seemed to be gummed up (the strike ratchet wheel seems to be just fine). I decided to put the movement back together and try it out. Everything seems fine except I need to use more force than normal to wind the time weight and the pendulum slows down and will sometimes stop if I wind it for more than a few inches. I feel like this will probably damage the chain after a while.

    I know they sell replacements but I was wondering if it’s possible to take it apart and properly clean it so that it is no longer gummed up. Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    #54257
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hi Dan, yes there is a way to take them apart, might be a good idea to put up a picture if you can just in case what I am thinking of isnt different than what you have, most likely there is a brass collet that holds it together, by carefully grabbing it with pliers, twisting and pulling at the same time you can get it off, after cleaning it and making any adjustments you would just stake the collet back on slowly checking often for how tight it gets, If you put up a pic it may help others with what we are talking about. William

    #54258
    danacv2
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 20

    Here is a picture I found online:

    And here is a picture I took while I was taking apart the movement (bottom right):

    So what exactly would I be pulling on?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    #54259
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    I would assume that both have the same tension system, looking at the wheel on the bottom left, the wheel with the tension spring up….if you twist and pull on that brass collet it will come off and you can disassemble the rest of it. William

    #54260
    danacv2
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 20

    I’m having some trouble. I tried grabbing the brass piece between the two gears but it’s not budging. There’s not really much room to work with. Any suggestions? I took a picture so you can get a better look.

    #54261
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    O.k. I see now… do not try to move that one, you have to get the outside collet off, so the wheel you are working on is not the same as the the one I was thinking of, so back to your picture. the bottom right wheel showing the brass collet up is the one to try and pull off,

    #54262
    digitaltripper
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 102

    Hi all…Just a note/observation I made on the cuckoo I just finished. The brass collet was held to the arbor by punch marks in the arbor itself. I had to file those down/off so that the collet could slide off the arbor. Perhaps yours is secured the same way…

    Jim

    #54263
    danacv2
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 20

    Not sure what happened to my last picture. Here is a better one. I added a red arrow to show what I thought I should be removing.


    @William
    , you’re saying I need to flip it and try to remove the one on the “top” first (green arrow in second picture). I’ll try that tonight. Should that come off relatively easily? I’m always hesitant to use too much force on something I’ve never done before. Also, how exactly would I get that back on. I currently do not have many tools to work with. I think my main concern would be how to brace it for impact with the other gears in place.


    @Jim
    I did not notice any punch marks or anything like that but I will reinspect tonight.

    Dan

    #54264
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey Dan, green means go for it….Jim brings up a good point because if the arbor has splines then you have to pull it straight off but it sounds like you do not have that. use a rag or piece of leather so the pliers jaws dont mar it up too much. twist and pull at the same time. @danacv2 wrote:

    Should that come off relatively easily?

    its never as easy as it should be…..really it should take a bit of strength. after cleaning set the brass collet onto the arbor (remove any marring and polish at this time), if you do not have a staking set for clocks or a bench block it is possible to use a piece of metal. drill a hole just a bit bigger than the pivot, this will be for setting the opposite side pivot thru and the shoulder of the arbor will sit on the metal (hold it in a vise or if it is thick enough set on the table like a bench block), then on the side where you are going to put the collet back on you can use another piece of metal (or if you have any type of hollow metal tube the right size even a hardwood dowel with a drilled out center would work) drilling a hole just bigger than the arbor, this one will punch the collet back on (all this has to be done outside of the clock) do not try to do this with the wheel in the clock plate as you will end up bending the plate, punch on slowly checking often for proper fit. have fun, William

    #54265
    danacv2
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 20

    Well this did not go well. I did not see any punch marks holding it in place and I was unable to take the collet off. I kept trying to twist and pull but the pliers kept slipping. Eventually the collet started getting deformed and the edges got rounded so that it now even more difficult to grip. Even worse, when the pliers slipped I whacked the pivot and damaged that too. At this point I think I’m just going to buy a new one. Not sure if I was doing something wrong or if that was just not meant to be taken apart.

    There seem to be three versions of this ratchet wheel and I don’t know which one I need. They all have the same specs except for the “drop”. Not sure what this means but I have three choices: 19.5cm, 23.5cm and 28.5cm. Anyone know what this drop measurement is referring to?

    Dan

    #54266
    digitaltripper
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 17
    • Total Posts: 102

    Hi Dan,
    Very sorry to hear that your having a time with that clock. I could be wrong, but “Drop”, as I understand it, is the distance from the flex of the suspension spring (Or in your case where the leader connects to the yoke) to the center of the pendulum bob.

    Now that you have tried pulling on the collet, does the ratchet seem any easier/better? How bad is the pivot? Bent, scarred up or broke? It can be fixed. Do not despair.

    I could be wrong about this also but I would take into account the number of teeth on the wheel. That may be already accounted for but I’d make sure…

    Jim

    #54267
    arutha
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 85
    • Total Posts: 1536

    Some of these movements have the pendulum specs stamped on the back plate down one side.
    If your Regula is marked 25, its pendulum length is 7 3/4″ (19.5 cm). If it’s marked 25L, pend length is 9 1/4″ (23.5 cm). If 25/08, pend length is 11″ (28 cm).
    Found this info on the internet, hope it helps.
    As Jim rightly says, a bent pivot if not too bent can be straightened out and if there are marks on it you can gently file then burnish them out. This should be done on a strip down anyway. Those collets are there just to hold the wheel together so don’t worry too much about damage, a bit of sanding with wet and dry paper will tidy it up a bit. If the ratchet is not any better then have a look at a new wheel. These Regula movements do not have a great reputation so dont be hard on yourself if you have a rough time with it.
    Good luck and keep us informed.
    Paul.

    #54268
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
    • Total Posts: 1437

    Hey Dan, sorry it is being a pain, the other day I took one apart from a movement I am working on (almost the same as yours), I used a plier with some teeth in the jaws, it did make a mark even trying to be careful about it but after it was apart I was able to smooth it out, you do have to get a good grip on it. I hope you can sort this out, if you do buy another ratchet wheel maybe use this one for practice and get it apart just for the experience. hope your day is good, William

    #54269
    danacv2
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 6
    • Total Posts: 20

    At this point, I don’t care about the old one since I’m buying a new one. But even without being careful, I still can’t seem to manage to take it apart. Nothing seems to be able to grip the sides anymore. I tried to see if I could get underneath the collet to pry it off somehow but there’s not much space there. The only thing I can think of is just trying to break of the collet or something.

    Dan

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danacv2Cuckoo Time Ratchet Wheel Issue