Home Forums General Discussion Forum Minute hand going backward

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      Well, I really didn’t know how to do a search for this question.
      I have a vintage 3 train cuckoo movement made by the cuckoo clock company that when I pull the chain to wind it the minute hand turns backward. On this particular movement, the chain gear is on the minute hand.
      So, do you think the friction fit pinion gear on the minute hand is too loose?
      Also, I have been testing it for several days and the door for the music shuts about 3 notes before the music stops. That should be just a minor adjustment I would think.
      I would send pics but I’m having some computer troubles right now. 😡
      Thanks in advance, Danny


        Hey guys, I really need some help here. I’m stumped on this one. I took the movement completely apart again and pulled the star cam to get the center arbor out in order to tighten the friction fit chain gear. I was able to get it somewhat tighter by compressing the spring down a bit. I thought I had it solved but when I got it all back together it still turns the minute hand backward when I wind the time train.
        I wish I could send you a pic but my computer is not working correctly right now. I’m waiting on a patch cord to come that is supposed to fix it.
        If you have any ideas please pass them on and as soon as I get my computer up I’ll put the pics out.
        Thanks, Danny

        michael ciskowski

          Boy Howdy.. This is a stumper. I have very little experience with cuckoo clocks but it would seem that the time train is running backward. Is the hour hand running backward also? Is it possible for the ratchet wheel on the time train to be installed backward on this movement? Hopefully, someone with more cuckoo experience than I will chime in. Keep us informed.


            Thank you for answering, Michael Ciskowski
            No, the clock is not running backward, in fact, it works perfectly from a full wind. The problem is only when I pull the chain to raise the weight. While I m pulling down the minute hand tuns backward sort of randomly. 10, 25 sometimes 43 or any number of minutes. Something is slipping. I think instead of the ratchet turning on the shaft it is turning the whole minute shaft.
            Again, Thanks for the reply. Have a great day, Danny.


              Dan, I guess the first thing I would ask is how tight is the chain wheel to the great wheel, meaning that the chain wheel should be loose enough so that when you pull the chain it wont put alot of pressure on the great wheel to turn it backwards. Reading your first post I am not sure that this thought would even makes sense. Have to wait and see some photos when your able.


                Yeah, I hear ya William. Thank you for your time.
                I Think the chain gear is loose enough to work but the great wheel is what is too loose. Very loose. With the arbor in my hand and holding the great wheel still, I can spin the arbor with my fingers. I don’t think it should be that loose. The chain gear sees to have the proper tension.
                Hopefully, I will soon have the means to post those pics. Remember, the chain gear and great wheel are on the center shaft. Minute arbor.
                As an explanation; The arbor, as installed, has the star cam on the front side and on the back against the front plate it has(I’ll call it the lug or stop) and then the chain gear. (The chain gear has it’s own 3 finger tension washer. I did not tighten that, it seems to be fine.) Then the great wheel, and then another lug and then a small spring and then a small lug. All of the lugs are friction fit.
                So, I set it up in my bench block and tapped that small lug on the back end toward the middle to compress the spring against the great wheel to tighten it up some. It seemed to work but the results when reassembled proved otherwise.
                Lugs is probably not the correct term but I hope it conveys my meaning. Maybe bushing would be a better term.
                If that makes any sense to you and you have a comment please don’t be shy with it. I need to get this one back to the owner.
                Not sure when I can get the pics up, soon I hope, Thanks, Danny


                  Hope this is enough pics to let you see the problem. This pic of the center arbor and great wheel are before I had compressed the spring.


                    Hey Dan, sorry for a late response it has been extremely busy here. I dont have a answer for you but I have some thoughts. Think of your center wheel and arbor just like most any other center wheel and arbor, the minute arbor has to be able to turn so you can adjust the hands, that means the center wheel should be able to “slip” on the arbor when moving the hands with enough tension to stay put for time keeping. You mentioned you sandwiched the spring tighter at one point, that may be too much tension on the chain wheel so center wheel wont “slip” when winding, remember that winding is moving the chain wheel in a backwards direction and if too much tension then applying power in a backwards direction therefore moving the time train backwards. Which seems to be easy on a cuckoo clock movement.

                    Another thing to keep in mind and is very important is that on any type of center wheel setup where the center wheel slips on the minute hand arbor is that when cleaning…it has to be disassembled …..any type of cleaning solution / gunk / goo / rust / corrosion will sooner or later bind up the wheel to the arbor. If you have not already… I guess I would take that center wheel / chain wheel assembly all apart (looks like some corrosion in there from your pics), clean and lightly lubricate, reassemble and gradually increase the spring to wheel tension until it feels like it might properly work put it all back together and test.


                      William, thanks for your time.
                      I was able to get it fixed with the help of a gentleman named Uhralt over on the NAWCC. I tried the spring adjustment but it didn’t do much. I’m not sure I understand all I know about it but here’s what he suggested.
                      With the arbor pointing up I put the rear end of the arbor in my bench block to where it supported the back of the great wheel. I got a staking tool that fit over the threads and rested on the shoulder and tapped the arbor down about 1.5 mm. Somehow that worked.
                      I’ve never taken those apart before. I never thought about it causing trouble. This is the first one I’ve seen go backward when winding. I’ll remember that in the future. Thanks.
                      I’m starting another post tonight I’m calling ” Dirty Inghram” If you get a minute, please give it a read. I think it might involve removing a great wheel also. It looks hard to do on this old Inghram. Don’t you have a video of something like that?
                      Thanks for all the great help, Danny

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