Mantle Clock Tips and Troubleshooting

Below are guides on how to troubleshoot some of the issues that you may be having with a mechanical (key wound) mantle clock. You can also contact us and we'll do what we can to help you resolve the issue.

Putting the Clock in Beat

Listen to the "tick-tock" sound as the pendulum swings back and forth. This is the beat, or heartbeat, of the clock. If the beat is not even and consistent, you'll be able to notice the pendulum does not swint evenly to the left and the right, and the clock sounds uneven - something like tock-tick tock-tick, or ticktock ticktock, instead of a nice even tick tock tick tock.

An uneven beat is achieved when the pendulum leader or crutch gets bent while moving a clock without taking the pendulum off the clock. 

Diagram of a Cuckoo Clock

Cuckoo Clock is Running Fast or Slow

cuckoo pendulum.jpg

If you are finding that your clock is slowly "losing time" or "gaining time" throughout the day or week, this simply means you need to adjust the position of the decorative 'bob' or 'leaf' up or down along the pendulum. 

To make your clock run faster, unhook the pendulum and slide the pendulum bob up a bit on the pendulum stick. To make the clock run slower, pull the carving down a bit. Reattach the pendulum to the pendulum leader at the base of the clock.

The secret phrase to remember is: Lower makes the clock go slower!

A good rule of thumb is for every 1/4 inch you move the pendulum bob it will make a difference of about 10 minutes over a 24 hour period. Make the adjustments once a day until you have it accurately timed. You can mark the back side of the pendulum stick with a pencil indicating the position of the bob on the stick, if you wish. This way, if the bob is accidentally moved, you can easily set it close to its correct position.

The Hands Are Pointing to the Wrong Time or Are Loose

If the minute hand is in the wrong position and the cuckoo is triggered at some other time than on the hour or half hour, simply loosen the hand nut and reposition the minute hand to the proper position so the coo coo is triggered every half hour with the minute hand in the 12 or 6 position. Then retighten the hand nut.

The hour hand is a pressure fit on the cannon and be repositioned as you would spin a ring on your finger. If the hour hand comes forward and becomes loose in the process, re-tighten it by gently nudging it back toward the dial until it is fits snug. 

Position of cuckoo clock hands

If Your Cuckoo Doesn't Cuckoo or the Music Doesn't Play

If the bird doesn't come out and cuckoo or if your clock is supposed to play music but doesn't, then it is in need of a little TLC, but first, check to make sure that the silent lever, if your clock has one, isn't in the off position before reaching out.