How to Wind a Cuckoo Clock

May 8 21:00 2002 Dave Balch Print This Article

We have a lot of clocks in our home. Most of them make some sortof noise on the hour (steam trains, cartoon ... ... horses, wild animals; I'm not ... some of them onthe half-hou

We have a lot of clocks in our home. Most of them make some sort
of noise on the hour (steam trains,Guest Posting cartoon characters, birds,
dogs, horses, wild animals; I'm not kidding!), some of them on
the half-hour as well, and one that even chimes on the quarter
hour. We just like clocks. Needless to say, we are usually
aware of the time! Some of my favorites are the cuckoo clocks
that we purchased on a trip to the Black Forest, and they needed
some TLC: cleaning, oiling, and adjusting.

Enter Skip, the clock repairman who believes in the long-lost art
of house calls. He took the clocks back to his shop and fixed
them up beautifully. When he returned them, he placed them back
on the wall with loving care and proceeded to explain the
"proper" way to wind them.

1. Be sure to pull straight down or the chain can come off
of the gear or the weight may bang against the wall,
leaving a mark.

2. Pull only one chain at a time because pulling more than
one at a time

a) causes the chains to be pulled at an angle and

b) puts too much stress on the hanger on the wall and/or
the back of the clock.

3. Don't pull them too quickly because they may come off of
their gears.

4. When setting the clock it is better to turn the hands
counter clock-wise because of the nature of the internal

...and so on, and so forth. For about 15 minutes, Skip explained
the finer points of something that seemed so simple and so
obvious, that I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

It recently dawned on me that this experience serves as a great
illustration of two important points. First of all, the
importance of education; there is always a "right" way and a
"wrong" way to do just about anything, regardless of how simple
and obvious it may seem. It is unlikely that what you are trying
to do in your business has never been tried before. Why suffer
through the mistakes that others have made when they did what you
are doing? Do everything you can to learn from other people's
experience and save yourself the grief of repeating their
mistakes. I used to pull all three chains at once; it never
occurred to me that the back of the clock could break under the
strain. He's seen it happen. I'm glad that I learned from his
experience before the clock came crashing down because a), the
falling clock would probably break the glass table beneath it, b)
I might be physically injured if hit by the clock or flying glass
and c), I cherish my clocks and would hate to lose one. Find
seminars, classes, tapes, books, or websites that can help you
avoid the avoidable. Your time and money will be well spent.

The other important point is that you can learn and grow from the
most unlikely places. Keep your eyes and ears open; you just
never know when a "Skip" will waltz into your life for even a
brief moment and leave you with a tidbit that will change you

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Dave Balch
Dave Balch

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