Monday, November 5, 2012

A Love of Clocks

I have a love for clocks of all kinds. I don't just love them because I repair and restore them. I don't just love them because my father before me loved them. I love the fine crafstmanship that most antique clocks bear. I love their history and the thought of the many hands that have touched them and the many eyes that have gazed at them during their lifetime. I love the peaceful and relaxing sound that the make, a nice steady tick tock that reminds us time rules, time flys, and we are here but for a short while and should enjoy life and be happy making the most of our time. I love the sound of chimes that some clocks make as their tiny hammers hit the chime rods on cue to produce a melody like St. Michael, Whittington or the famous chime of the Westminister clock in London whose largest bell is known World round as "Big Ben" I love the cheerful happy sound of a cuckoo clock as the cuckoo joyfully sings his call to announce the hours and possibly music, dancers and other types of animations come to life about the clock. I love the accuracy of these man made marvels that take the power of gravity or a wound spring and transfer that power into a measurement of time itself. Clocks grace a home or office wall with their Timeless charm and simplistic beauty. Clocks have a life of their own and they seem to bring life to the room that they occupy. They remind us of a time when life was simpler or at least seemed that way. I recently recieved a clock that was saved from destruction for my Birthday. It is a rare clock made by a man named Riley Whiting around 1810 in Conneticut. Riley lived from 1785 to 1835, a mere fifty years and he only made his clocks for around twenty five of those. It's movement is all handmade from wood. Even the gears are made from wood I speculate from some of the first trees cut in the American forests. The clock came to me from Ohio so during it's life it traveled from the hands of Whiting in Conneticut to the West probably by wagon. It is two hundred years old now and still running. This clock should be in a museum now but it almost ended up in a dumpster. How many lives has this clock seen come and go. Sometimes I wonder if this clock could talk what kind of stories would it have to tell? Would they be good memories or bad? I'm sure each antique clock I encounter has seen it's share of hard times, watched life and death go and come, encountered joy and sorrow. So in a way clocks have a lot in common with people in my opinion. Sure they tell us what time it is, how many hours we have left in this short day we are in at present but are they really saying more to us. I think they speak of our mortality and remind us of the fact that tomorrow is promised to no one. Yesterday is History...Tomorrow is a Mystery...and Today is a gift that's why it's called the Present!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hello Friends, my name is John "Papa" Barnette II the Cuckoo Clock Doctor.  My Father Papa Sr. you all knew and loved passed away from heart failure at age 59 on May 19th of 2012.  Today October 2nd would have been his 60th Birthday.  This is a sad day for me in many respects but also a happy one as my Mother and I celebrate the short life of such a fine man we were blessed to know and share life with.  My Dad apprenticed me well in the Clockmaker's trade and for many years I have been his assistant in the shop.  He loved his Trade, his business, his customers and friends and cuckoo clocks so very much and did not want CCD to die with him.  I now carry on where my Papa Sr. left off as he requested when his "Time" ran out and his "Clock of Life" stopped as all of our clocks will one day.  We have great Faith in the fact that only Christ is the Great Clocksmith that will fix us and keep us ticking long after the movements in our frail human bodies wear out and can no longer be repaired and our hearts can no longer keep it's beat and our pendulums slowly come to rest.  I could think of no better tribute to Papa than to get his blog going again today and introduce myself to you all.  Keeping our business going without my Dad's smiling face and his bright shining happy eyes has been most difficult but the Clockshop is where I feel the closest to him and things look brighter everyday as the work progresses and the cuckoo clocks keep flying in and flying home again to their loving owners.  I have made many new friends and met many of my Dad's friends and this has been a big help to me and I am forever grateful to them, to my Mom Kathy for all of her support and love.  I am here to answer questions and give advice as my Dad loved to do and possibly even bring your cuckoo or other type of mechanical clock back to life again.  Blogging is new to me but I will do my best to keep up!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cuckoo sings the wrong time.

Papa, oh thank you thank you thank you!  I got my cuckoo clock back in sync!  Such a fast and easy fix!  I thank you with all my heart!  It only took a few minutes to do!  I was thrilled beyond belief to hear my cuckoo singing the correct time!

Thank you again!


P.S. The chains don't hit the floor so I don't need to shorten them I think.  If we ever move the clock (which I doubt because it's in the perfect spot) I will certainly keep in in mind! Thanks for the hint!  I will be sure to pass it on to my dad because on his trip to Germany he purchased the one for me and one for himself as well.

Sent from my iPad

On Sep 17, 2011, at 3:58 PM, Cuckoo Clock Doctor wrote:
Dear Jessica, 
Thank you for your question.  I'm going to make your day because this is a real easy fix that you can do yourself and you won't even need your husband.  Don't be too hard on him.  The hour hand is simply a press on fit onto a tapered shaft.  The minute hand is the hard part so leave it be, but all you need to do is to know how many times it cuckooed last or turn the minute hand clockwise and get it to cuckoo.  Say it cuckoos 4 and the clock hand says 6.  Just move the clock hour hand to the 4 and then use your thumbnails and press down on each side of the hand right at that shaft.  Now you will have to set the correct time of course, but your clock is back in sync.
Another little piece of advice so you will have a long life with your clock.  If the chains run down all the way and touch the floor, either raise the clock or shorten the chains just a bit.  If you let it run down and the cuckoo weight hits the floor first, then the time will still be running and it can lock up a safety device in the clock to keep a part from breaking.  If this happens the clock will run and keep time but it will only cuckoo one time on each hour and half hour.  I just thought since it was new, and they probably didn't tell you this, that it would be helpful and save you from more trouble.  Enjoy your cuckoo, forgive your husband, and both of you have a nice weekend.
God Bless,
John  "Papa" Barnette
From: Jessica To: Cuckoo Clock Doctor
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2011 10:53 AM
Subject: Cuckoo sings the wrong time

Monday, September 12, 2011

'Cause My Cup has Overflowed

This little poem was sent to me recently but I don't remember who sent it.  If you are the one, I'd like youto know how much it has meant to me.  Please let me know if it was you.  Thanks,  John "Papa" Barnette.

'Cause My Cup has Overflowed

I've never made a fortune,
And it's probably too late now.
But I don't worry about that much,
I'm happy anyhow
And I go along life's way,
I'm reaping better than I sowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

Haven't got a lot of riches,
And sometimes the going's tough
But I've got loving ones all around me,
And that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings,
And the mercies He's bestowed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong,
My faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke,
And the sun peeped through again.

So Lord, help me not to gripe,
About the tough rows I have hoed.
I'm drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage,
When the way grows steep and rough.
I'll not ask for other blessings,
I'm already blessed enough.

And may I never be too busy,
To help others bear their loads.
Then I'll keep drinking from my saucer,
'Cause my cup has overflowed.

May today there be peace within you. May you trust your
God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
"I believe that friends are quiet angels who lift us to our feet
 when Our wings have trouble remembering how to fly."

When I think of how many people in this world have it worse
Than I do, I realize just how blessed we really are.
Don't be too busy today...
Share this inspiring message with friends and family.

"Love never gives up, Never loses faith,
Is always hopeful, And endures."

Have a great Day!  Unknown

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Original Question from Pat on Thursday, July 09, 2009 8:52 AM

Hello nice to meet you..I have a old cuckoo clock from Germany 1969-1970. It was in a closet for years and I have it working but the music wont play the dancers do go around. The only noise from the clock is a ticking nosie from the music box. This clock is my Mothers and a Black Forest, back 30 years ago the clock broke and the repair man took advantage of her. He removed the music box and put in a cheap one. It never played right and did not play the song "Some where my love" Is there a way to fix it without taking it to a repair shop? Seem that it is turning inside just wont play music

Dear Pat,

Thank you for your question. It sounds like you have a great clock. Most likely the release wires to the music box are bent. When the clock finishes cuckooing the music box is then released and the music box turns the dancers in most cases. I'm going to cut and paste below a pre-written answer I keep for just this question. If you are fairly handy and understand how they work you just may get it running. I would definitely try it before I took it in for repair. Just don't bend any of the wires until you understand how the releases function and you should be fine. If after this it doesn't work, you will more than likely need professional help. Best wishes and have a good weekend.

I'm going to try to tell you how the music box works. It may not be exactly what you have, but all are similar and will give your somewhere to start. There should be 2 connections from the movement to the music box. On some movements both wires come from the same spot. On others there is a flat strip of metal coming off the right hand corner of the clock and a straight wire coming off the back center of the clock. The flat strip of metal is hooked to a linkage that pulls a locking pin out of the music box at the top of the hour. The music box tries to play but the fan is immediately stopped by the straight wire coming off the back of the clock. That wire will move back and forth as the clock cuckoos and when it finishes it is supposed to drop away just enough to let the fan rotate freely and the music will play and will lock itself back down. That is how it is supposed to work. Getting it to do that is extremely tricky, but if you are persistent you may well succeed. Last year I had 2 gentlemen and 1 lady succeed in doing just that. There have been at least 75 or more who didn't. Normally I advise people to stay away from that, but some are handier than others. I sometimes spend as much as a whole day on adjusting one music box. Others may take me 10 minutes. There is only one sweet spot where everything will work.

Pat, I hope this helps and at least gives you a good understanding of how it should work. If the fellow who originally worked on it didn't install it properly and the adjustment of the releases aren't the problem then you may need professional help.
Best wishes and have a nice weekend.


John "Papa" Barnette
Cuckoo Clock Repairs by Mail
Dear Cuckoo Clock Doctor,

It was very kind of you to respond to our needs with our clock. We will try what you said and see how it goes and, like you say, if we can't follow your directions, we will ask for more help. Thanks so much.
"Art is good for you and the world!"

Dear Denise,

You are very welcome. I hope this works for you. Have a good weekend.

John "Papa" Barnette
Cuckoo Clock Repairs by Mail