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Clocks, Watches/Mi-Ken Cuckoo clock

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QUESTION: I have a mi-ken cuckoo clock with the diamond mounted movement. I have never seen a movement like it before, though it is similar to the german movements. Time train is good, but it will not stop cuckooing! The german movements have an arm that drops after the rack runs through to end it, but this movement has nothing like that... I belive it is complete, but I have no way of knowing. Any advice would be appreciated.

ANSWER: John, the Mi-Ken is an unusual clock! 99.9% of the cuckoo clocks come from the Black Forest in Germany.  Of course the Mi-Ken comes from Japan.  I had never seen one until I picked up one at and estate sale, and the next week a customer brought one in for repair.  It is nice to own such a "rare" clock.  One thing you mentioned and that is a "diamond mounted movement".  I am not familiar with the term.  Can you explain that?  I cannot quite remember how the strike count works on the one I have or the customer's, which was identical.  On most auto strike mechanisms (as opposed to a count wheel type) there is a lever that drops down and engages a stop cam or stop pin on a wheel after it has reached the designated number of strikes.  Because of my overwhelming work load right now, I am going to send an inquiry to my Internet Clocksmiths Group and see if anyone might have an answer on where to look for the problem.  If not, I will remove the movement from mine and see.  Let me know about the diamond mounted term.

John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

 

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mi-ken back klein
mi-ken back klein  
mi-ken front klein
mi-ken front klein  
QUESTION: Thanks for the quick reply! By diamond mount, what I mean is it is a typical square movement, but mounted with the corners up and down. The ratchet wheels and chains are on either side of the bottom point. This is an autostrike movement like many of my German clocks, but there is no lever that would drop down to end the strike. Attached images may help. Thanks again!

ANSWER: John, from the photos I see the rack (part with the curved teeth) in the high position, and it looks like it is out of play.  And I don't know if there is an additional lever missing.  I remember working on one of these quite a while ago, but cannot remember exactly how the strike was stopped.  I have send an inquiry to my Internet Clocksmiths Group.  I will let you know when I receive any replies.

John Newman

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QUESTION: Thank-you! I look forward to any information you may find since this really has me stumped! The rack in the photo is all the way up; When I turn the minute hand shaft the rack does drop down to the stepped wheel indicating the number of the hour. Then the rack moves up one step for each cuckoo but at the end of its travel the movement does not stop, and the rack keeps bouncing at the end of its travel. I just wish I could see one working properly, but the rarity makes that difficult, even with the Internet. Thanks again for your efforts, and I am determined to get this clock going in its original form. Everyone needs a challenge!

Answer
John, while I am waiting for some information, I am studying the position of the rack and the gathering pallet (Round brass cam with a notch and pin).  The way most clock striking works is that the gathering pallet lifts each tooth until the rack hook drops down after the last tooth and tail of the hook catches the notch on the gathering pallet or a tab on the rack hook stops a pin on the interior part of the movement.  If you will, please send an email to my shop email address below and we can discuss this more.  It will help free up my Allexperts question queue, as I have a limited number per day.


John Newman
THE VILLAGE CLOCKSMITH
Old Prattvillage
Prattville, Alabama

klokdok@juno.com

(Due to the number of Allexperts questions and
the workload I have at my clock shop, I regret
that I cannot answer personal email questions on a timely basis
other than Allexperts follow ups.)

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John Newman

Expertise

As much as I would like to offer values of clocks, I am not a certified appraiser and will not venture into giving an unresearched guess. There is very little published information on what I consider to be the value of "modern production clocks". Considerations are what the clock originally sold for, the condition of the case and movement, and particularly the area in which you live, the demand and the economy. ALSO, WATCHES ARE NOT MY FIELD. However, I can advise the clock owner on proper maintenance of a clock to keep it running, small corrections and adjustments and how to move a clock without damaging it. I can also advise on obtaining parts for clocks. It helps if you can send any information on the clock movement which is usually found on the back plate of the movement. I have been a clockmaker for about 35 years and was plant engineer in the mid 90's and later operations and engineering consultant at Emperor Clock Company in Fairhope, Alabama. I now have my own clock shop.

Experience

One of my greatest accomplishments was traveling to China to assist a clock factory in building clocks to the standards which we required. With the proper specifications and quality control, some beautiful clock cases were built. The factory people from the wood carvers to the plant manager were very congenial, friendly and I left a lot of wonderful friends when I returned from my trips.

Organizations
NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) 30 years Prattville, Alabama Chamber of Commerce

Publications
Horological Times, a publication of the American Watch and Clockmakers Instute. Collaberated column author, with Photos and ideas for clock movement conversion article.

Education/Credentials
Associate of Science Mechanical Engineering Technology Emperor Introductory Clock Repair (Eventually taught a portion of the class after becoming employee)

Awards and Honors
Small Business of the Quarter (Prattville, Alabama) Leadership Class of 2009 (Autauga County, Alabama)

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