Friday, November 12, 2010

Flipping Cuckoo!

This has been a long hard journey but finally I have the internal mechanism of my flip cuckoo clock. Yep you heard me right a cuckoo clock that flips.

This madness started a short time ago when I inherited a piece of our family history. My Great Uncle Bill's cuckoo clock. It was in a sorry state of disrepair so I took it completely to pieces and started to spruce her up. It was a much bigger job than expected now I'm waiting for one small part to arrive and then I can finally put it all together.

In the meantime I've got myself a bit obsessed with cuckoo clocks. I remember standing watching Uncle Bill's clock and waiting for it to sing. Having it back in my life has brought back some happy childhood memories. It was a time before Playstation when a mechanical bird could keep a child amused for hours - literally.

Since I'd taken Uncle Bills clock to pieces I had a layout for the body of the clock but the inside was a different kettle of fish altogether. But then things started getting interesting. I thought why not take my clocks a bit left field. Why not combine a cuckoo clock with a flip clock?

The first step was I needed to find a 70s style flip clock and strip it down.

Then I had to bash build a cuckoo mechanism that would work with the flip. Because the flip is electronic I had find electronic cuckoo bits to work with it.

This involved a lot of wiring, a lot of cursing and a lot of kiwi ingenuity. Now I want you look very carefully at this little dickens...

This is the trigger mechanism for the cuckoo. I had to find a way to make the flip clock trigger this. This little piece of metal and plastic caused me a lot of stress. I wreaked two flip clocks and several quartz movements to get this blasted thing to work. Finally with some superglue, a broken clock mechanism, a screw and a lot of blind luck I convinced this trigger and my cuckoo to make sweet, sweet love.

Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the working flip cuckoo...

I can't tell you the how much trial and error it took to get here but it was so worth it. Flippin' awesome!


  1. I have absolutely no mechanical skills so I admire what you were able to do. When I was a kid living in Germany we would drive every Sunday to an old cuckoo clock store in the Black Forest for icecream and to watch all the clocks go off at the top of the hour. That shop had been in business for hundreds of years and still had the working water wheel that was used to power all the saws and sanders used by the craftsmen to make the clocks. A generational family business. I loved that place. It was magical.

  2. Uncle Bill has been re-born... He was a great autistic inventor and now you are too! Love it bro :)