How Cuckoo Clocks are Made

by Gregory Burton

How Cuckoo Clocks are Made

If you’ve ever seen a cuckoo clock up close, you know how incredible these timeless and artistic pieces really are. From the intricate carvings to the decorated figurines to the birds and sweet melodies that spring to life, it’s a magical experience no matter your age. If you’re curious about how cuckoo clocks are made, read on to find out more.

They’re Still Crafted in Germany

Cuckoo clocks date back all the way to the 1700s and were first crafted in the infamous Black Forest region of Germany. Today, it’s still where many of the clocks are made and is renowned as the clock making capital of the world. 

They’re Made from Walnut, Pine or Linden

Beyond their artistic carvings and details, cuckoo clocks are also known for their quality and longevity. They are typically made from linden, pine or walnut trees which are strong and durable. However, linden is the preferred wood of choice because it’s also soft and malleable. This makes the carving process easier and more precise. The wood is left to age for a few years prior to being used by the clockmakers to create their masterpieces.

Over 50 Different Knives are Used for Carving

What really makes these clocks so special is the amount of work that goes into crafting each unique piece. When making these clocks, artisans will first draw out their designs and then sketch it into the wood. Then the magic begins, with clockmakers using around 50 different knives to carve the meticulous details that go into these clocks. 

The Movement is Built into the Clock

Once the design is complete, the triggers and movement of the clock are added, using either brass or steel. They typically have one-day or eight-day movement included. 

The Bird and Final Touches are Added

The final touches are then added to the clock. This includes the bird that is attached to the movement which bursts out every hour on the hour. The cuckoo sound that accompanies the bird is created by the miniature bellows near the top of the clock with air pumping to create the sounds, similar to a bagpipe.

As you can see, quality and precision are infused in every authentic German cuckoo clock that is made, which is why they are such a beloved timepiece and keepsake. If you’re looking to purchase a cuckoo clock, browse our selection today at Frankenmuth Clock Company!