Author Topic: Ideas for the first time clock builder.  (Read 9022 times)

Offline bobledoux

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Ideas for the first time clock builder.
« on: May 17, 2007, 08:51:57 AM »
I’ve been a hobby woodworker for many years.  But I’m working on my first clock; the first time I’ve used a scroll saw.  As a scroll novice I developed some techniques to make wheel and pinion construction possible.

I’ve started with Clayton Boyer’s “Bird of Paradise” plan because I like his style.  I think one of Marc Tover’s designs would be better for the beginner because Marc uses thinner materials for his wheel construction.  (Boyer uses ½ and ¼ inch thick birch ply.  Tover employs 1/8 to 3/8 thick birch ply.)  Tover’s MLT-13 was published in “Scroll Saw and Woodworking Crafts,” Spring 2007 issue.

Both of these gentlemen employ brass tubing and brass or steel arbors.  This reduces the parts count and elimintes turned parts often found in other clock plans.

My wheel and pinion construction technique uses drilling to eliminate the scrolling of the curve in the wheel tooth dedundum.

Once the pattern is glued to the wheel blank I mark the drill center for the bottom of every tooth and drill it out using an appropriately size brad tip drill bit.

To do so I made a template from a piece of Plexiglas.  An awl was made by sticking a short length of 1/16” diameter rod into a small piece of dowel.  The rod is ground to a point.  A matching 1/16” hole is drilled through a piece of Plexiglas.  A circle is scribed around the hole, matching the brad tip drill diameter.  The scribed circle is colored with an indelible pen.

The template is used to center mark the curve in each tooth bottom.  The brad tip bit finds the mark and accurately drills each hole.

After the holes are drilled the wheel is cut out by running a scroll saw around the top of each wheel tooth.  The space between each tooth can then be sawed out.  Final finish involves use of an Olson scroll saw file.  This file consists of a steel strip embedded with silicon carbide.  I only used one of these files in the construction of thirteen wheels and pinions of my clock.

This technique eliminates the need to accurately scroll cut each tooth in a wheel or pinion.  Sanding to the line ensures successful construction.


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Re: Ideas for the first time clock builder.
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2007, 12:21:48 PM »

Very nice description, thanks.