Author Topic: Newbee introduction  (Read 33367 times)

Offline Rocketcaver

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Newbee introduction
« on: March 26, 2009, 07:13:26 PM »
Hello all from Southern Illinois!
I have been interested in clocks since I was a kid in the 60's.
Yes I remember the 60's, does that mean I wasn't really there?
Anyway I have never built a clock, hoping to get lots of good info here.
I've had the Thomas Wooden Clock plans for many years, bought about 1990 and never built it.
I have the bug again now so I better get started.
A question, I have a small bandsaw but no scroll saw.
Must one spend many hundreds of $$$ on an expensive Dewalt, or will the $100 Skill saw do the job?
Also, for later I think I can get a copy of the Spring '07 Scrollsaw magazine with the clock plans in.
I found the drawing updates, is this combination all one needs to build that clock or is it better to just order the plans?
Sorry for the newbee questions, I'm sure I'll have more later.
I have been going through all the old posts, lots of good stuff there.
I notice however that posting has gotten slim lately, hope that doesn't mean that folks have dropped away.
Les

Offline chuckknight

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 10:42:54 PM »
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEL71yn1Cno
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSuBodOfz7I

I have tried cutting gears on a scrollsaw, with a spiral blade.  It works pretty well, but the edges are less precise than I wanted.  (my patience is not eternal)  And, no, thanks to that lack of patience I've not yet completed a clock...but I'm hopeful to one day build one.

Of course, plans might help. 

My attempts, thus far, are just experimental gear trains...just for the fun of it.

My next attempt at a gear train will be cut on a bandsaw.

Eventually I'll build an actual clock!

Chuck

Offline Rocketcaver

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 06:20:27 AM »
Hi Chuck!
Thanks for the YouTube links, I had already found them.
They prompted me to try the band saw method, and it actually works quite well.
I bought a sheet of 9 ply 1/2" birch at the hardware store and made a few test gears.
Takes a bit of file work to clean them up, but the band saw is going to be my gear cutter for a while I think.
Too bad the ply is full of voids making the gears unsuitable for a clock.
I had read about this and expected it, but it was disappointing all the same.
Believe it or not I have actually found a few sets of free wooden gear clock plans on the internet.
Some are a little advanced for me, but I'm keeping them for future use.
Most were here in the links area, some I found elsewhere.
I can post the links here if you like.
I suspect that the spiral blade is not the best choice for precision scroll saw work, better to use a regular fine blade.  This is just what I have gleaned from reading, I still don't have a scroll saw.
I bought a 3/8" wide fine tooth blade for my 9" table-top band saw and it seems to work fine.
Les


Offline steve323

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2009, 01:27:51 PM »
Welcome to the club Les,

I have a cheap bandsaw and a cheap scroll saw.  The bandsaw definately makes smoother cuts.  I don't really care for the up-down vibrations of the scroll saw.  The scroll saw's only advantage would be cutting the spokes. 

The 1/2" birch does not sound like true baltic birch, just birch outer layers over generic plywood.  I have been using 0.2" (5mm) birch plywood from Home Depot for my gear testing.  There are 3 inner plys with very thin birch on the outside and very few voids.  The cost is about $25 for a full 4'x8' sheet.  The only disadvantage I see is that it warps slightly (maybe 1/2" across 24") relative to true baltic birch that seems to remain perfectly flat.  My first clock will use 1 thickness for the large gears and 2 thicknesses glued together for the pinions.  The next clock (after the experimentation slows down) will probably be made using 1/4" true BB for the large gears and 3/8" BB for the pinions.

Steve

Offline Rocketcaver

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2009, 06:10:38 PM »
Hi Steve!
The plywood I bought was from Home Depot but it was 9 ply.
The outer plies are VERY thin and tend to tear off very easily.  I looked at the 3 and 5 ply but passed them up.
I have some real b/bb grade Baltic Birch ordered from here:  http://www.woodnshop.com/  it should arrive in a day or two.
Meanwhile I'm making test gears from the Home Depot stuff and just ignoring the voids.
If I can get a fair escape wheel made I'm thinking about setting it up with a weight and pendulum to see if I can get it to run.  I figure it's good practice.
Les

Offline Rocketcaver

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2009, 07:28:38 PM »
By the way, I have noticed on the plywood that the bandsaw leaves a pretty ragged edge on the under side and in places the bottom layer of veneer pulls off.
Is there a way to prevent this?
I tried going slow, but it still happens.
I am using the finest tooth blade I could find and it cuts like a dream, just leaves the bottom edge ragged.
I can clean it up with a file, but it's a bother.  And it looks bad where the veneer pulls off.
A buddy said to mask off the underside with masking tape or something, hopefully that will help hold things together.  I haven't had a chance to try that yet.
Suggestions?

Offline bobledoux

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Cutting Wheel Teeth with Bandsaw
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2009, 06:43:04 AM »
Check Clayton Boyer's site:

http://lisaboyer.com/Claytonsite/frequentquestions.htm

He uses a band saw to rough cut teeth and finishes off with a bench top belt sander.  Its the kind Harbor Freight sells for $39 that takes one inch wide belts.  I bought a $400 Dewalt scroll saw to make my clocks and I use it only for crossing out the wheels.

Boyer is happy to answer questions by e-mail.


Offline steve323

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2009, 08:31:15 AM »
By the way, I have noticed on the plywood that the bandsaw leaves a pretty ragged edge on the under side and in places the bottom layer of veneer pulls off.

Sounds like a good use for a sacrificial bottom layer.  Maybe a piece of masonite or cheap 1/8" plywood would help.

I have purchased 2 sheets of the 5mm Home Depot plywood.  One seemed to hold together better than the other.  Maybe it was just a lucky batch. 

I occationally get large chips of the outer ply that break loose when I cut real baltic birch.  Usually I can find them and glue them back in.  I cut my gears using a CNC router, so the steps will be different.  The teeth get fuzzier with more chips when the bit starts getting dull.  I am still trying to find the perfect recipe for my system. 

Steve

Offline steve323

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Re: Cutting Wheel Teeth with Bandsaw
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2009, 08:41:51 AM »
Check Clayton Boyer's site:

http://lisaboyer.com/Claytonsite/frequentquestions.htm

He uses a band saw to rough cut teeth and finishes off with a bench top belt sander.  Its the kind Harbor Freight sells for $39 that takes one inch wide belts. 

I tried one of the $39 Harbor Freight belt sanders and ended up returning it.  The belt wobbled from side to side when any pressure was applied.  I upgraded to one for around $100 from Grizzly that is significantly better.  I use a fine grit paper to smooth the teeth. 

Steve

Offline Rocketcaver

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2009, 12:06:00 PM »
Ah, good information folks, thanks.
I have been considering this sander:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/1-x-30-Belt-5-Disc-Sander/H6070

I've been thinking about just using a coping saw to cross out the wheels for now.
I figure I can use the excercise, and better use the money saved for other things.
If I get "The Bug" from this project I might look into getting a scroll saw, but I doubt I'll spend the big bucks for a DeWalt.
Thanks also for the link to Clayton's site.
I have been to his site before but hadn't read the whole FAQ.
Lots of great stuff there.
Sounds like the sacrafical bottom layer is the way to go.
Of course the problem is on the back of the wheel where nobody will ever see it, but I will know it's there.
Les

Offline steve323

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2009, 01:26:14 PM »
I have been considering this sander:

http://www.grizzly.com/products/1-x-30-Belt-5-Disc-Sander/H6070

I can't comment on that sander.  H3140 looks like the Harbor Freight model.  Not sure if H6070 is identical except for the added disk sander. 

I have a 42" sander that doesn't appear on the Grizzly site anymore.  H8192 appears to be an improved version of the one I have. 

Steve

Offline BrianC

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2009, 03:48:13 PM »
By the way, I have noticed on the plywood that the bandsaw leaves a pretty ragged edge on the under side and in places the bottom layer of veneer pulls off.
Is there a way to prevent this?

Try using a backer under the piece, double-sticky tape (where your cut line is) works OK for this or (better) screw'em together - just make sure they stay in very tight contact.

By the way, if you want the BEST plywood, get Finnish Birch plywood, I just got some 1/4" that has 12 (count 'em, 12) plies.

And, I just got (GLOAT!) a new DeWalt DW788 scroll saw that cuts much smoother than my 14" band saw.
BrianC

Offline Rocketcaver

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2009, 08:57:11 PM »
Steve,
Hey, I like the looks of the H8192, thanks.

Brian,
Congrats on the new DeWalt.
I'm sure it cuts like a dream, but I'll have to make due with what I have.
This is just one of many hobbies for me, so I have to watch my cash outflow.
12 plies in 1/4"?  Wow.  I'll just be glad to get my 9 ply 1/2".
Thanks for the idea of the backer plate.
Les

Offline steve323

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2009, 09:08:15 AM »
By the way, if you want the BEST plywood, get Finnish Birch plywood, I just got some 1/4" that has 12 (count 'em, 12) plies.

Where did you get the plywood?  I would like to try some.

Steve

Offline BrianC

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Re: Newbee introduction
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2009, 06:50:53 PM »
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/wp/plywood.html
Check their other stuff, too, like Aircraft quality Sitka Spruce - beautiful, absolutely straight grained - perfect for pendulums.

BrianC
BrianC