Author Topic: New clock builder checking in.  (Read 14047 times)

Offline jasc15

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New clock builder checking in.
« on: September 27, 2010, 12:00:09 PM »
I want to introduce myself to this group by showing you my own experiences so far.

The first step into this world is a bit fuzzy, but at some point during a long period web browsing, I came across Clayton Boyer's clocks.  I thought it would be great fun to build my own clock, and thought of giving it a try.  Some months passed and I forgot about the whole thing.  Then I started looking on Clayton's site again, as well as some others that offered partly finished kits, and probably every youtube video featuring wooden gears.  I determined I could design and build my own, so in February of this year, I began designing.  I am a mechanical engineer, and use Solidworks on a daily basis, so I got to work.  I read about several escapement designs, and determined that the Graham Dead Beat would be the easiest choice.  As for the look of the clock, I decided on copying the Swiss rail clock for the face and hands.

Here is the first iteration of the design:



I decided to use involute tooth profiles, mainly because i didnt know how to design anything else that would work.  Many other clocks I've seen use profiles which are obviously not involute, but I reasoned that this would work fine.  Plus, I knew how to derive the shape easily in CAD.  I also figured a pinned escape wheel would be pretty easy to make, but later went with the one you see below.

I later decided to put the seconds hand on the main face, which turned out the be a major problem when i eventually built it.  This is the latest of the solidworks design.  I used photoworks to make it look cool:



And an exploded view:


Here is a picture of the first build:



This didnt work at all.  There was too much friction, so i needed to change the design.  Fortunately, I didnt have to cut any new gears, and I arranged them vertically, each on their own arbor (much like the first image which is shown horizontally).  Right now i have this arrangement on a crude plywood frame, and it ticks without any trouble,  I still need to add the barrel wheel (right now, i just tie the weight to the center wheel) and create a real, finished frame.  Here is a video of it finally ticking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3ZYutRylMI

I have no clock building experience, and very little wood working experience.  Oddly enough, I only found this forum about a month ago, after i had gone through all my design and building.

Thanks for reading, and please comment!

Joe
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 12:22:06 PM by jasc15 »

Offline bobledoux

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2010, 11:33:58 AM »
Its nice to see you here. 

Clock movements don't transmit power so involute gears aren't traditionally used.   Weight drives require large gear ratios between second hand and the great wheel fed by a weight.  This results in a different set of technologies than found in traditional power transfer engineering.

Since you are an engineer I'd suggest reviewing the clock literature to identify the design elements that reduce power loss in the gear train.  For me, the challenge is to optimize mechanisms to deliver consistent energy with minimal loss. 

Offline jrbeall

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2010, 11:27:57 AM »
Joe,

Nice to have you aboard and thanks for your initial offering.  It is very good.  I am just considering buying Soldworks but am a little worried about the learning curve.  I have been using Bob Cad Cam for some years and it is easy but doesn't' produce such great results I think. 

You won't have any problem producing cycloidal gears with your Cad and they do work better in addition to looking a lot more "official".  Be sure to start right out with the Modal system and you will be able to work up a library of standard wheels and pinions in no time.  My experience is that anything smaller than ,055 (imperial) is pretty small for wood.  I cut mine on a CNC mill using 1/16 end mills and it works great.  Keep us posted as you proceed and good luck.  Try a gravity or grasshopper on your next clock.  They are more fun.

JR

Offline steve323

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That is a nice looking clock
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2010, 05:10:23 PM »
I have made several partial attempts, but something always stops me from getting it to work.  Young kids will do that.  :)

My biggest problem appears to be getting the center hole to be perfectly centered.  It always seems to be offset slightly so the teeth mesh too loose in one direction and too tight in the other direction.

Welcome to the board.  Please continue to post more pictures as it progresses.  This board has been fairly quiet lately (unless you want to buy fake prescription drugs).  It is nice to see new members and new designs. 

I like the 3 circle cutouts for the wheels.  They are simple, yet elegant looking.  How did you cut the teeth?

Steve

Offline bobledoux

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Re: That is a nice looking clock
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2010, 11:27:45 AM »


My biggest problem appears to be getting the center hole to be perfectly centered.  It always seems to be offset slightly so the teeth mesh too loose in one direction and too tight in the other direction.


Steve

If you have a lathe you can achieve perfect center.  Cut the wheel teeth but no center hole. Mount a block of wood on the face plate.  Turn a recess into the face into which you can fit the toothed wheel.  It should be a press fit.  Drill the center using the tail stock.  This technique is sometimes called "turning in a box."

Another technique is to place the wheel on an arbor and rotate the edge against an abrasive.  The high teeth will be sanded down.  Refinish those teeth.

Offline ray hampton

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2010, 10:22:14 AM »
I will welcome you also and thank you for the exploded VIEW of the gears
this view explain the relationship between the gears  better

Offline jasc15

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2010, 06:58:07 AM »
Thanks for the replies.

As for the center drilling, that is the first thing I do after rough cutting the circles.  using a jigsaw, I leave about .125" - .250" outside the addendum line, and use a circle cutting template I made for my scroll saw.  I put a piece of the axle through the hole, and use that to pivot the blank on the circle cutting template.  Now I know my addendum line is concentric to my pivot.

As for cutting the teeth, I drill the root of the teeth with an appropriate sized drill, centered on the dedendum line.  This allows me to make only 2 cuts with the scroll saw.  I then use a bench top belt sander to sand to the line.  It is a 3 pulley belt sander, allowing me to get the belt into the space between the teeth.  Once I got the process down, I was able to cut a 62 tooth gear in about a half hour.

Offline steve323

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Re: That is a nice looking clock
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2010, 11:04:48 AM »
My biggest problem appears to be getting the center hole to be perfectly centered.  It always seems to be offset slightly so the teeth mesh too loose in one direction and too tight in the other direction.

Steve

If you have a lathe you can achieve perfect center.  Cut the wheel teeth but no center hole. Mount a block of wood on the face plate.  Turn a recess into the face into which you can fit the toothed wheel.  It should be a press fit.  Drill the center using the tail stock.  This technique is sometimes called "turning in a box."

Thanks for the tip, bobledoux.  I recently acquired a used lathe and will give it a try.

Steve

Offline jasc15

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2010, 07:28:27 PM »
Update:

I was able to score a busted up piece of 4' x 8' walnut veneer plywood at a warehouse nearby, so i used it for my new frame.  Here are some pics.

I took a nice chunk out at the 1 o'clock position when i slipped with the router.






Here is my first stab at joinery

« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 07:30:07 PM by jasc15 »

Offline steve323

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2010, 04:53:33 PM »
Jasc,

That is nice looking plywood, but I think it hides the much nicer looking gears.  I hope you plan to cut away some of the solid areas before you finish.

Steve

Offline kilsonvorra

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 02:53:46 AM »
This is such a nice post about watch building. Watch making is the nice experience of making the watch from different kind of materials or gear parts and wooden. Wooden clock is always better to build because it is robust and looking precious in house.

Offline Troy Hendricks

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2013, 02:17:29 AM »
hi
 
    it's an nice picture of making  clock.
multiple alarm watch | watches with alarms

Offline Rocketcaver

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2014, 02:16:16 PM »
Joe, did you complete this clock?  I have been gone a while, would love to see more photos.

Offline jasc15

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 03:03:35 PM »
Unfortunately, what I posted here is the most progress I've made.  I don't have access to a workshop anymore, but I have learned a few things I did wrong and have been working on a new design here and there using solidworks.  Thanks for the interest!

Offline Rocketcaver

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Re: New clock builder checking in.
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2014, 12:07:40 PM »
Ok Joe, thanks for the update.