Timing gear clock

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Project by PopsHuckster posted 08-20-2013 08:31 PM 3236 views 7 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Saw a clock similar to this in one of those whacky catalogs you get around Christmas time. I thought it looked OK but needed some upgrades. I have a gear generator program for designing and printing out patterns for making wood gears I had used for the motor lamp I have in my projects list, so I thought I could use it to make my own ‘running timing gear clock’. The chain has 32 links. The gears have 6 (drive gear) and 18 teeth (second hand gear). I have a couple 3 rpm 110v motors (actually motors used to turn those disco balls way back when) that I use for various projects and figured with this ratio I could use the main (18 tooth) gear as a second hand too. To be really anal, I added one of those programmable cards to record the song “Little Deuce Coupe” to play when the clock hit the hour, but I could find a clock movement with a long enough shaft that had a set of remote contacts to use as the ‘play’ switch for the music. So.. the music plays when you push the small button on the left side of the back board of the clock. You can see it on the one photo that shows the clocks workings on the backboard.

To make sure the chain links were all pretty uniform i had to make a jig to drill the pin holes in the link plates. I was glad I did after having to make 32 links that had to move smoothly. The video I have of it running on the wall is too big to add on here (20 meg), so I’ll have to see if I can cut it down and post it later or as a separate blog.

-- Pop

11 comments so far

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3020 days

#1 posted 08-20-2013 09:25 PM

Nice work on that clock ! It must be really hard to make that especially with the intricate details! Good job!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View Woodenwizard's profile


1366 posts in 3889 days

#2 posted 08-20-2013 10:45 PM

Clever. I really like the detail and the chain.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View hunter71's profile


3530 posts in 4033 days

#3 posted 08-21-2013 12:34 AM

Cool. I can’t wait to see the whole clock.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View wiskeyweasel's profile


36 posts in 3002 days

#4 posted 08-21-2013 10:59 AM

OK, i gotta know what software you use. I’m a big gear head and would love to incorporate that into wood working.

-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

View Henri Monnier's profile

Henri Monnier

51 posts in 2713 days

#5 posted 08-21-2013 11:46 AM

The program for the gears can be had for a mere $25, from, the Gear template
generator at the bottom of the page.
Careful, buying it will cause you to spend a fair amount of time ‘playing’.
It is excellent program with lots of features….

-- |~ Henrii~|- - We'll be friends till we're old and senile... Then we'll be new friends!!

View indgreg's profile


302 posts in 2761 days

#6 posted 08-21-2013 05:45 PM

very sharp

-- greg indiana

View PopsHuckster's profile


170 posts in 3918 days

#7 posted 08-22-2013 04:12 PM

Thanks Henri.. that’s the program I use. It is a super program. I used it to make the patterns for the chain too.

-- Pop

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3713 days

#8 posted 08-22-2013 06:32 PM

I like gears. I use to collect gears. Thanks for the post.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4971 days

#9 posted 08-27-2013 10:50 PM

Oooh! I’ve been waiting for shop time to clear up so I could do something like this! Two notes:

First, I don’t think you need an involute gear generator for the chain sprockets, right? You could do that by hand.

Second, Inkscape comes with an involute gear generator. I haven’t cut any of ‘em out yet, but I printed some out and stuck ‘em on some baltic birch and it’s waiting for me to have a few hours of zoning out with the band saw…

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 2566 days

#10 posted 09-22-2013 11:36 PM

Very cool. I have to say I love the stuff you do. You have a combination of some of my favorite things. Cars, clocks (timing chain clock), cameras (tripod) and the meter. I’ll have to keep looking thru your projects to see what other cool things you have.

-- Marty, Ohio

View daleroe's profile


10 posts in 982 days

#11 posted 01-16-2018 10:31 PM

It’s cool. At clock speed, do you get to see it in action?

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