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Blog entry by stefang posted 11-16-2015 07:13 PM 2513 reads 0 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Getting started, day 1 Part 2 of MAKING A WOODEN GEARED CLOCK series Part 3: The Main Dial/Gear -Day 3 »

2nd Todays Work
Materials were prepared for the frame cutouts. The 18mm (a little less than3/4”) birch this time. There wasn’t enough space to cut the half platters so the table saw was used as a work table to cut off what I needed with my saber saw. the platter was then divided them up the bandsaw and the patterns were attached with adhesive First the holes in the pattern were drilled. I tried to do this very accurately and I think they came out ok. The scroll saw cutting also went well. the lighted magnifying glass on my scroll saw really helps to maintain accurate cuts.I also remade the one part for the winding barrel that I messed up last time.

Drilling Tips
I got some good advice from a wooden clock video. It was recommended that good quality brad point bits should be used, as accuracy of the holes for the various axles is very important. Unfortunately I couldn’t find quality drills in the 1/2 sizes called for in the plan so I had to buy a cheap set that had everything I needed at a cost of under $10. If I had been able to buy the good ones it would have cost be around $60. Prices here are about double of what everyone else pays, so maybe not a problem for you. Only time will tell (pun) if it really is a problem.

Here are the finished pieces together with some small items the same thickness that will be attached to the frame and the winding barrel (1st blog). The last photo shows how it will be glued together. The holes are for axels to hold the various gears and also a couple of screw holes to mount it on the wall with.

Clock Accuracy
You might wonder just how accurate these wooden gear clocks are. This one is supposed to be off by about 2 min. in a 24 hr. period. It has to be rewound every 24 hrs. so no big deal. The winding is very easy. It’s just to pull the handle attached to the string down on the left side of the clock and that raises the weight on the right side, which drives the clock for a new 24hrs.

Personally I’m not too worried about absolute accuracy. The fun of this type of clock is seeing it run, that is, seeing the pendulum swing back and forth and the escapement gear and other gears moving. we are otherwise surrounded by clocks on our computers, wristwatches, mobil phones and the kitchen stove, so we don’t need the exact time from this clock, just the kinetics.

I should mention that you can also buy plans from the clock designers for kinetic sculptures. Some of these are very nice, but they due tend to have things waving about. Maybe too much of a good thing. For that reason I think a clock strikes a good balance with enough movement to be interesting, but not so much as to be distracting.

Thanks for reading!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

25 comments so far

View Dutchy's profile


4176 posts in 3386 days

#1 posted 11-16-2015 07:45 PM

Yes Mike interesting. I’m a woodworker :)

You also have to grapple with the space you have, but alos this time you succeeded.


View Notw's profile


1084 posts in 2970 days

#2 posted 11-16-2015 07:54 PM

Very interested in this build, I’ve wanted to build one of these clocks for a long time. Great work and great blog thus far!

View a1Jim's profile


118200 posts in 4794 days

#3 posted 11-16-2015 09:14 PM

Never a problem holding my interest Mike,you always do very interesting projects and explain them very well with photos and a great written explanations. I can already see the fine detail you put into your work on the beginning pieces of this cool clock. Thanks for sharing this project with us,I’m really enjoying this blog.


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4551 days

#4 posted 11-16-2015 09:42 PM

Thanks Jan, Notw, and Jim. Yes, space is a problem. I wasn’t able to buy small pieces of the Baltic birch. I was offered to buy just half platters, but I bought whole ones instead in various dimensions. The seller cut them in half for me. They are still pretty cumbersome for my limited space. Kind of funny that I have so many tools that I don’t have room for the materials I need to build stuff with.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Ted78's profile


415 posts in 3217 days

#5 posted 11-16-2015 10:11 PM

I’ve pondered trying a wooden clock but never quite had the gumption to try it. I’ll live vicariously through you and follow this build and then ponder it some more.

-- Ted

View doubleDD's profile


10639 posts in 3260 days

#6 posted 11-16-2015 10:12 PM

Looking back again on your project gallery, I can see why you are into this clock. You like the challenges and strive for the end result. I have to say the scroll saw work looks great. To me, it is already starting to look complicated. Keep up the progress as we wait for part 3.
I happen to like spray glue for certain projects, but I agree there are times I get it on everything. Lol.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26657 posts in 4323 days

#7 posted 11-16-2015 10:23 PM

That is cool, Mike. I watched a video on another design and it is getting me interested. I don’t know if I could cut that many teeth on the scroll saw…........that machine is my real weakness. Now if I could hob them in the mill, I would jump right on it!!

Cheers, my friend. You sure do some fantastic work!!.....................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4551 days

#8 posted 11-16-2015 10:49 PM

Thanks Guys.

Jim I think scroll sawing skill is one of those muscle memory things. I am often amazed watching others who are very good at it, but I know that with a small amount of theory and practice just about anyone can get good enough at it to cut just about any project. I feel I can cut just about anything, but it might take me a lot longer than those who are more proficient. My biggest problem is that I get easily hypnotized while cutting from staring constantly at the blade. This is mainly a problem only when I am cutting larger parts. It does help some if the pattern lines are red instead of black like the saw blade. It does help a lot to have a good quality scroll saw too and easier to use, but I could do about anything with my old Delta scroll saw that I can do with the Excalibur.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CFrye's profile


11352 posts in 3057 days

#9 posted 11-17-2015 12:44 AM

Looks like you’re doing a great job on the pieces, Mike. This is fun to watch. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View shipwright's profile


8748 posts in 4015 days

#10 posted 11-17-2015 02:54 AM

Nice progress Mike.
You know you can always mount the patterns with hot hide glue. :-)

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View hunter71's profile


3558 posts in 4404 days

#11 posted 11-17-2015 03:40 AM

Progressing well Mike.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


22152 posts in 4893 days

#12 posted 11-17-2015 08:21 AM

I wouldn’t say wordy. Interesting, informative and complete. Looks like you are coming along nicely. Are you tracking approximately how many hours this project takes?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4551 days

#13 posted 11-17-2015 09:21 AM

Thanks everyone.

Paul I did consider using hot glue for the patterns, but went with the spray this time. My gripe with the spray is that it is a bit messy on the fingers, but so is the hot glue. The difference is that the hot glue is easy to wash off and the spray isn’t. I did find that salad oil, sunflower oil in this case, did the job really well, so I’m taking some out to the shop with me today.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8748 posts in 4015 days

#14 posted 11-17-2015 02:22 PM

I find that spray adhesive, because it remains soft and sticky, produces a little blob of sticky dust at the very point where the blade is cutting and you want to see the line well. Hide glue which dries hard doesn’t do that. I still use spray sometimes when I need to do a small part quickly.

I put the upside down pattern on a stick or scrap in my trash can, spray it there and pick it up with a small scrap stick or tweezers. .... don’t get it on my fingers.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Notw's profile


1084 posts in 2970 days

#15 posted 11-17-2015 02:42 PM

I like spray adhesive then after you’re done cutting, just warm it up with a hair dryer and the pattern peels back off

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