MAKING A WOODEN GEARED CLOCK #4: Day Finishing Up The Clock Dial - 4

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Blog entry by stefang posted 11-18-2015 06:40 PM 2027 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: The Main Dial/Gear -Day 3 Part 4 of MAKING A WOODEN GEARED CLOCK series Part 5: Escapement Gear, Minute Gear and Idler Gear - Day 5 »

The gear teeth on the clock dial had to be filed down to the pattern lines after cutting yesterday. I tried making a sanding stick that I could run in my scroll saw and it worked for awhile but the blade holders eventually split the wooden stick and that was that. I decided to hand file it instead and this turned out to be just as fast and I was also able to file the gullets at the same time with the edge of the same small flat file I used. As you can see if you look closely I pencil marked the finished teeth as I worked. I just filed down in smooth long strokes and not upward, to avoid lifting the pattern on the edges.

Next up was to take the tip of the teeth off on my disk sander to make the gear perfect round. We’ll see if I actually accomplished that when I try to get the clock going. I need to make a decent jig for this work, but I got lazy and I will probably regret it later.

And finally I removed the pattern from all the pieces done so far which are show below. Altogether 9 big pieces and some small ones not shown cut out so far including the winding barrel in the center which is composed of 5 pieces. From left to right are the mounting frame, the winding barrel and the hour dial/gear.

My plan is to not glue anything until I have cut out all the pieces and I can lay them out for a photo so you can see every part that goes into the clock in one photo.

Thanks for viewing and I appreciate the helpful comments thus far even though I might not use them all.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

22 comments so far

View Redoak49's profile


4354 posts in 2595 days

#1 posted 11-18-2015 06:56 PM

Nice progress….you got me thinking now about making one

View Ivan's profile


15473 posts in 3474 days

#2 posted 11-18-2015 07:55 PM

Realy big and challenging project!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View shipwright's profile


8453 posts in 3404 days

#3 posted 11-18-2015 08:04 PM

The assembly, once all the parts are prepped and pre-fitted, sounds like an excellent excuse for a time lapse video!!
I am totally impressed with your work on this Mike. I’m not listening to any more bu##sh## about your eyesight. Nope, not any. :-)

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

View doubleDD's profile


8970 posts in 2649 days

#4 posted 11-18-2015 08:09 PM

Filing down those teeth sure must be a tedious job but an important one I’m sure. That could probably change the speed of the clock. Keep up the good work.

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

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3941 days

#5 posted 11-18-2015 08:23 PM

Thanks all.

Paul If I could see it well I would probably screw it up. In fact I might have anyway. I won’t know until I put it all together and find out it doesn’t work. I would mind doing a time lapse video as long as I’m not in it! I have to make an extendable arm for my GoPro camera so I can work while the pictures are filmed.

Dave The filing work really wasn’t too bad or take too long. I cut pretty close to the line, so there wasn’t much to file. I was really tempted to cut right at the line when I started because it was so easy, but decided to follow the good advice from experienced folks on youtube instead and sneak up on the fit. I do think I will hand file all my gear teeth from now on.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CFrye's profile


10823 posts in 2446 days

#6 posted 11-18-2015 09:32 PM

That exacto knife sticking up out of the middle of that gear is kinda scary, Mike. Looks like something I would do, saying all the time ‘It’s fine, I won’t forget it’s there…OUCH!’
Time lapse would be fun to watch!

-- God bless, Candy

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23759 posts in 3712 days

#7 posted 11-19-2015 01:40 AM

You are doing very good so far. Big involved project, but I have faith in your expertise to pull it off in good order!!

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

View Ken90712's profile


17819 posts in 3795 days

#8 posted 11-19-2015 09:26 AM

Great work on this, Coming along very nicely. I was having lunch yesterday with some buddies I meet with on Wed that are all woodworkers as well. We talked about making this and why I want to put myself through this LOL Thx for teaching and sharing this with all of us.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3941 days

#9 posted 11-19-2015 10:52 AM

Candy Yes it does look scary. Too bad I didn’t make this at Halloween.

Jim I wish I were as optimistic as you

Ken I know this looks like a difficult project and maybe it is is some ways, but perhaps not the ways you might imagine. The scroll saw cutting is actually a lot easier than I had imagined, even the gear teeth. The most difficult part is drilling the center holes on the gears. This has to be super accurate. The big gear I just finished called for a hole of 10.3 mm. Well, I sure couldn’t find a drill bit that size, so I had to drill it with a 10mm bit, which left part of the pattern line around it. Then I used a rattail file to get rid of the line. I think I overdid it a bit. the gear will be spinning on a 10mm axle and I just hope I didn’t screw it up. I may have to adjust that hole somehow, but I’m not sure how yet as I haven’t any experience with problems like this.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CoolDavion's profile


466 posts in 4431 days

#10 posted 11-19-2015 05:39 PM

I’ve seen several wooden gear clocks, and this is one project on my list.

Keep up the good work, I will follow along.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3941 days

#11 posted 11-19-2015 06:04 PM

Welcome to the party CD.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Druid's profile


2161 posts in 3402 days

#12 posted 11-19-2015 07:38 PM

Hi Mike, this may be a bit late for your current project, but it might be useful for future ones (or for the other members following this great project). You had mentioned how you were attaching your patterns, and it reminded me of another Lumberjocks posting by Scrollgirl, and one solution that she found. Her posting is at . . .
Have a great day.
Still watching with great interest.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3941 days

#13 posted 11-19-2015 08:31 PM

Thanks John. One of the comments to that article was a guy using a glue stick and I have also used that with success in the past, but for some reason I didn’t think about it this time. The patterns don’t lift under cutting and it was very easy to remove the remains afterward and doesn’t leave any or at least almost no residue, and that can be taken with water. I should have gone with that, but I guess I had spray on the brain. I could also use hot glue which works very well but it has to be wetted and scraped off. I think I will go back to the glue stick or at least try the next gear with it. I can’t wait to get going again tomorrow.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View kiefer's profile


5713 posts in 3273 days

#14 posted 11-19-2015 08:43 PM

Mike that is a lot bigger clock then I thought judging by the pictures but you are making some good progress and the parts are looking very well made .


-- Kiefer

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3941 days

#15 posted 11-19-2015 11:18 PM

Thanks Klaus. I am enjoying this a lot so far. I’ll probably be swearing when I try getting it to run.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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