MAKING A WOODEN GEARED CLOCK #10: Miscellaneous work - 10th day

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Blog entry by stefang posted 11-30-2015 07:50 PM 1978 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Gluing - day 9 Part 10 of MAKING A WOODEN GEARED CLOCK series Part 11: TITANIC II -11th day »

Todays work
I had hoped to be able to mount the frame on the wall today, temporarily assemble the clock and then see if it would run. That didn’t happen as a lot of small jobs had to be done first and it wound up taking a lot more time than planned. At the end of my last blog I was here with the clock temporarily assembled.

One problem solved
You might be able to see in the photo that the main hour dial is too high to match up with the pinion gear of the uppermost wheel on the left. I found out that I had used 10mm ply for the hub on the winding wheel, which is just below the main dial and mounted on the same arbor. I was able to just chisel of some layers of the hub to bring it down to 6.5mm and that in turn lowered the main dial to solve the problem. see below

The Pendulum: The parts were all made and so it was just to finish sand the edges of the pendulum bob. The pendulum bob has a frame that is 12mm (1/2”) thick ply and is capped on both sides with 3mm (1/8”) thick ply. One side is glued up and filled with lead weight and then the other side is glued on to form a sealed box which is pretty heavy. Here is a photo that shows the slot the adjustable pendulum rod fits into and all the side pockets which were filled with lead weight. You can see the bob’s components which are the 3 largest cutouts. see below

The pendulum rod which has a length of threaded rod screwed into the bottom end is pushed into a slot at the top of the bob and pushed through a hole at the bottom of the bob and a nut is screwed on. This makes the length of the pendulum adjustable by making it possible to raise or lower the bob to suit the clock. I understand that all wooden geared clocks are slightly different so some adjustment is usually necessary.

The eye at the top of the pendulum rides on a plywood bearing mounted on the main frame which allows it to rock back and forth causing the pallet to lock and unlock the escapement wheel which regulates the clock’s speed.

The main weight and the counter-weight/handle
The main weight is what drives the clock. It is held by a cord which is threaded onto the winding wheel. The other end of the cord has a handle attached. As the main weight sinks to the floor, the handle (counter-weight) rises the same amount. To rewind the clock after the main weight has sunk to it’s lowest point, the handle is pulled to raise the main weight back up to it’s highest position. This seems easier to me than having to wind the clock with a key. This clock needs rewinding every 24 hours.

I had to turn some end caps for the weights. These end caps are rather clever (by the clock designer, not me). I will explain how they work in my next blog which will cover the full clock assembly and testing to see if it works. The design called for the main weight being a plastic tube filled with lead and with plywood plugs at each end. I copied the functional part, but did my own thing appearance wise.

Since the the weights were 12 sided made from 12mm (1/2”) ply I had to round the insides with my Dremel to accept the round ends.

A lot of repetition here (we call it regurgitation here in Norway), so maybe not too interesting to everyone, but I thought it would help those wanting to build a clock to get a little more familiar with some of the generic features.

I have finally figured out how the clock basically works, that is, how the power is transmitted through the drive train from start to finish. I will share that with you in the next blog. I am still shaky on the size and no. of teeth on the wheels and pinions although I have read a little bit about it.

I’m pretty sure I will get the clock temporarily mounted on the wall and hopefully running tomorrow (unless my wife has other ideas). If I can get everything going well I plan to gift this clock to one of my sons and build another for my other son before Christmas.

Thanks for reading. If the clock runs tomorrow that will be the last chapter of this blog.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

14 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23740 posts in 3708 days

#1 posted 11-30-2015 09:00 PM

Good luck, Mike. that is one BIG undertaking and you have a fine run at it!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View shipwright's profile


8452 posts in 3401 days

#2 posted 11-30-2015 09:12 PM

Great blog Mike. There is one misprint though in the last line.
It should read “When the clock…...”

Waiting impatiently for tomorrow …

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

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3937 days

#3 posted 11-30-2015 09:38 PM

Thanks. I am trying to think of some way to celebrate in case it does work. You might hear the cheers all the way from Norway!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Brit's profile


7889 posts in 3445 days

#4 posted 11-30-2015 11:18 PM

Even if it doesn’t work Mike (and I’m sure it will), it is still very impressive to see all those intricate parts fitted together. You should try and post a quick video so we can see it in motion.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View fatandy2003's profile


262 posts in 2847 days

#5 posted 12-01-2015 12:09 AM

Looks fantastic so far Stefang! Can’t wait to find out if it works.

-- -- Andy, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it” - Thomas Paine

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3142 days

#6 posted 12-01-2015 03:13 AM

Can’t wait Mike!

-- I never finish anyth

View sras's profile


5288 posts in 3732 days

#7 posted 12-01-2015 04:18 AM

Looking good Mike!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View doubleDD's profile


8958 posts in 2646 days

#8 posted 12-01-2015 04:26 AM

Anticipation, exactly what we have here. I can almost hear a heartbeat already. Mike, you are rounding 3rd and headed for home. Tough game but I think you will be the winner.

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

View Dutchy's profile


3508 posts in 2771 days

#9 posted 12-01-2015 07:52 AM

I was a few days “off” and near Rotterdam, but I have read all your blogs and as always I like your contributions. Hope you will succeed to finisch today.


View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3937 days

#10 posted 12-01-2015 09:12 AM

Thanks everyone. Today’s the big day. I just have to turn two new bottoms for the weights as I realized overnight that I had made a mistake on how the bottoms lock, and I have to make some more arbor caps, a very quick and easy job. After that I’m good to go. I’ll let you know the results whether good or bad.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CFrye's profile


10822 posts in 2443 days

#11 posted 12-01-2015 12:52 PM

Mike, you are amazing! You undertake this complicated build. You blog it. AND you plan on repeating the build before Christmas! On top of all that, you’re having fun. I really like what you did with the weight/counterweight. Major improvement over the plastic tube.

-- God bless, Candy

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3937 days

#12 posted 12-01-2015 01:59 PM

Thanks Candy. I just finished turning the two new bottoms and they are ready to go. After lunch I plan to mount the frame on the wall and get the clock assembled. I did run into a little trouble this morning though. I found that the bearing ring mounted on the top end of the pendulum had slipped to a crooked position while it was clamped and the glue was drying. I planed the front side even with the pendulum rod but I’m not sure if it will work. I will have to redo it, but I am hoping it might still work for the test today. If not, then I’m delayed till tomorrow. Dang!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View CFrye's profile


10822 posts in 2443 days

#13 posted 12-01-2015 02:34 PM

As frustrating as your Oops are to you you, it is encouraging, to me, anyway, that it’s not all smooth sailing and you really are human like the rest of us. ;-)

-- God bless, Candy

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3937 days

#14 posted 12-01-2015 07:50 PM

If by human you mean imperfect Candy, I am a lot more human than you might think. I did cancel the test when I found out the pendulum wasn’t going to work. It went in circles as it oscillated back and forth when I tried it, so I had to make a new ring and glued it up, so it won’t be ready till tomorrow. A lot of other interesting stuff happened too, but I will save that for the blog as I’m sure everyone will have a good laugh.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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