Building Dr Woodwards Gearless Clock – (Plans by J. Wilding)
Back in 2003/04 at the age of 20 y/o the professor and my tutor at Uni was hugely into Patek Philippe watches. I had a bit of interest and because Patek make hand made watches they after show images of their production shops and this brought out my hidden engineering interests. Knowing I couldn`t buy a Patek, I purchased some old pocket watches off ebay to take apart (Smiths). It must have been total luck, but I managed to fix one and suddenly thought I was a clock maker. I decided to buy a Unimat 3 lathe off ebay that I somehow won it at a fantastic price. I made a few posts on NAWCC forum and a chap over in Yorkshire invited me around to see his Unimat 3, clock builds and repairs. In his home we discussed the current ME article showing John Wilding who had just finished writing his plans for Dr Woodward’s Gearless Clock and was posting them in Model Engineer mag. Being a fool, I ordered all the materials and purchased a copy of ME (just the first edition of the build). I asked my dad for some help and one Saturday morning we drilled 3 mounting holes for the brass back plate and failed when it came to soft soldering 3 washers on the back!!! I realised very quickly that I didn`t have the skills to make a clock and so all the materials and lathe were sold.
So now in 2011, with a couple of years experience behind me, I`m going to give this another go.
I recently ordered all the brass plate and received this a couple of weeks ago and I`m just waiting on the remaining materials, mainly imperial bar stock to arrive from College Engineering Supplies. I`ve also taken delivery of a length of nylon cord and some 0.006” spring steel. Last week while on holiday, I appreciatively took delivery of some 1/8” ID bearings from Clive off Madmodder!
This is the clock built by John Wilding:
Dr Woodward originally wrote about the design in his book – My Own Right Time but sadly I can`t find it in the library. I have of course purchased John Wildings lovely write up of the plans and build process. He mainly cuts the clock using a Unimat, I`ll be following his methods unless I can utilize my small mill.
I should state right away that this build log has be written already by the notorious GadgetBuilder who details fantastically his build of this clock. He has made some excellent modifications of Wiliding’s design, especially the automatic maintaining works. Unfortunately I`m not confident, intelligent or daring enough to deviate from the plans other than a couple of fasteners where I`ll be using metric instead of the specific BA series.I would also like to thank John, Gadget builder for all the help he has given me through this journey of building my first clock! Without his advice and insight, I would have struggled to complete the clock.
The clock uses a really unique method to run. A series of colliding pawls, hooks and rods give the pendulum an impulse, with the energy provided by the large weight.
There are two main stages to the clock, the going motion which regulated time and provides an impulse to the pendulum and the daisy motion. I`m going to start back-to-front and talk about the daisy motion first. Basically, the mechanism rotates a main central arbor once each hour – the minute hand is connected to this. The daisy motion is used to convert that single hour rotation into a 1/12 of a turn for the hour hand. Here is a youtube video I made of my daisy wheel plus a link to a much better video by gadget builder:
As you can probably tell it works off a cam action. This is a really neat and novel idea allowing you to generate the hour movement from the minute movement – remember, without gears! The smart thing is, a taper pin is removed from the centre arbour and the entire daisy motion mechanics can be removed! This is why I mentioned this first, that just leaves us with the rest of the motion works.
This clock only receives an impulse to the pendulum once every 60 seconds! This means everything involved with the count wheel must be very low on friction. Look at the pendulum and you will find two brackets. The upper one catches a tooth on the count wheel (the top wheel that looks like an escape wheel, NOT the pin wheel) and the pendulum is of such a length that in 60 seconds the count wheel goes around once. I`m wondering if a minute hand could be attached to the countwheel??
You probably can`t see in the photo, but one tooth on the count wheel is slightly deeper than the rest. When the pawl on the pendulum drops into this tooth, it pulls a lever down at the rear of the wheel. This lever has two section a bit like this “ > “ so as the top lever is pulled down anticlockwise, the bottom lever also moves down. This bottom section pushes down on the bottom “impulse pawl” of the pendulum (the pawl connected to the bottom bracket of the pendulum rod). This actually pulls the count wheel (the pin wheel) anti-clockwise for a second but at this point the weight which is wrapped around the count wheel to pull it clockwise, pulling the wheel back clockwise again. Now however, the levers are not bearing down on the impulse pawl (the count wheel pawl is back in a normal small tooth) and it is free to lift up out of the pin it is holding (the pin wheel also moves through a gate and moves forward by one pin, i.e one minute!!!!) but now the pendulum is at a higher position again – i.e the pendulum has been given an impulse! The pin wheel moves on by one pin every minute and therefore with 60 pins, the pin wheel does one revolution every hour – the minute hand! Add the daisy motion to this and you have your minute and hours!
I`m not going to rush this but to be honest, with no gears the parts don`t look overly complex so I expect to make good progress. I expect like I have experienced with my Webster IC engine, most of the time will be in the troubleshooting, getting it to run!
Materials:This is the brass sheet required for the construction along with Wildings build book, some spring steel and the nylon chord.
Just some proof of the validity of my story about the 2″ dia steel bar coming from my original purchase of these materials. I don`t know why I never sold this piece and equally don`t know why I didn`t order this piece when I re-ordered the materials last week. Freaky…. notice the news paper it is wrapped in – 2004!
Here is a piece of paxalon rod and Invar. .
The rest of the materials – lots of imperial bar stock is on order still from College Engineering Supplies. It has been a week now but I`m guessing the order is quite fiddly with lots of different sizes in small quantities. Hopefully it`ll arrive this coming week.
So I made a start. The first job is to simply prepare the back plate which was £22 of brass! The plate is 9″ x 6″ but the material is 13-14″ x 6.1″ as the excess is used for something else. First job was to cut off the excess. I prefer to spend time setting it up on my mill and cut it that way as it leaves a good finish and I prefer it to sawing., besides my saw wouldn`t cut all the way so I`d need to meet from either side which would be doomed to failure. This worked really well using the brass square section to clamp it onto a pair of parallels.
I filed the edges square which took a while but worked really well, nice and square. The file is slowly becoming my friend!
The next job was to drill three 5/32″ mounting screw holes, 2 at the bottom and 1 at the top and then soft solder some 1/16″ thich washers to the back of the plate to lift it away from the mounting board when screwed down. I didn`t have any 1/16″ washers and although it isn`t critical, I decided to make some. Here it is soft soldered and quickly tidied up. Needs a little more work to remove a little excess solder but has turned out well so far.
Pendulum Mounting Bracket:
Got a little more done this past few hours. With the back plate now ready to hold some new parts, the first one is the pendulum bracket. I cut a couple of pieces of 1/8″ brass sheet and used double sided tape to secure them together. Machined them square and started profiling them
Still together I drilled the support holes and filed the top suspension “V”, finally separating them:
I then machined up the centre piece and now I`m left here:
Wilding now says to clamp these side piece together to the centre to drill through and tap so they can be secured.
I then aligned it square:
And now it sits nice and square in the top corner – the first part mounted on the backing plate!
Next onto the pendulum suspension….
I managed to make the lower pendulum clamping bracket this evening which was a really nice combination of milling and turning. The part will hang off the bracket I made earlier with the pendulum rod screwed into the bottom.
I started with a rough cut 1. 1/2″ length of .5″ square brass and milled a 1/4″ slot at the end.
I then rought cut a 1/4″ piece of guage plate, milled one side flat, butted it upto the edge of the groove I`d just cut, clamped together and bolted it through:
Tidied each side up in turn, stopping just short of the brass width:
I then transfered the work to the 4 jaw and centred it. I drilled the end 2.BA for the pendulum rod and turned down the square to round (I think this is just for looks)
Finally finished with a countersink on the clamping steel and used a nice 4BA screw. Here is the part finished:
The spring still is clamped between the brass and steel sections. The other end connects to the pendulum rod. Tomorrow I`ll try and get some done on the spring steel and top clamp…
I was reading about cutting the spring steel this morning and apparently you punch it out. As per Wildings instructions, I folded over a strip of brass, marked out on both the template and the spring steel:
I made this punch but stupidly have rounded the edges so I`ve not ended up with a good clean cut. It worked really well and I did get a disk, but it has pressed the edge a little.
I then went on to make the top clamping bracket:
The whole lot suspends from the bracket I made in my last post. The plans call for 2BA studing but I just cut down a long bolt, turned down the ends and rounded them:
Cutting off two 7/8″ brass disks 1/16″ in thickness. I then went on to mill a flat on the top and tap one 10BA and the other drilled clearence
Both John Wilding and GadgetBuilder stress the importance of the spring steel being square to the brackets. Wilding suggests this method to lock it all down square:
And the final setup:
and now fitted with the invar pendulum rod.
Got the pendulum up and, well, swinging tonight!
Hacked off a piece 4″ (just over) length of 2″ dia silver steel:
Drilled it through 6.5 mm to make an oversize hole for the pendulum rod
I re-drilled the top 8mm to a depth of 10mm and then I turned up some bushes out of brass for the ends with a 6mm bore to accept the pendulum rod
The hole pendulum unit was assembled:
And then a picture for those of you that don`t know what a pendulum swinging looks like 😆 Hey, I had to include it!! Photo is rubish but here you go.. in action:
I`m going to need a quick stand so I can easily remove the brass back plate from the wall and then place it back on to test. I don`t know if there is any way of doing this without the faff of unscrewing it each time.
So a bit of time tidying out my workshop tomorrow and then I`ll make a start on the count wheel. Then I`ll move back to the pendulum pawl brackets and then hopefully I should be able to get a minute timed out by the pendulum dragging the count wheel forward….obviously at that stage the clock will stop after a few mins because it`ll get no impulse but I`ll be able to check the general mechanism is working!
I`ve spent a little while finishing this count wheel but managed it last night! The count wheel has these ratchet like teeth so that as the pendulum swings, the gathering pawl/wire slides up one of the slopes and drops behind a notch pulling the count wheel around one place.
I started with two rough cut pieces of 18g CZ120:
Made an arbor and chucked them both up:
Turned them down to 1.5″ diameter:
I then made my profiling tool to cut the teeth, a 60 deg cutting tool but I needed a flat parallel to the mill bed when mounted:
I then unscrewed the chuck and mounted it on my rotary table on the mill. It managed to get out of true when I did this in my previous efforts so I set up a DTI just to check it was running OK – which it was this time! I must have knocked it last time, but my arbor was also longer in my other efforts which may not have held as well. Also, it sounds stupid, but I think there was some vibration last time and the chuck wasn`t tight on the rotary table that is why it didn`t cut properly.
I then centred the wheel – made sure by making a whitness mark, moving to the other side and checking it was at the same height – you can just make this out on the photo
I started cutting the teeth!
Wheel teeth cutting complete and worked just fine!! :ddb:
I was then in two minds – remember I cut two wheels at once since it is thin 18g brass, the two together provided support for one another. I didn`t want to cross them out together as I risked spoiling them both if I failed. So I opted to remove one (as shown above) and remount the other on the chuck arbor and mount it under the rotary table. My Dad then kindly helped me with some nice math calculations so I could calculate how many degrees I needed to rotate the rotab with the cutter down and then lift the cutter for so many degrees and then back down etc to cross the wheel out..
Then it was time to file it all square. I appreciate I could have got much more accuracy using the rotary table for all the crossing out but I decided to saw the little pieces out and file to size as described in the plans. This is the setup I`ve seen people use – a long wooden board, a groove cut and you sit on the board with the work nicely on platform infront of you …worked very well
And after 20 minutes of rough filing I`ve got it coming to shape.
OK OK – it needs a lot more filing to make it look neat and quite a bit more work on burnishing the teeth but I`m nearly there….
I cut the deeper tooth and made the mounting arbour this evening. Tapping the 12BA was a little hairy and I just managed to get the distance right so that the screw heads didn`t foul the wheel mounting post :ddb: Still needs more sanding and burnishing the top of the wheel but I think I`ll do that in a few evenings.
I must admit, I`m pretty please with it!! :ddb:
Count Wheel Pillar and Bridge:
I started working on the clock again this week, didn`t get very far but here is an update on the bridge plate and pillars:
Marked out the plate:
And roughed to shape with a file:
I then went a made a depth stop for my lathe as described by John (Bogstandard) in his “backstop” thread on madmodder.
With the backstop, it was easy to get two the same length solving all previous issues when I`ve tried this!
I then drilled a tommy bar hole in the end to ensure we can tighten these onto the back plate:
The bottom end of the pillar is threaded M3 but I had concerns that I couldn`t thread it all the way using a die, I always end up with an untreaded stub so consequently it won`t screw down to the shoulder. I normally just nick this with a parting tool but with only 1/8″ of thread, I wanted as much thread as possible. So instead of threading, I drilled and tapped and using loctite, glued in two M3 screws, letting the glue dry and then cutting the thread to size:
As suggested in the plans, to profile the pillar I screwed it into a piece of scrap barstock threaded in the lathe and could then work on the entire length.
And the two finished:
And the pillars and bridge mounted on the backplate:
Next thing is to drill the pivot holes and so it is suggested I remove the pillars and drill through the bridge and packplate together to ensure they are aligned!
I managed to get some snaps and make a little more progress :ddb:, although a step back at the same time :palm:
Here is the wheel mounted on the clock:
I then started the count wheel arbor:
I didn`t get any photos of burnishing the pivots on the wheel, so here is my simple setup I used. This was actually on the count wheel pawl pivots
Here is the count pawl and pivot
…and then with the bracket, please bear in mind it all needs polishing. Notce that the side frames are also pinned to keep the pivot holes aligned.
I did say some bad news, that being that my deep tooth is too deep and the angle of the tooth too steep so that the pawl gets stuck when it drops into it. I`m a bit dissapointed but things look like they are going to work OK !
I continued making the back stop and got to a stage where I could properly test the count wheel:
I don`t often divert off the plans that often but I was having real problems with back stop and I figured it was all down to its position. The plans call for the backstop to be mounted alongside the count wheel on the bridge piece as I originally built it:
However the angle at which the backstop engages when in this position is not at all ideal as it bears down heavily on the wheel and it also doesn`t slide over the teeth as easily as it would if it was more horizontal or more parallel with the tooth flats, similar to the position of the opposite gathering pawl.
I therefore made a new mounting bracket fitted from the bridge screwing point and the screw at the back is a counter balance, the nut allows more fine adjustment of this. This really reduces friction on the count wheel. I made this modification much earlier on with an ugly temporary backstop that you may have seen in the videos of the running clock. I would certainly recommend this modification:
I next went on to make the pin wheel over the last couple of nights. Still not finished but getting there, just needs pinning. Ok here goes:
Before drilling, I needed to check the drill size was ok for pinning all 60 x 1/32″ pins without the need for glue. I used a 0.75mm drill in a piece of test material and it worked really well. I used the drill as a press
Then setup the wheel on the CNC rotab and drilled the holes
Took a bit of a risk as I feel I can make a better job of the crossing out on the mill rather than by hand. However, the arbour wasn`t strong enough so risked moving it to another bigger chuck. I managed to centre it and of course checked it before I started any cutting but it worked out well.
Now all the front face and crossing out needs fully cleaning up. Problem is that when it is pinned you can`t really get at it all so the wheel needs totally finishing before being pinned.
Finally after hours of trialing various methods I managed to get a method to cut the pins down to about 20 seconds a pin.
Knocked up this little punch. Both parts are silver steel and hardened. The small bit is obviously the punch and the large part has a matching hole of dia 0.22″ (iirc) which is the length of the pin required. The large section is also cross drilled 0.8mm
Just got given a set of letter stamps so thoughts I`d try and use some for the first time putting my initials on the new tool 😀
I milled two flats on the bottom of the large section so it can be held in the vice. Setup like shown below with the red box to collect the pins:
To pin the wheel I took a small piece of steel bar, drilled 0.8mm ensuring that with the pin pushed in fully, a small length was sticking out to push all the way through the brass of the wheel. I put a few tiny magnets on the pin holding guide to hold the pin in place which was just coping how “Gadget Builder” did when he built this clock.
Complete pinned wheel !!
Next to make the arbour and supporting frames and get it mounted on the clock. Then back to remake the count wheel !!
Made the pin wheel arbour tonight which also doubles up as the drive pully. There is a few issues with this related to the type of line I ultimately use. Basically, the drive wheel obtains it rotation from the falling weight, simply by the friction of the line pulling over the pully. As you can imagine, this is tricky as if the angle is too sharp in the V groove of the drive pully, the line can bind and if too narrow, the line will slip. I chose to follow more advice by John (Gadget Builder) who has suggested to me I try 45 deg as Dr Woodward did and use monofillament line. I can always open up this angle and try builders line if I want to, but couldn`t go the other way unless I remade the pully.
Set about cutting a 45deg V form tool and cutting the pully V:
Collet and arbour complete:
And complete wheel on arbour with a bearing with 1/8″ ID stuck on the end just to check they fit
Plates next and then get the wheel mounted.
Here is the bridge for the pinwheel:
Both wheels mounted and some pleasing filing on the arc!
I also decided to make the impulse pawl and then all pendulum parts are complete.
And mounted on the pendulum…
I completed the “gated detent” earlier today. This is a critical part, it allows a single pin on the pin wheel to slide through the gate but catches and holds the next pin until the next impulse.
The paddles were made from 0.02″ steel shim but I couldn`t find anything suitable, so I butchered one of my very cheap shim gauges. The price of the gauge was no more than I would have been willing to pay for a suitable piece of stock. It was a pain because it was hardened or stainless? I could only cut it with a dremel grinding disk which worked quite well.
When an impulse occurs, the paddle tips down and a pin slides along the top of the top blade and falls throught the gate where it catches on the lip sticking out on the bottom (the bottom paddle). As the deten tips, it tips off the pin from the bottom paddle/detent which then accepts and catches the new pin.
It was very small, the bottom paddle sticks out only 1/32″ but can be adjusted by the bottom screw.
Next onto the mountain brackets. Here is the adjustable bracket that holds the gated detent in position:
Now I`ve moved onto the deflector piece:
and then filed to shape with pawls attached:
Hopefully get this piece mounted in the next few days…
I`d made all the parts required to test the mechanism and I must have spent near 10 hours just tweeking the setup to get it to run. Finally, just as I was giving up again for the evening, I had a brain wave based on the advice and suggestions given to me by John/Gadgetbuilder; I made some changes and off it went!
I`ve many corrections to make to the working mechanism and you will spot a huge error in the working of the backstop – notice when the backstop engages the large tooth,it jumps/catches on the count wheel. I think this is just the position of the backstop pawl but I wanted to leave it and let it have some time running. It didn`t effect the physical mechanism but it will cause errors in the time, so it will need correcting. I have a much much better idea now of how this all fits together so I`m now very confident I can get it working more smoothly!
Here goes, I just did my best to video it in bad light at this time of night.
1. The pendulum swings 40 periods each minute, gathering a tooth on the 40 tooth count wheel. The count wheel therefore rotates once every minute and so the seconds hand could be placed on this wheel but it would turn in reverse. Consequently, Wilding didn`t have any seconds indication but Woodward placed numbers on his count wheel to approximate the seconds.
2. The count wheel has a single deeper tooth than the rest. When the count wheel pawl (the top wire on the pendulum) drops into this deep tooth, it engages the vertical wire on the deflector piece. At 56 seconds in the video, you can see the count wheel pawl going over the top of the deflector and imagine how it interacts when it hits the deep tooth.
3. The deflector therefore tips anticlockwise and this causes the diagonal piece of the deflector piece to obviously tip down as well. You can see the deflector mounted on the backplate below (the other bit you can see at the bottom of the deflector is a stop to stop it tipping all the way back at rest).
4. This bottom piece of the deflector bears down on the lower wire from the pendulum (the impulse pawl) which engages a tooth on the pin wheel.
5. You can`t see this on the video but there is a small weight (a large allan key!) hooked directly onto a tooth (at about 3 oclock position) on the pin wheel. The tooth on the pin wheel is engaged with the bottom lip of the deflector piece. When the impulse pawl pulls the pin wheel back by a fraction, this releases the pin from the detent and the weight on the pin wheel, which in future will be a proper weight and chord, pulls the pendulum back to the right and gives it the impulse!
6. There are 60 pins on the pin wheel and so this rotates once an hour giving you the arbor for the minute hand. A fancy “daisy motion works” will then need building to gearlessly reduce down this motion to 1 turn per 12 revolution of the minute hand/pin wheel arbour.
Hope that in some way explains how it runs!
Some more pictures for you of bits I`ve taken as I did a quick polish ready for this test assembly.
All the bits ready for a quick polish. This isn`t a final polish, I just needed everything clean to get it to run.
I made another count wheel with shallower teeth a few days ago but managed to get the original one working so didn`t bother using it yet. I might try this one as I expect that the back stop is jumping because the tooth is overly deep on my initial wheel I`m using.
Pin wheel and deflector piece:
same as above, with the gated detent:
Well I can now go to bed much more positive than I have been doing for the last few weeks!
I got the weight pulley system together which took a lot longer than I expected! These little things were tricky to make!
They each run on a tiny bearing;
Because they are only about 3mm wide, I found it really tricky to have a blind hole to a press fit. It was too tight and I ended up killing the little bearing trying to press it into the housing, or it slipped into place. Consequently I had to loctite the bearing into the housing:
Then I made some small shaft for them to sit on:
I managed to get it all hooked up. I then needed a way of checking the weight required in the both the master and jockey weight before cutting any 2″ dia steel to size! Both Woodward and Wilding explain that the jockey weight and master weight are dependent on the line used and pulley setup. Woodward used nylon fishing line but this seems to offer no resistence. A kind chap from the NAWCC forum sent me a length of nylon line but like Wilding and Gadget builder, I couldn`t get enough friction and the line just slipped. I am currently using builders braded line and it is working well. I`ve used a coffee jar full off steel offcuts as the master weight which allows me to adjust the weight. I`ve still not got this quite right. I think my jockey weight it too heavy at present. I had the clock running for about 45mins but the pendulum slowly slowly slowly dropped, indicating the master weight on the centre wheel isn`t heavy enough. Woodward did use a much heavier weight than Wilding, and I`m currently using the smaller weight recommended by Wilding. Tomorrow I`ll adjust this, but the clock is running with the pulley…I just need to get the weight and jockey weight sorted and then I can move to the dreaded daisy motion!!!
In a desperate attempt to get the clock running, I`d used a hoop on the coffee jar lid which wasn`t allowing the line to slip correctly and if you look at my picture above, it was pulling the line down off the pin wheel at an angle. I made a very rough pulley based on Wildings plans. I will need to shape and finish this to make it look more elegant, but it will transfer to the master weight when I`m happy with everything.
Once this was on the clock, I found most of my problems went away but I still struggled with pendulum losing momentum. Woodward suggested 1400g master weight with the jockey weight being 60% of this when used with nylon monofilament line to stop slippage. Wilding used only a 700g master weight and although he explained Woodwards ideas, he admittedly used a far smaller jockey weight than the 60% suggestion. I was using about 850-900g in my master weight (because I was trying to get the pendulum to have a bigger impulse) and about 200g in my jockey weight. Wilding did mention you could use less “if you could get away with it” and because the braided builders line has much more “grip” than any monofilament fishing line, I experiments to see what the minimum I could use was. Using too little jockey mass and the line would slip and the master weight would slowly fall, however using a small M10 bolt and adding nuts as extras weights, I got to about 50g for the jockey weight.
This made all the difference and my problems with impulse had gone! The clock was running… but that lead to another problem…!!!
With the bigger impulse, the backstop pawl started jumping again! This is something John (gadget builder) and I have been discussing for a while but no amount of bending of the wire could stop it. The position Wilding suggestions will clearly work but even if you don`t get the jumping I was experiencing, this low position of the backstop is not ideal. Really the backstop should be acting in a more horizontal position like the count pawl is acting in on the pendulum rod. This will allow it to easily lift and drop off each tooth, especially the deeper one I was having problems with. John suggested a better position for the bridge would actually be at a 30 deg angle! This wouldn`t look great in my opinion, but the higher position of the backstop would at least reduce the force on the count wheel. This was irrelevant anyway as it was installed on the clock!
The other option would be to take a bracket off the right bridge pillar and mount the backstop on there! So that it was free to move I used a small bearings. To reduce friction even more, I intentionally increased the length of the backstop wire and hooked the back end so that I could add small washers as weights to counter-balance the backstop. This made a MASSIVE difference, both the position and the counter balance. The position stopped it from jumping all together and by adding the small weights, you could tell friction was reduced because the back stop became silent in action! :ddb:
Now, I made this as a quick job and haven`t shaped it or polished it and clearly I`m not going to use washers to counterbalance the system on the final thing!!! I just stuck it on to see if it would work, but once I`ve made this look OK it will be installed. The bracket needs rounding at both ends and making much narrower:
It has been running since 10am this morning which is about 10 hours 30 mins of running time. Fingers crossed it is still going tomorrow morning!!
This will later be modified to a doubled pulley line to get less drop of the weight per day…
Double Pulley Modification:
It has been over 2 weeks since I updated and I can honestly say I`ve been working none stop on the clock with very little to show. The pin wheel had been damaged and some of the pins needed removing and resecuring in place which took a few evenings. I also have been doing a bit of work on the daisy wheel but nothing to show yet. However, I have made more progress on the weight setup shown below.
I`m doubling over the weights to give me a shorted pendulum drop per day. This requires two more pulleys making (shown in the second to last picture) and also a new jockey weight with a pully.
Here goes, sorry, too many photos really but I took them so may as well post them…
I took this piece of brass someone kindly donated to me a few weeks ago and turned it to a good finish.
I then cut a groove in the end:
I then took a piece of brass bar to make the end cap. I always always struggle making something a friction fit, I`m always either just too big or just too small. So this time I turned a little lip at the end and turned it down until the bar would “just” fit with a bit of pushing into the groove. I then backed out 2 thou and parted off a disk:
Used a bit of loctite and hammered it in place. Popped it back in the late and faced the end flush. You can`t see the joint!
I then made a screw on lid so that I can add lead weights as needed:
The hole in the lid is for a lever bar to screw the lid on and off, which is why the drill is in there… a good way to snap drills 😀
I then made the pulley for on the top.
Made a screw for the pulley axle:
Then I made the pulley holder which I decided was too big, so the black mark is where I decided to chop it in half!
Looks much better now without the top piece but it needed a hook to tie the central line.
I did a little more, decided to make a hook to fix my “issue”. Looks ok imo and I think I prefer it to the solid body. Maybe the hook could be a little smaller?
Here is the new pulley layout:
I`m going to have to make my weight narrower than I thought. Adding the extra loop in the pulley setup has thrown the chords nearer so they will clash if I make the master weight much wider than the dia of the master weight pulley. The clock is running now, so once I have the weight that works, I`ll make it from brass solid.
It has been running now for another 24 hours and there must be more friction with this new pulley setup so I could have a much heavier weight which moved nicely to give the pendulum a “good” impulse.
I made a massive step this evening. The daisy wheel has been a source of problems for weeks. Infact, the truth is my first attempt was simply to prove that the principle worked but I`ve added a bearing, changed some dimensions to fit my clock and it has never really be right, often skipping hours or jamming up.
So I went about planning cutting a new wheel. I`ve been buying lots of sheet brass for my project and it is causing a dent in my wallet. With my new found “parting” skills – I stumbled across a 2 3/4″ brass bar at the scrap yard, 5″ long. Even with enough to hold in the chuck jaws and the waste removed with parting. It is going to be much cheaper parting off brass blanks from this rather than cutting disks from sheet brass. Anyway, I cut myself a blank and then decided the ID must be 34mm to allow the pin wheel to go to full depth in the wheel and the outside diameter 40mm to give enough wall to each “V” to allow the pin to bounce/drive properly.
I`ve cut the other two attempts using a form tool in a fly cutter as I would when trying to cut a gear but this wheel is really thick at 2.5mm!! and there is just too much vibration and material. The plans say to cut by hand anyway so I decided to mark out and cut the notches. I had to work out my angles and then used my CNC divider to mark the points, joining them up with a ruler:
I cut each one by hand:
I then checked all the markings and filed to size which took a good few hours. The pin wheel was binding and I thought all was lost but then realised that the 75deg angle I had used, hadn`t taken into account the radius on the “full” daisy wheel plans – I`m cutting my daisy petals short on purpose as they serve no use other than providing an opportunity for the pins to bind!
So I rounded the corners. It looks more like a daisy now but the plans call for accurate radius on each petal as though the pin is following the tips of the petals. I`ve just rounded mine up to look nice, the important bit is the 75deg notch along with the slight radius of the edge leading into the notch.
I then speeded up the process of checking the daisy motion by putting it into the lathe and it seemed to work just fine! I`ve installed it on the clock and it has been running for 3 hours with no problem, which is longer than my previous two attempts! I`ve got a half decent feeling about this one… :ddb:
Just the master weight now….although a clockmaker who has given me a lot of advice doesn`t like my jockey weight and pulley so it looks like I`ll have to remake it! The I`m on to working with the brown woody stuff!!
I`m terrible at design and getting things in proportion, so for the face, I mocked it up in CAD and then made it out of a card template just to see what it looked like:
(the bar code is a nice part of the design 🙂
Happy with the size and mounting positions and also getting the nod approval from a few of the forums I visit, I went ahead and ordered a piece of glass to be water jet cut. I had to take the glass to them, just normal picture frame float glass. Being so cheap, I actually took them 3 pieces “just incase”. I was very pleased the next day when they rang me to tell me all three had been cut for the price I thought I was paying for one. At least this now gives me one totally spare and then two to try different designs of numbering and marking.
In my opinion, the glass looks amazing in person…pictures do it no justice. It looks plastic on the photos but is clearly glass and has a green edge in the light! I couldn`t be more pleased.
Perhaps a little over the top, but I made a little video as sometimes the video function on this cheap camera gives a more life like shot that the still photos…gives you an idea!
I need to find a dial painter now!
Case and Initial Assembly:
You`ll notice, hopefully, that it has all been gold plated. I`m never very pleased with my work and I must say this looks smashing and it is so difficult to get a good picture of it! The gold is so well polished and reflective that I just get glare but then with such dull winter days, I still need a flash! Anyway, I think you`ll get the idea.
Here goes…hope you like it.
Clock mounted on the wall without weights and pulleys
I`ve just finished making two brass countersunk washers to replace the large ugly steel washers but I took the picture earlier today:
I think this shows off the gold plating the best! I`m very please with it and a good skill to have learnt and the kit wasn`t much more than I`d have paid to have it plated by someone else.
So things to do/finish:
1. Fit the new brass washers.
2. Blue some of the screws and find some M4 screws that can be blued!
3. Make new pulleys for the weights – started this a few days ago and spoilt them both!!
4. Get the new dial numbered.
Feels good to have it on the wall and running!