Clock #22 Build Update

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Clock #22 Build Update

Postby TReischl » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:00 am

Some of you asked me to keep you updated, so here goes (first the good stuff, pics!):

1.jpg


Most of the parts. There are still some spacers and shafts to be cut to length

9.jpg


2.jpg


5.jpg


6.jpg


7.jpg


This is a lot of fun. Certainly not a weekend project. Some comments. Having a lathe is very handy for some of these parts. It can be done without a lathe, just a little more fiddling around. I recently added a compound slide to my 1946 Delta 1460 lathe. One of the parts is a combination of cnc and lathe work. It is a little itty bitty part. I half lapped the front and back frames to control grain a bit better. Glad I did. When I took the front frame off the machine (it is the one that is skeletonized) it is quite flexible. It will be fine once assembled, but I would not want to be handling it with long runs of short grain.

The STEP file that is included is really handy. For those of you not familiar, Fusion 360 works with STEP files, they are full 3D. At first I did not think I would use them. But as I get into this, it is very handy to be able to turn off a bunch of parts and actually be able to see how things go to together and where they are located. I needed to do this especially for the bearing holes. I wanted to identify and separate them so that I could get a good press fit. As most of us all know, you can tell a machine you are using a .125 dia end mill, and you can tell it you are cutting a .250 dia hole, but that does not mean you will actually get one. Usually that is not important, but when it comes to press fitting bearings into wood, it is critical.

Oh, I also figured out that profiling the openings in the gears and using tabs does not work out real well. These are fairly delicate parts and it is easy to break them across the grain when removing the tabs. So, I pocketed first then took a finish profile cut all the way around. That eliminated having a chunk get caught by the end mill. Good thing this is not a paying job!

I am going to make the remaining parts, nothing real interesting and mostly lathe work. Then the assembly will begin. I am sure that is going to a lengthy process getting everything fitting just right and running correctly.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby mtylerfl » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:08 pm

Thank you for the pics and the detailed update, Ted. Very interesting (and cool) project!
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby Leo » Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:41 pm

The whole thing is very interesting. Fantastic information.

I want to know a bit more about the clock face.

The closeup pic tells a lot, but I would like to know how you did it. Segments? Laminated?
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby TReischl » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:19 am

Leo, Yes, and Yes. LOL.

I laminated up a strip of mahogany and walnut. I also made a strip of just mahogany.

A year or so ago I posted about the segment jig I built based on the Seg Easy fixture. So, I set that up and cut the segments. BTW, with that jig there are no "test pieces" or "extra pieces" or gluing up halves and then sanding them to fit. I glued them up end to end using mold and trim glue, did not bother clamping them. After they dried, I then glued the two rings together overlapping the joints (that is why I did not bother clamping them, the lap joint glue is way stronger than any end to end joint.

Now, all that said, I am ambivalent about that clock face. I may make another one and do something different. I am not liking the finish or the looks at all. Granted, it only has a coat of sanding sealer at this point, but something about it rubs me the wrong way.

I spent this afternoon making all the little shafts and pins that the clock requires on the lathe. I have a few more wood parts to do, pendulum, the winder upper device (basically a crank handle that fits that little square to round piece), a pulley and some more spacers. I think I had that lathe when you stopped by up in Attleboro? Now it has a compound slide, no saddle which is a little strange to me, but hey, it is the official accessory for that lathe. It is coming in very handy.

A side note: I have never been very keen about the metric system. This project is reminding me why once again. Just try buying 3mm rod of any kind, want some 6mm threaded rod? The guys in the hardware store will laugh you out the door. M6 acorn nuts? Sure, right about the 12th of Never. Oh sure, I can order them online, no problem, except what will I do with 96 M6 acorn nuts? Yea, yea, I get it, it is great because everything is divisible by 10. But that does not mean much when the local stores do not stock it. I forgot to mention, try going into your local Ace Hardware for a metric drill. They will sell you a "metric equivalent", that is a standard drill with the conversion written on the label. I first learned of the metric system about 58 years ago, it was going to replace our system. Looks like that is taking a tad longer than anyone thought. It will happen when they convince Ace Hardware that they have to stock all their stuff in the metric sizes. That will be on the 13th of Never.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby Leo » Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:42 am

Metric?

I dunno, I am getting so used to it. Now, I am mixing 5/16-18 and M8-1.25 -- almost the same.

Doesn't really matter much anymore.

BTW - I like the clock face, but I totally understand where you are coming from.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby TReischl » Sat Jul 07, 2018 11:56 pm

Been making some progress on the clock. First a pic, then I will bloviate a bit.

Clock Progress 2.jpg


Complicated device, that is for sure. It sort of works at this point. There is a rough spot in the gear train, I know where it is so I have been tuning it in slowly but surely. That is the good news. The bad news is that I am having difficulty understanding the assembly of the gears that control the minute and hour hand. Specifically, which ones are fixed together. Time to study the PDF some more.

Mr. Law (designer of the clock) does not seem to be a man of many words. The assembly instructions are pretty much pictorial. In a way, that makes it more fun because it is sort of like solving a puzzle.

When I started this project I was hesitant to modify anything at all. It was just complicated enough that studying it only scratched the surface of how these things go together. Now that I have been assembling it, there are definitely places where it could be simplified a bit. An example of this is the mounting of the bearings. They are just through holes with the bearings pressed in them. Of course the backside needs to be plugged up. On the cnc it would be easier to just drill a clearance hole for the shaft and a counter bore to depth for the bearing. Instead I have to make a bunch of very small little plug things. Then the question becomes, to glue or not to glue?

One of the really handy things that Mr. Law supplied was the STEP files. He did a great job creating them. One can scroll through the hierarchy and start figuring out how it all goes together. Or, one can discover that he made a change on the STEP drawing but did not update the DXF files. I have a part that does not go anywhere, :lol: That involved a bit of head scratching! There were some other minor bumps, but nothing serious, all in all, he did a really great job.

Notice that the clock is mounted to a riser jig on my bench. This is not like putting together one of those dinosaur cut out things. There has been quite a bit assembly/disassembly required to get things fitting just right (which they still are not). That jig makes life much easier. Well, tomorrow I will see if I can sort out the hour/minute hand thing. May require several cups of coffee.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby LittleGreyMan » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:00 am

Thanks for you feedback Ted.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby Leo » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:22 pm

Looks like a fantastic project.

I know you are having fun with it.

I wonder how the wood over time with its shrinking and swelling will affect the mechanisms.

I definitely want to do one of these clocks
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby martin54 » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:34 pm

Looks like it's starting to take shape Ted, keep the pictures coming as it progresses :lol: :lol:

I don't understand why your still using imperial units, from what I have read the USA was one of the first Countries to sign up to a global metric system way back in 1875 :lol: :lol:
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby LittleGreyMan » Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:36 pm

Leo wrote:I wonder how the wood over time with its shrinking and swelling will affect the mechanisms.


I'd rather use birch plywood for this reason, but it's not the most aesthetic choice.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby TReischl » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:26 pm

Ah yes, wood movement. . . .

Surprisingly, these type of clocks are not precision instruments. Since they only work in one direction backlash is not a concern. Once the backlash issue is put aside it is easy to provide enough clearance to eliminate wood movement problems.

I am certainly not a clock expert by any means but I am learning a lot. The way these work is that a weight is always trying to rotate the gear train. The pendulum provides a timed method of releasing the stored energy of the weight via an "escapement" mechanism. So, as long as the gears mesh the clock will run. The real challenge (from what I am learning) is to reduce as much of the friction as possible.

Benefit of cnc: I ran into a slight issue with the escapement lever. That is the long thin thing hanging on the right side of the clock. I accidentally bored the bearing hole a tad too big so there is some slop going on up there at the top. With the cnc, not a problem, I will just make a new one and hopefully get the size correct.

Normally I would fine tune my toolpaths to create perfect sized bores for the bearings (I did this on the front and back frames). But on this piece, because it is so thin around the bearing hole I elected to hone the hole to get a very light press fit of the bearing to avoid cracking the piece.

And yes, something like baltic birch plywood would certainly be stronger, but it would also look like baltic birch plywood. . . . Now that I have seen how it all goes together I am going to make a few changes to increase strength. Also there are some very thin spacers (like 1mm thick) that were designed as separate pieces. Most of these can easily be incorporated right into a main piece. I am going to increase the radius around that bore in the escapement arm to provide a bit more strength. I may also bore a shallow pocket on the backside to create some "plywood" that does not show from the front or side. See what I mean about this being a challenging project and not something that can be knocked together in a weekend? 8) Perfect for us retired hobbyist type of guys! I am also seeing how folks get into this whole clock building stuff. It is interesting and challenging.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby LittleGreyMan » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:31 pm

TReischl wrote:it is easy to provide enough clearance to eliminate wood movement problems.

Which is a good reason to avoid plywood! Thanks for this information.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby highpockets » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:32 pm

Use quarter sawn wood, much more stable.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby Leo » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:41 pm

TReischl wrote: Perfect for us retired hobbyist type of guys!


I got 2 years and months to go.

Sounds like the perfect project for my early retirement.
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Re: Clock #22 Build Update

Postby alan254 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:09 pm

I have a lot of very old growth chestnut and am planning to using this in a wooden gear grandfather clock.
I would like to know if anyone has used chestnut in a gear clock and the prows and cons.

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