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  1. #1

    Default Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner?

    Hi folks,

    I'm thinking of making my own wooden movement clock.

    Clayton Boyer has many plans - I'm not an artsy type of guy but I quite like the Simplicity:

    http://www.lisaboyer.com/Claytonsite...icitypage1.htm

    Also, Clayton has a book, A Practical Guide to Wooden Wheeled Clock Design, pdf book by Clayton Boyer:

    http://www.lisaboyer.com/Claytonsite/bookpage1.htm

    Has anyone built this and/or read this book? Can you recommend it to a clock building beginner?

    For example, do I really need the book to build the clock properly?

    I have a pretty decent amateur woodworking shop (band saw, drill press, wood lathe, scroll saw, sander, etc)

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Registered User FDelGreco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Epictetus)

    If you want to make a historically accurate clock, go to the American Clock and Watch Museum. Their gift shop has accurate plans (measured drawings) of a variety of shelf and grandfather clocks.

    http://www.clockandwatchmuseum.org/


    Frank

  3. #3

    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: FDelGreco)

    Thanks for the link, Frank. Very interesting site.

    They have the following, which I would consider after getting a bit more experience:

    Isaac Newton Youngs 30-hour Wooden Movement "Shaker" Timepiece

    23 pages of measured drawings by George Bruno and explanations for building a 30-hour wooden gear "Shaker" timepiece as originally made by Isaac Newton Youngs (1793-1865). Information is included to make hands, weight and dial. Stock #216

    For my first clock though, I think I'll go ahead and try the Simplicity - there will be support (from Clayton's website if/when I run into difficulties.

    Cheers!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Epictetus)

    Well, I pulled the trigger on the Simplicity.
    If anyone is interested, I'll give my impressions of the plans.
    Cheers

  5. #5

    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Epictetus)

    Good move. I think it will be a good way to get some hands-on experience. I hope it is the first of many successful builds for you.
    Wooden clock building will continue to give you new challenges.
    Best of luck, and you have some really great folks here to help you along the way.
    Dave

  6. #6
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: davecar)

    Mr Boyer builds some interesting devices. However, wood escape wheels running with wood verges and pallets are not going to run well for long. Most clock makers can attest to the wear seen on hardened steel pallet faces, making a wood on wood escapement a certain point of wear not to mention both poor reliability and timekeeping too. One might want to consider at least using pallet faces and escape wheels of lignum vitae if you can't bring yourself to making a brass escape wheel and metal pallets. The plans may not be quite correct in some respects of the escapement layout either. The video referenced shows a deadbeat escapement that is locking on the acting faces rather than the locking faces of the verge. This is an absolute no-no if you really desire to make a decent timekeeper that runs well for a period of time. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...5906B500B2A7AB demonstrates a deadbeat escapement exhibiting proper locking. Here is another http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=...52C5BEF07B5C85 Good luck with your efforts and enjoy, correcting the escapement issues will lead to a device you can enjoy when completed.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Jim DuBois)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DuBois View Post
    .... The video referenced shows a deadbeat escapement that is locking on the acting faces rather than the locking faces of the verge. This is an absolute no-no if you really desire to make a decent timekeeper that runs well for a period of time.
    It sure looks that way. Can't imagine why they would post a video like that. I've always wanted to build something like these but never had the time. I really think one needs to go into such a project with the objective of making a dynamic work of art more than making a practical everyday time keeper. Not sure how long the wood on wood escapement will last, but it does have a pretty good surface area. If it doesn't lock properly it would likely wear much faster as it tries to recoil. I didn't see a lot of recoil in the video, so I would guess that it is near the critical edge of not running at all.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: R. Croswell)

    Dave,
    Thanks for the encouragement. Right now I'm trying to make sense of some CAD programs (needed to open the dxf files I opted for instead of the mailed paper plans).

    Jim and Mr. Croswell,
    It appears Clayton revised the pallet, according to this comment from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2Ro...ature=youtu.be

    John Hilgenberg 3 years ago in reply to PKamargo
    Thanks for noticing that -- good eye! Actually, the pallets you are looking at were Clayton's original recoil design. Since the video was made, his revised Graham dead beat pallets have been substituted and the locking faces are functioning nicely. The clock keeps time within a minute a week, which may not sound impressive, but is better than my other wood gear clocks.

    Also, from the same youtube video comments:

    John Hilgenberg 2 years ago in reply to kreightivemetal
    Actually, that seems not to be the case. Any number of wood-gear clocks made by Eli Terry and others 200 years ago are still running today . I've heard of no reports of tooth wear from builders of modern wood-gear clocks, although wear in brass movements is not uncommon. One reason for this durability would be that carefully cut teeth have rolling friction but very little rubbing friction. Another may be that wood is a natural fiber composite.not unlike space-age carbon-reinforced polymers.

    Many thanks for the comments - keep 'em coming!

    Cheers


  9. #9
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Epictetus)

    as to the running for 200 years, virtually all those clocks have both metal escape wheels and metal verges with wooden gear trains. Wood on wood escapements are not a good idea, they may run today, they may run continuously for some limited time, but ultimately they will fail much sooner than traditionally built escapements. If you want to build a device that looks a certain way or build it out of certain materials just because you can, or because it is cheaper, or because the material is easily worked, a wooden escapement may fit the bill. If you want a reliable device that runs well over a longer period of time you may want to upgrade the escape wheel teeth to brass, and face the verge with hard steel materials, and make certain the geometry is correct. I did look at the later Youtubes mentioned above and it looks to me as the later versions of CB's escapements are still incorrect. But they kinda sorta work so good enough?

  10. #10
    Registered User FDelGreco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Jim DuBois)

    A good compromise might be to make it all out of wood. I'll run for at least a couple of years. Then when you feel confident about working in metal, make a metal escape wheel and verge.

    Frank

  11. #11

    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: FDelGreco)

    Frank,
    Good idea. I've invested some cash into the wood version, plans and materials, so I might as well forge ahead.

    Jim,
    All good points. As you infer, this is not a "real" clock - I mean, you have to wind it up every day, but Clayton has had his running for 5 years now. Would you epoxy the metals to the teeth and verge, or is it a bit more involved?

    Cheers!

  12. #12
    Registered user. Kevin W.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Epictetus)

    One group in my Chapter 111 Ottawa, built a clock that runs from Clayton Boyers plans.
    One clock at a time. Kevin West
    http://www.global-horology.com/GHMB/

  13. #13
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Epictetus)

    Epictetus, I regard CB's work more as Kinetic Art or functioning sculpture, rather than TRUE clock making. He does some great work. I appreciate what he has accomplished. All I am suggesting is there are some things he does that are perfectly suitable for his work, but not so much in keeping with good clock making.

    In most cases the entire escape wheel is made of brass in period wood works and the entire verge is of steel. The escape wheel in some cases has wooden hubs that reach out nearly to the teeth, other cases the entire brass wheel is attached to a wooden arbor with steel pivots.

    Since you have ordered his plans you may want to follow them and not get led astray by various folks such as myself. I am more than happy to offer you up photos and drawings if I can be of assistance on more conventional ww mechanisms

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: Jim DuBois)

    I built the tempo. The pallets were actually a deadbeat design (the locking faces were circular to the arbor), but he spaced the pallet arbor too far from the escape arbor. I see from the simplicity video (and mentioned by Jim), that this was not limited to the tempo design.

    I simply closed the distance between arbors.

    I used a scroll saw for the initial build in baltic birch. I copied the plans, glued them up, and cut. I found that the wheels were ovalled, not truly round, possibly due to the copy process. Took a little hand work to clean that up.

    I then built a pin router with fixturing to make the wheels and pinions very accurately, and used hardwoods.
    First pic is the baltic birch. Second is the later version during the assembly process. No tri on it at that time.

    John
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  15. #15
    Registered User Jim DuBois's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner? (By: john e)

    I guess I am a bit more engaged in making clock parts than perhaps useful to those who don’t mind a bit of fiddling and filing and sanding. The first clock works I made (50 years ago) was a time and strike wooden works copy of an Eli Terry pillar and scroll movement. Like is recommended on several of the current plans I ran copies of the gears, glued them on wood disks, and cut the teeth on a scroll saw. Many hours later I had something that looked like a proper Eli Terry ww movement. Did it run? Sort of after many hours of work. Since then I have made a couple of hundred clocks, made a fair number of entire movements too, almost all of them made of brass and steel. I have made a small number of wooden works clocks parts also but never again did I attempt to cut them on a scroll saw. Lesson learned, wasted hours when far better methods were readily available to me with equipment I already owned. Namely, I made a wooden indexing fixture that allowed me to index gear blanks and cut teeth on my drill press. For a cutter one can use either a small saw blade or grind a fly cutter, it can be done on the drill press, finished with some file work and work with a stone. Round wheels with accurately spaced and properly formed teeth are really necessary for a good running clock in my experience.

    Copiers do not usually produce completely accurate geometry, usually the copy is a bit longer than wide, or vice versa. This can be as little as 1% or some copiers may be over 3% difference. As a result, your wheels are not really round, and that can be a problem…. obviously, a lot of folks have found very successful work a rounds and have built some extremely nice mechanisms. No intent to disparage any ones efforts, just hope to offer observations that save people some frustrations and time, things not to do, so to speak. I am too lazy these days to enjoy reworking my reworks.

    And John E, nice work on your Tempo model clocks...

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