Attaching Gears To Shafts - First Time Clock Maker

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by Damien Towning, Nov 29, 2012.

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  1. Damien Towning

    Damien Towning New Member

    Nov 29, 2012
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    Hello all.

    I have been going through various old books looking for some specific details on how gears were affixed to axles by olden day clock makers and am currently reading "Old Scottish Clock Makers" by John Smith but have not quite got to what I was looking for yet.

    I was wondering if someone could give me a quick outline or point me to some detail on this matter.

    Here is a picture of the escape wheel from the 30 hour movement I am working on.

    http://www.mixotricha.com/2012/11/23/lesson-12748/

    I could put these on milled hubs with grub screws and that was my first intention but I would like to keep my process as authentic as possible if only for the simple reason that +400 years of clock making should not be ignored!
     
  2. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

    Dec 7, 2011
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    wheels to arbors is the correct term :)


    simplest method is to soft solder a collet to the arbor, turn the arbor between centres so the collet can be turned true, and when the wheel is mounted it will spin true as well.
     
  3. Damien Towning

    Damien Towning New Member

    Nov 29, 2012
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    Excellent! Thank you for the clarity!

    Few days ago I had a go at soldering a bit of old printer axle in a small brass bushing. Even with just a normal soldering iron and electronics solder the result seemed quite strong. Strong enough to take a bit of a file to something approaching true using my drill press.
    .
    After some more searching I found an excellent description of using the traditional method to then fix a collet to a wheel.

    That was the bit I was stuck on. This thread over here on yahoo has a terrific explanation of what to do after you have got your collet running true on the arbor.

    http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/clocksgroup/messages/13763?threaded=1&m=e&var=1&tidx=1

    Now that I think about it I recall the number 21 pulleys in Meccano looking very similar to what we are talking about!

    I actually have a cnc mill that will do some quite nice accurate repeatable parts and and I could probably make some hubs that way in a manner similar to how I made the gears.

    I suppose the key is to get it all running true.

    I had access to a wonderful old Hercus lathe for my engineering diploma but I finished that last year and I can only dream of it right now.

    After the cost of the mill I am not allowed any more toys for a bit.

    Really came to love those old machines. Much used and abused but the Hercus could turn a small aluminium Christmas tree like a boss! :)
     
  4. dAz57

    dAz57 Registered User

    Dec 7, 2011
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    the old time clock and watchmakers turned everything between centres, the lathes or Turns they used were two dead centres mounted in a frame, the part turned with a bow or a throw (looks like the wheel on a treadle sewing machine).

    these days with precision machinery they can make the parts to an exact fit and accuracy, but the old methods follows the KISS principal.

    mounting the wheel onto the collet can be done with screws like found on better grade clocks or you can use loctite, there is not much torque on wheels in the upper end of the train so a high strength loctite like 263 is more than strong enough for the job.
     
  5. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
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    You can also knurl the arbor and press the collet into place. Then turn the collet true to mount the wheel. Staking the wheel to the collet is sufficient to keep it in place. You don't HAVE to knurl the arbor as press fit is strong enough IF you get the tolerances right. Reaming the collet is one way to do this but not everyone has reamers in the necessary sizes.

    Pins are another method of holding the collet on the arbor. Press the collet to the arbor in the position you want it, drill through both and insert pin. Cut off & peen the pin on both sides then turn the collet true.
     

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