Building John Wilding’s small Tower Clock

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by Raynerd, Nov 3, 2018.

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  1. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

    Apr 11, 2004
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    Evening all

    It has been quite some time since I built a clock from scratch. I’ve been busy with work and any time in the workshop I’ve spent working on my Cowells lathes. I’ve always wanted to build a Tower Clock and I’ve finally taken the plunge. I’m not entirely sure what I’m up against so I’m sure I’ll be posting plenty of questions on here as well as showing my progress! I have an idea where the final clock will go and hopefully it will drive an external dial. I’m sure it won’t be a quick project but with winter on it’s way, I’m hoping to spend some time in the workshop and hope to have it complete early in the new year.
    The plans have designs for both a deadbeat and a grasshopper escapement. I’m going to make it difficult and go for the grasshopper! The plans also show the option of chime and auto winding but these can be added at a later date!

    Wilding suggests using aluminium or steel due to the cost of brass. I was inclined to agree but after pricing it all up and with the understanding that the clock will be on full show in my dining room, I went with all brass.

    Part 1: introduction and Pillars.

     
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  2. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Looking forward to more, I remember your previous work.
     
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  3. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    Well I’ve done a little more. Managed to bolt up the frame pieces and it’s lookijg good, nice and solid. I’ve just got to dowel pin it. I don’t really get why he has chosen to dowel it when it could be just bolted three ...anyway, I’ll follow the plans.

     
  4. Paul Madden

    Paul Madden Registered User
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    Great work! Its fascinating to watch all the processes. Thanks for sharing!
     
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  5. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    I apologise for probably a nieve question but could someone please explain the arrangement of the main spring, click and especially the slip washer, in a weight driven clock. Whilst I have some vague idea how the components are arranged, i certainly don’t understand the function of the slip washer. Help appreciated.
     
  6. cmnewcomer

    cmnewcomer Registered User

    Mar 24, 2009
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    Other's will probably be able to explain better but I will give it a try.
    It may be confusing if you are looking at the plans. They don't show the slot that would be turned into the arbor. This was probably intentional since you want to have everything made up in order to get the slot very close to the great wheel without slop. In some cases, the slip washer can be cupped to take up any slop.
    So, the slip washer retains the great wheel and keeps it from sliding out.

    Best Regards.

    Carl
     
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  7. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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  8. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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  9. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    My first error!

     
  10. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  11. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Thanks for sharing the good and bad. Actually not that bad since your "recovery" was first class work. I would not go back and remake the wheel. The repair is invisible and just as strong as the original. Looking forward to your next post.
    Allan
     
  12. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    Thanks for the positive messages. Yes, I recovered quite well but was an idiot for making the mistake in the first place! Ratchet wheel next.
     
  13. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Hi Chris,

    First off I feel your work has always been of the highest order (including this repair) so saying you were an idiot just doesn't fit for me. I suspect that you may be harder on yourself than necessary - something we all are guilty of at times.

    Its getting close to 60 years that I have been at the metalworking craft, most of it professionally. Just last year I was replacing a damaged tooth in a spring barrel and not paying enough attention to the opposite end of the flycutter which was whacking two other good teeth. My repair job went from replacing the broken tooth to having to replace three. AAAARRRGGHHH!

    There, I'm much better now! :D

    Another reason I am writing is my concern of what might have happened to the brass by silver soldering. Since the plumbing industry has come up with an alternative to lead solder, the term silver solder has been thrown about too freely. If you used the plumbing style solder you may be alright. If you used what was formerly called silver solder, the higher melting temperature (800 to 1200 F.) has most certainly softened the brass at least in the repair area and quite possibly the entire piece.

    I would hate to see you go through so much more work of the high quality that you do, only to find the teeth bending over from being too soft or wearing too quickly.

    There might be another solution to suggest. My second generation regulator clocks that I have yet to complete use 5/16 thick brass for the plates. I have way more than I will ever use and I have been clearing out projects etc. that will never happen. I would be happy to cut a 5 X 5 piece to send you at no charge. People in the NAWCC have been quite generous with each other and I try to keep the spirit alive as I feel we all have to contribute where we can.

    If you are able to utilize the slightly narrower piece for your great wheel, please send me an e-mail. My website address is on the left and it includes an e-mail address.
     
  14. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I was wondering about that when I watched the clip. Not really aware of the temperatures involved. Does machining do any work hardening?
     
  15. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    Great reply, I hadn't considered that. It was indeed silver solder and I had to get it hot hot hot...I struggled actually. Your offer is very kind and I will have to offer to cover postage at least. I'll send you an email. Whilst I would be happy to plod on with the only concern being asthetics, I would be quite disappointed if the teeth started to bend!
    All the best.
    Chris
     
  16. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
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    Great question! This brings up a few perspectives.

    The practical answer when cutting most metals is, no it does not because the metal is being peeled away by machining and not being "worked". I would not be surprised however if at the microscopic level there is a tiny bit of hardening going on but subsequent cuts taken break right through a tiny skin.

    One of the notable exceptions however is with stainless steel. Stainless is actually rather soft and machines easily IF the cutting tool is very sharp and the crafts-person maintains sufficient pressure on the tool to assure it does not skid. Once a tool skids it creates a hard skin very quickly and can give the operator the impression that stainless is difficult to machine. In fact, once the surface work hardens it can easily be impossible to make any more progress even with a sharpened tool and a person may have to go to a much harder cutting tool - or, if possible, cut from the other side, breaking through the hard skin from inside out.

    Several of the tool steels also act in the same way (D-2 comes to mind). With D-2 it is fairly easy to take rather deep cuts, but if you try to skim off a few thousandths the cutting tool quickly dulls.

    Another perspective I want to mention is that the shaving coming off of a part IS being "worked" and is harder than the part it is leaving. This is why if a chip sticks (welds) to the cutting edge it will likely change the surface finish on the part. When inspected under magnification it is apparent that metal shavings are small segments packed together and forming a longer string.

    Just a bit of trivia that I was going to mention in my last post and forgot. (this age thing really sucks sometimes) For decades I have maintained that the measure of a true craft-person is by how well they can get out of their mistakes. I think that Chris did an outstanding job as far as being able to detect the repair.
     
  17. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    Is this a case where soft solder could be used? If the fit is as good as this then all you want to do is stop it sliding out and filling in the very small gap between the two.

    It was stainless that made me think machining work hardened, thank you for the explanation. ( The company I worked for over 40 years ago broached stainless and nimonic alloys and I thought I recalled the work hardening)
     
  18. John MacArthur

    John MacArthur Registered User
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    I use Stay-Brite silver bearing solder for almost everything. It flows at lower than annealing temp of brass or tempering temp of steel, is stronger than lead solder, and melts and flows very easily.
    Johnny
     
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  19. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    Evening. I’ve been busy with work this week and therefore I’ve had very little time for the Clock build! I’m normally one video ahead of what I’m posting but right now I’ve literally just finished the ratchet wheel. It turned out quite well and I liked the finish from the dovetail cutter compared to my effort sharpening a fly cutter!

     
  20. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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  21. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    Marking mocks, planning lessons, assemblies, marking books, parents evenings...take your pick ;)
     
  22. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I see it all, then go back to my preproom :)
     
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  23. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    For anyone who has built this clock or anyone with suggestions...the lantern pinions call for 54 gauge pivot wire. I can not buy this new. The only option I have is 1.3mm or 1.4mm. Marginally too small or too large. Anyone know a source of 54 gauge pivot steel or any thoughts on which you would go for...to big or small. My thought is to go on the smaller side to avoid binding?
     
  24. David S

    David S Registered User
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    are you sure it is 54 gauge?

    That is pretty small this side of the pond.

    David
     
  25. David S

    David S Registered User
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    are you sure it is 54 gauge?

    That is pretty small this side of the pond.

    David
     
  26. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    54 gauge? Is that AWG? SWG doesn't go that small does it? Or does pivot wire have its own gauge system?
     
  27. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #26 Jim DuBois, Dec 12, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
    54 gauge doesn't compute for me in either AWG or SWG. But, here is a source that has a large range of sizes https://www.onlinemetals.com/merchant.cfm?id=1214&step=2 but they seem to sell it in 1 pound quantities. It is in .002" increments in their smaller sizes and is "music wire" but I have used that in a fair number of lantern pinions. I would think that would be fine for a weight driven clock.....does the spec sheet call for anything sizewise besides 54 gauge? A inch or MM size would help if it were me building the clock....I work in both, but by gauge? Not so much....

    Maybe drill size 54? That makes some degree of sense to me

    drill sized pinion wire.jpg
     
  28. Phil Burman

    Phil Burman Registered User

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    A ratterly gear train is a good sound, a binding gear train is bad news, so I think your selected option is the correct one.

    Phil
     
  29. cmnewcomer

    cmnewcomer Registered User

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    Looking at the plans it seems that it should have been 16 gauge (#54 Drill) as Jim pointed out. So 1.3mm should be fine unless you want a press fit.

    Best Regards.

    Carl
     
  30. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    Evening, the plans I have state 54 gauge. I agree that this must refer to drill size 54 which is actually 1.397mm.
    However, I was wrong before, I should have said I can get only 1.3mm or 1.5mm ! However, based on the advice you have been giving, I’m guessing 1.3mm is the way to go rather than having 1.5mm and it binding.

    Chris
     
  31. Phil Burman

    Phil Burman Registered User

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    There are lots of sources of 14mm piano wire. Google "1.4mm piano wire".

    Phil
     
  32. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    I had seen this in my searching but didn’t think it would be a suitable alternative.
     
  33. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    A bit of a long delay! Back at it now....
     
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  34. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    A little bit slow but some progress....

     
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  35. Raynerd

    Raynerd Registered User

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    And the click assembly ....

     
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  36. 24clok

    24clok New Member

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  37. Paul Madden

    Paul Madden Registered User
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    Looking great Chris. Thanks for taking the time to video your progress and sharing with us.
    Keep up the posts!

    Paul.
     
  38. scootermcrad

    scootermcrad Registered User
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    This is GREAT, Chris! Thank you for sharing your build. I will be following along.
     

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