Burnt Laser Cut Wooden Wheels and Pinions

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by mikejohn, Oct 3, 2014.

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  1. mikejohn

    mikejohn New Member

    Aug 13, 2014
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    I want to share a bad experience I had with a laser cutting service cutting my wheels and pinions.

    I have a desire to build wooden geared clocks. These things are about the most precise thing you can cut out with a scroll saw and my chance of success was limited. Really, I hear these clock wheels and pinions can be temperamental.

    Plan A was to outsource the cutting of the gears to a laser cutting service. Fifty dollars later and I received a poor result in the mail when it was done. The burning is plain to see but the smell, which is not available on the Internet or at least not yet, was a burnt wood smell resembling a bush fire. I doubt the smell will ever leave the wood. My wife actually smelt it and suggested there must be a fire somewhere about here. I told her it was my clock wheels and I had to take it outside to the shed or I would go outside to the shed with my pillow and blanket.L A different laser cutting service may have been a good idea.

    So I have to discard them. I have decided to build a DIY CNC router and see what I can do with that.

    Hope this makes other aware of the risk of getting something cut by laser.

    Mike

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/woodengearedclocks/
     
  2. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Apr 11, 2002
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    Hi Mike. I am in a group and we wish to make a wooden clock. One man in the group is going to try cutting with a laser. I guess we will see how it goes. I will have a look at the FB page.
     
  3. uglysteve

    uglysteve Registered User

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    #3 uglysteve, Oct 3, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  4. Troy Livingston

    Troy Livingston Registered User
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    Aug 28, 2006
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    I have seen examples of foam and steel pieces cut with water jet machines. This may work but I suspect you may be disappointed with the results.

    Mike, don't give up on those wheels quite yet. If memory serves I remember some discussion about removing the smoke smell in clocks that were in house fires with clay cat litter. You will likely need to remove the charred surface with a soft wire brush first. If the cat litter doesn't work perhaps one of the many odor neutralizing products on the market will help.

    While I am generally all in favor of new machining techniques you guys are over complicating things a wee bit. The tooth profile on these clocks is very simple, two flat faces with a rounded tip. All you really need is a small circular saw and some sort of indexing system.

    Just a thought.

    Troy
     
  5. mikejohn

    mikejohn New Member

    Aug 13, 2014
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    That is an interesting tip with the cat litter and odor eating products. I never thought of that. I will investigate that plan of attack. I really thought the wheels a write off.
     
  6. shimmystep

    shimmystep Registered User

    Mar 5, 2012
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    As long as your kitty doesn't look down and think 'jeeez did I do that:???:'
     
  7. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    Mike perhaps baking soda would also work.

    David
     

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