Clayton Boyer plans a good choice for beginner?

Discussion in 'Wood Movement Clocks' started by Epictetus, Oct 20, 2015.

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  1. Epictetus

    Epictetus Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
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    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/simplicitypage1.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. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    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. Epictetus

    Epictetus Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
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    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23 pages of measured drawings by George Bruno and explanations for building a 30-hour wooden gear "Shaker" timepiece as originally made by Isaac Newton Youngs (1793-1865).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. Epictetus

    Epictetus Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
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    Well, I pulled the trigger on the Simplicity.
    If anyone is interested, I'll give my impressions of the plans.
    Cheers
     
  5. davecar

    davecar New Member

    Oct 21, 2015
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    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. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2008
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    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=clock+escapement+video&FORM=VIRE10#view=detail&mid=BE44D85906B500B2A7ABBE44D85906B500B2A7AB demonstrates a deadbeat escapement exhibiting proper locking. Here is another http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=clock+escapement+video&FORM=VIRE10#view=detail&mid=6F547A52C5BEF07B5C856F547A52C5BEF07B5C85 Good luck with your efforts and enjoy, correcting the escapement issues will lead to a device you can enjoy when completed.
     
    Dave T likes this.
  7. R. Croswell

    R. Croswell Registered User

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    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. Epictetus

    Epictetus Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
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    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=h2Ro7aLvGBQ&feature=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. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    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. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    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. Epictetus

    Epictetus Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
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    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. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    One group in my Chapter 111 Ottawa, built a clock that runs from Clayton Boyers plans.
     
  13. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    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. john e

    john e Registered User

    Apr 23, 2015
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    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
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    #15 Jim DuBois, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 31, 2017
    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...
     
  16. Epictetus

    Epictetus Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
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    Jim,
    Thanks for the information - it is very helpful.
    Can you go into a bit more detail on how you cut the teeth using a drill press. I understand that with the drill press you can get a properly round disc and, with an indexing device, drill out the gullets. Do you then finish the teeth with a band saw, for example?
    Cheers!

    - - - Updated - - -

    John, thanks for the warning about the clearance between pallet and escape wheel - I'll be on the lookout.
    Cheers!
     
  17. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    I built a simplified version of this device using mostly plywood and metals available from some hardware stores. We received copyright approval to publish this in 1974 and the publication has ceased to exist today.
     

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  18. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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  19. john e

    john e Registered User

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    When I made the pallet set, I did the final locking surfaces machining using a pin router. I built a jig which allowed the pallet set to rotate about it's arbor, and set it to clean the locking surfaces absolutely circular to the arbor. I used the scroll saw to get close to the lines on the locking surface so that the final router bit cut removed very little wood, less than a 1/16th.

    Since the simplicity appears close to the tempo with regard to escape and pallet geometry, I assume they would suffer the same issue.

    The tempo's pinion design was useable on a pin router with fixturing using an 1/8th spiral bit with half inch cut depth, I purchased them from klingspor. If he designs smaller valley teeth, the 1/8th won't work.

    John
     
  20. buzzby

    buzzby New Member

    Nov 4, 2015
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    I have built the tucan design and have nearly finished the simplicity. Kind of the wrong way round in a build order but i started the simplicity first and then needed to get the tucan finished for a gift.

    All done on a scroll saw and a drill press. I hadn't done any scroll saw work before but it is pretty easy to get started. You will need to try out a lot of blades and find the ones that work best for you. If you have a band saw then i think that would make the gears easier to make and faster but not required.

    I would say make the frame first but dont drill the holes for the gear placement until the gears have been done and then depth the frame.

    I have seen a number of video's on these clocks running for years without issue. As long as you use good birch plywood for the gear train it will last a very long time.

    Just give it a go.

    Buzz
     
  21. john e

    john e Registered User

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    I absolutely agree with that one.

    Here's my depthing fixture.

    John
     

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  22. Epictetus

    Epictetus Registered User

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    Jim,
    Thanks for posting the indexing jig - could you possibly pm me the jpg's?
    John,
    Thanks for the tips on the pallet construction.
    Buzz and John,
    When you talk about "depthing" does that mean determining the optimum distance between the 2 wheels?
    Cheers!
     
  23. john e

    john e Registered User

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    Yes.

    For example, the first pic is spaced too far. Note that the next tip of the wheel is contacting the next tip of the pinion, so it jams.

    The second pic, they are too close, and the pinion hits the root of the driving wheel tooth. Again, jamming.

    For the tempo, the pallets were too far from the escape, so it ran as a recoil.

    John
     

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  24. Epictetus

    Epictetus Registered User

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    John,
    Thanks for the explanation and pictures!
     
  25. astrosteve

    astrosteve New Member

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    I made the Simplicity clock and finished it in May 2011. It's been running great ever since then. I plan on making other ones from Clayton also. My next is going to be Solaris. Check out my Simplicity here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hni3ktA9wsw&list=PLoaH4H5_TRGDcZJ1wu5F9go7sdE3klrDS&index=1 I did it all on the scrollsaw, but I have a band saw now, and it is easier to cut the teeth on that.

    I thought it was a lot of fun making it. How did your Simplicity turn out? Did you finish it?
     

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