Has anyone made John Wilding's Skeleton clock ?

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by Ralph B, May 22, 2019.

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  1. Ralph B

    Ralph B Registered User

    Nov 25, 2006
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    If so I'd be interested to hear what mainspring you used, and if you had to increase the barrel size.

    I'm currently completing one for a family whose horologist father started one 20 years ago, but never completed it.
    Having worked my way through various issues I now find that the mainspring that came with it, and appears to be new, won't allow a full 8 day wind on the fusee.
    I had a longer spring which will give a full wind, but being slightly thinner its power is not enough to keep it going reliably.
    Measuring the barrel ID, the arbor OD, and applying the formula to calculate the mainspring length, gives me a length which is even shorter than that of the spring I already know to be wrong.

    I've also found this comment on a forum,
    John Wilding Elegant Scroll Skeleton Clock | Model Engineer

    All this is leading me to the conclusion that a mistake has been made and, given the cost of fusee springs, I'm reluctant to start experimenting.
    My current thoughts are that I'll need a thicker, and longer spring, which will necessitate making a new, and bigger, barrel.
    This I can do, but if anyone has come up against this, and can give me some advice I'm happy to hear it !

    Cheers, and thanks,
    Ralph.
    N.Z.
     
  2. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 17, 2005
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    Ralph,
    Will the clock run for 7 days so a weekly wind will suffice?

    If there is room, adding a sleeve on the outside of the spring barrel will give you more turns on the fusee with fewer turns of the barrel. You should be able to calculate the additional diameter needed to give you the required number of fusee turns.
    Please keep us posted on your progress. This is the type of problem we love to see solved on this forum!
    Allan
     
  3. Ralph B

    Ralph B Registered User

    Nov 25, 2006
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    Napier, New Zealand
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    Thanks Allan.
    The original spring, ( that came in the box of bits, and I assumed to be correct), kept the clock running.
    When I eventually wound it fully I found I could only get 6 days onto the fusee .
    A sleeve may be the answer.
    I’ll do the math on it, and investigate further when I finish repairing my car....

    Ralph.
     
  4. Ralph B

    Ralph B Registered User

    Nov 25, 2006
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    After spending a mere two days pulling carbs etc off my car to gain access to the fuel pump, in order to re-attach a fuel line, I can now get back to my clock !

    The maths suggests I'd need to increase the diameter of the barrel by 12mm in order to have sufficient cable to fill the fusee.
    A sleeve that would accomplish this would also need bigger end caps, all in all tantamount to making a new barrel.
    Therefore, that's the current plan.
    Also a decent thickness spring with sufficient power so that there's a little latitude, longer in order to get enough winds, and a bigger barrel to fit the spring into.
    When this clock is returned it'll be 4 hours away from me, so I want to do it once, and do it right.
    A little overkill is not a concern.
     
  5. Paul Madden

    Paul Madden Registered User
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    Apr 24, 2017
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    Bienne, Switzerland
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    Hi Ralph,

    I'm a novice and in the process of building up my workshop to begin making clocks, so unfortunately I'm not in a position to offer any advice.

    I also have two John Wilding clock construction manuals, one for the English Regulator, and the other for the Large wheel skeleton clock (inspired by Clicksprings YouTube series).

    I'm curious to know what other errors you or any other members have discovered in the process of making either clock. My understanding is that errors were not uncommon in clock construction manuals. Anyway best of luck and keeps us all posted on how you solve your problem.

    On another note, I see you are from Napier, New Zealand. As it happens, I'm a Hawkes Bay boy myself, born in Waipukurau. Small world.

    Had I known there was a forum member living so close to my old town, I would have visited you the last time I was back in New Zealand.

    Best of luck Ralph, and keep us posted.

    Paul.
     
  6. Ralph B

    Ralph B Registered User

    Nov 25, 2006
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    Hi Paul,
    I used to spend a lot of time in "Y'puk" repairing computers at local accountants/banks etc. when working as a computer tech.
    That was in another life that is now, fortunately, a distant memory.

    I'm not into clock construction, but rather clock repair, so I can't help with mistakes other than what I'm fighting at the moment, and that's not one of your clocks anyway.
    Others may chime in, LOL, little clock joke.....
    You're welcome to get in touch when you're next in this part of the World.
    If you Google "The Clockworks Napier" you'll find info, or PM me.

    Cheers,
    Ralph.
     
  7. Paul Madden

    Paul Madden Registered User
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    Apr 24, 2017
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    Hi Ralph,

    I will definitely do that. Thanks again and best of luck with your project.

    Paul.
     

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