I'm starting out.. need some help

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by AntW, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Ok.. so I'm goin to give a small background here lol..

    For a very long time I've been wanting to make random things, but had no way of doing it.
    About 4 years ago I made my mind up to became a Machinist.. So I did. While I was goin to college to learn how to run CNC machine, read blueprint, use Master Cam/Soildworks, and more. I got it in my head to make a clock.
    Now I'm not talking about just case for a clock... I'm talking every gear, pin, weight, rob, nut, etc of a clock.
    I'm now out of college and in a Machine shop, I still have not got off my butt and made my clock.

    Which is why I'm posting this.

    I found a few plans for wooden pendulum clocks. Now that's great and all, I'm not allowed to cut wood on the CNC machine at work or at school. So it has to be made out of brass, which is where I run into a wall. I'm only finding plans (few and far in between) for wooden pendullum clocks and nothing else.

    I want to make an easy clock (hopefully a skeleton clock) first then work my way to a Grandfather Clock.

    Now I just need some info:
    Names of books to get (just want to note I just got the "clock design and construction book" by Laurie Penman. I'm just waiting on it come in the mail)
    links
    blueprints
    where I can buy springs, metal, and odds and ends online
    anything to help get me started.

    Now I want to point out while I know a enough about MasterCam and Soildwork to use it... I'm only allowed to use it where I went to college (yes I can go there anytime) so if you send me blueprint it has to be in pdf or something Adobe can upen. I'll just read draw the print if need be.
    I'll be grateful for your help

    and if this isnt the right places to post this.. just let me know and I'll repost it.
     
  2. neighmond

    neighmond Registered User

    Jan 31, 2003
    939
    0
    0
    Horologist, Teacher of Horology
    Rural Iowa
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Penman's book is a good read-you will learn plenty from him. I believe a man named Wilding wrote a series of books geared to the scratch-builders of clocks, and I have never gotten to read them, but never heard a bad word about them. Donald DeCarle has a section in his book "Practical Clock Repairing" that details the construction of a fuzee driven time only timepiece. You could modify that for a real sharp skeleton clock, by piercing a design of your own creation into the plates and even making wheel crossings of your own design. In Ward Goodrich's "The Moodern Clock" there is a chapter devoted to the clockmaker who wishes to make his own regulator, and elsewhere in the same book are plenty of pendulum designs and the like to study. Both DeCarle's and Goodrich's books are available and reasonably priced, and will pay for themselves in short order.

    As for the manufacturing process, there is a forum here called "Clock Construction", it's on the right side of the same box this forum's link is in. There are some who built their own movements in there that will be glad to share what they know. I have made several wheels and a pinion or two, but I did all old fashioned-machine work with no modern CNC so I don't know a blessed thing to tell that you won't already know.

    Good Luck!

    Chaz
     
  3. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Thank you for the info...
    I'll start lookin for the books
    I know how I to use manual lathe and mills..
    But with CNC I can cut all gears and plates almost all at once.. lol
    Clock Construstion forum.. kk I'll jump on that forum and look
    again thanks for the info
     
  4. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    anyone plz?
    layout info.. books.. something to help get me an idea of where to start
     
  5. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
    Donor Sponsor

    Apr 6, 2004
    938
    12
    0
    Retired
    Mesquite, TX
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I don't know your background of knowledge of clocks. Before I built a clock, I'd wanna know much as possible about clocks. That would guide me as to the type I'd wanna make. It would also help I believe, in avoiding design and machine problems that could arise from lack of basic knowledge of a clock movement - torque, stresses, geometry, etc.
     
  6. Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    '

    Nice to hear you want to build the actual clock movement, and not just a box.
    Two quick ones I can think of for plans and instructions for a variety of movements are:

    W.R. Smith
    John Wilding

    Between those two men there are probably 50 different movement designs. You can find books by both of them
    by searching for their names on google.

    Not knowing where you live, the info I will give may be useless. Please state your country next time.
    In the USA, for clock parts like springs and the odds 'n ends, try these:
    Timesavers
    Ronell
    Merritts

    For materials, like sheet brass, google these names:
    OnlineMetals
    Speedy Metals
    Metal Express
    I use the first two suppliers often, (monthly). They both offer good service and will cut to small sizes
    so you don't have to buy large quantities. I have not used Metal Express.

    Dean
     
  7. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    I dont have any knowledge of clocks. that's why I'm trying to get layout, blueprints, links, name of books.... anything that can help get me started..
    and I can test clock movement with Soildworks.. it's a great program.. I can make every part in 3D soild. Put it all together and run the clock to see if it hits or jams.. I dont want to go around buying books I'm not goin to need or buying kits that $300 plus or buying kits that need repair(when I have NO IDEA WHAT IM DOIN LOL) I'm just trying to get a some ideas of the movements...
     
  8. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    THANKS!!
    lol... Um I live close to St Louis..
    and yea.. I want to clock movement.. case can be anything to dream of and to me no fun.
    I just dont have any idea how a clock works (sad but true). I've tried looking up layouts and prints, but cant find anything.
    and books.. O my GOD!! I didnt know there was so many books.. I had know idea who to look at and who not too
     
  9. Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    '

    (What is your name?)
    Here is a link to more clock construction books, again, for movements, not for making a wooden box.
    http://users.tpg.com.au/pgc123/Home/horologicalplans.html

    Now, since you say you have no idea how a clock works, it would seem a good idea for you find out at least how
    a time only movement functions. Take some time to search this out before you start trying to make one. There
    may even be a simple schematic somewhere on this web site.

    There is a fairly simple three wheel (plus escape wheel) movement designed by a gentleman named Eliot Isaacs
    that was put into serial build form in a machinists magazine. The article is called "A Beginners Clock". I would
    suggest you study the prints and text for that clock and at least consider it for a build before going to anything
    more complicated. You can find the prints in PDF form on this website:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mlhorology/
    The articles are in the files section of the site, and you must join to be able to access them. Joining is free.
    It is well worth your while to read and understand the whole thing, besides studying the prints.

    There is, of course, much info about the workings of a clock in the many posts on this forum.

    Dean
     
  10. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    Thank..
    I guess I just dont know what to type to pull out anything.
    And right now I'm looking at in being 4 to 6 months out on building.. just trying to and idea of things
     
  11. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Super Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    490
    3
    18
    Tulsa, OK
    Country Flag:
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    Anthony,
    Welcome to the forum. I replied to your private message with instructions on how to download the documentation on the Pinwheel regulator. This and the material referenced by Dean should give you a good idea of the clock building process. If you are a visual learner like me, you may find some videos helpful as well. W.R. Smith has several available for purchase and they are also available for rental on Smartflix. I would also recommend finding an old clock on eBay or a garage sale that you can take apart to see how it works.
    Hope this is helpful,
    Allan
     
  12. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    Thanks Allen
    I was readin a little bit of what you sent me.. I'm glad you have pic and writing.. It will help.
    Yea I'm a visual learner. If someone give me a book on how build something and it had no pics.. There's no way I could.
    That's why I like blueprints or how you have the PDF pics and writing.. It help me out seeing what goin on while I'm readin.
    I'm a few mouths away from building.. Right now I'm just trying to get an idea whats goin on before I send WAY to much money and get over my head..

    I thought about buying a clock off Ebay.. Maybe fixing it so it work then tryin to reengineering as much as I can.

    Thanks everyone for the info.
     
  13. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    1,514
    4
    38
    California
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz


    OHHHHH me too please?

    I am SO FRUSTRATED at trying to buy a clock that I'm considering building one. I couldn't make it to Pomona so I missed that opportunity.

    I was thinking a Waterbury regulator might be sorta fun to try to replicate. I even got so far as looking at movements and just building the case (building a case would be easy for me) but don't like what I've been able to find. It's not just gears in a box. If it were, any cheap movement from fleabay could be made to work.
     
  14. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    lol yea...
    I wish I had a Jewelers lathe lol...
     
  15. Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    Anthony, a jewelers lathe is not the tool for building a clock. A regular (smallish) engine/machine late is much more suitable for this kind of work,
    but most any size of engine lathe will do it worlds easier than trying to fit over-sized parts on a lathe made for watchmakers and jewelers. I've
    made complete movements and just about every clock part you can think of on a lathe the size of a Taig or Sherline, as well as the same parts
    on a larger Atlas. The jewelers/watchmakers lathe can be used for some parts of a clock movement, but it's quite a bit too small for making 120
    tooth 3" diameter wheels and spring barrels without rigging up a lot of extra workings, (which are usually quite expensive for a lathe like a Webster,
    by the way). A small engine lathe type machine will make life easier if your primary interest is clock movements.
     
  16. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    #16 AntW, Apr 16, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    I must have gonna it in my head that small laths or call jewelers lathe even if it's for clocks... o well lol
    well I can use the HAAS and Hardine mills/lathes at school and work... but some of the small parts will be hard to make on them.. Spring barrel I can already tell will be hard to make.. I hope the the HAAS lathe with the Live tooling at college is working.. if it's not working then pinions and spring barrel will be a pain... and right now I dont have money or the space (I hate apartments) for a lathe... Note to self... Must find away around this...
    for the Gears I can make a jig to make all the gears at once or at less must at once..
     
  17. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    Now I remember when I was in College we had a.... grr cant think of the name... anyway.. we had a thing we can hock up to a cnc mill to drill cross hole or cut slots in round stock.. I'll have to get a hold of a teacher there an see how big of a round stock I can hold..
     
  18. Rob P.

    Rob P. Registered User

    Dec 19, 2011
    1,514
    4
    38
    California
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    You don't need a lot of space for a small engine lathe. The Sherline or Taig will fit in a space no larger than your desk at school. Even the 7X10/12/14 chinese lathes will fit in a sewing machine sized area. It's just the mess they can make that's the problem (do NOT get metal shavings in your carpeting) so you have to put them someplace where cleanup isn't so difficult and use as much shielding as you can.

    V-blocks? Or maybe some sort of centering fixture?
     
  19. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    No it was something like a NC rotary table.. just cant think of the name
     
  20. tok-tokkie

    tok-tokkie Registered User

    Nov 25, 2010
    262
    0
    16
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Country Flag:
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    You say it will be difficult making the smaller parts on a Haas. I have a Haas VF2 machining center. I am making a pendulum clock. The design is my own & has required a lot of reworking. All the gears have been cut using a 1mm tungsten carbide slot drill running round the profile of the gear. Gears are brass or silver steel (= drill steel in US?). For thick gears I laminate several thinner ones together - why there were the extra holes om the early involute gear on the right of the picture; fit 3mm drills through to get the laminates into register. Cycloidal gear on left. lantern ring with rotating trundles in center.
    [​IMG]

    Here is a video of it with a can of water as the adjustable drive weight on a temporary industrial chain drive. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuIZe-7dcRs
     
  21. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    #21 AntW, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    In away yes it will.. The Haas CNC machine at school dont have LIVE Tooling.. A because it's at a College I will not always have the time do a lot of set ups.. The lathes have also be cashed a few times and will be of center some.. T
    so I'm goin to use the Tool room lathe.. And it's just set up to turn and thread..
     
  22. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    On top of that all the lathe (not countin to tool room lathe) dont of chucks. They have collets and nothin bigger then 1". The manual lathe at school.. Let just say they my have 4jaw chuck but they suck.. Forget making at good on they.. Lucky a guy at work goin help me make some the stuff on a lathe.. So i good there.. Just a few more things i still got to work out on how to much
     
  23. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    the thing that suck the most is... that I'll have to run most of the stuff at the College.. The students of right to machine 1st so I may have time to run here and there.. I'll have anywhere from 1-4 hours of time to setup/run time. So I'll have to make sure everthing is a quick and simply setup as I can make it be.. If I can't run and I get a student to.. it's got to be the samething. Students get to make everthing for free.. scrap as much as it takes to get it right.. but me.. I aint that lucky.. I got to make everthing in one shot or find scrap metal to run a test lol. I'm so glad I gave myself a year timeline to read,plan,buy, and etc..
     
  24. Tunderer

    Tunderer Registered User

    Nov 5, 2003
    95
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    Start simple. Start cheap. Find a set of plans for a simple weight driven time only clock for a start.

    Draw it out accurately in your cad program. Keep in mind that a clock needs real clearances to work. You don't want to make the typical student line-on-line mistake. Don't assume that just because you have a CNC the parts will come out exact or work correctly the first time. If you are not aquainted with tool deflection you will be on this project. Unless the CNC you have is dead accurate,no backlash, no spindle or tool holder run out, you will break a lot of very small expensive end mills learning how to cut fine tooth gears in profile. You will need leaded hard or half-hard 353 engravers brass or similar for the gears. The lead content is needed to be able to cut fine details cleanly. Use anything else you will be fighting the alloy. Profile cutting a pinion from drill rod with an endmill will drive you nuts. Make pinions from a free machining steel like 12L14 or one of the other free cutting leaded steels. It will be more then good enough for learning. You do not need super hardened gears in the first clock. Consider lantern pinions as they may be easier to build then cutting solid pinions. You may find it is a lot easier to cut the gears with a fly cutter and a rotary index setup. Yes the CNC could run the flycutter. A 4th-axis rotary table could do the indexing assuming it has no backlash. Consider other metals for structural parts. Aluminum or steel is a lot cheaper for plates and bridges. You can easily machine brass bushing for the pivot holes.

    JM Huckabee's book "How to Build a Regulator Clock" uses aluminum plates.

    For a simple spring driven time only clock check out Steven Conover's "Building an American Clock Movement". The book also has a simple indexing tool plan included. There is also a chapter on making fly cutters for gear cutting.

    John Wilding clock designs are sound. His books are well detailed but expensive to buy new as they come from England. If you are a member of NAWCC you can borrow his books from the library.
    Best of luck, T
     
  25. AntW

    AntW Registered User

    Apr 15, 2012
    15
    0
    0
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    A rotary index!! that's what I was trying to remember lol... The CNC I can use run well and I've ran gears on a mills before.. Pinions now that is something goin to be hard. Maintaining wheel and Barrel Ratchet.. I've never cut teeth like that..
    The College has a Rotary index for one of the CNC mills.. I hope it work. If it doesn't then making a Spring Barrel goin hurt lol.
    yea I'm goin to make my first clock as cheap as I can.. It may sound mean but I dont care if it works (dont get me wrong it will be great if it works, but I can't get my hopes up on the 1st clock). After that every Clock I try and make I'll do my best to make it work.

    Allen Wolff sent me a book of a his clock he made. I'm goin try and make it.

    I'm goin to have an buy some tooling I can already tell. Good thing about working in a Machine shop is I can buy the Metal and Tools and the Shop will take a small amount of money form me untill it's all paid off.

    Also thank you for the books titles..

    I a project I made when I was in College I'll have to get it an take a Pic.. hopefully lol
     
  26. eskmill

    eskmill Registered User
    Donor NAWCC Member

    Aug 24, 2000
    7,139
    14
    0
    Region Flag:
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    AntW. I don't think anyone has suggested the final chapter in Ward Goodrich's "The Modern Clock." It is a 1905 compilation of clock articles from, I believe, "The American Horologist and Jeweler" published by again, I think Hazlett & Walker. The book is available as an eBook http://archive.org/details/modernclockstudy00good and it won't cost you a cent. Paperback reprints are about $25.

    I believe that this book is every bit as good as any 21st Century text although some of the writing is clearly archaic. The final chapter describes how a jeweler can make his own weight driven regulator clock.

    It, the book, is in addition a valuable reference.
     
  27. jhe.1973

    jhe.1973 Registered User
    Donor NAWCC Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    448
    2
    18
    Arizona, USA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Re: I'm starting out.. need some help plz

    Hi Everyone,

    Although I agree completely that, “The Modern Clock is a valuable reference, a reader today has the advantage of more information being available than what existed in 1905.

    A few specifics come to mind.

    I wouldn’t recommend filling a regulator case with hydrogen gas even though Goodrich gives advice as to where to find instructions to make the hydrogen.

    At least when he admits, “The practical details of filling a clock case with hydrogen gas I have not yet worked out” he also says, “No burning light or electric spark must be put into the case while filling, because the mixture of hydrogen with air is very explosive when ignited.”

    In 1905 the Hidenburg disaster was still decades away so the thought of having a bomb hanging on the wall disguised as a regulator probably wasn’t on anyone’s mind. :D

    Another safety detail to consider is the advice on mixing the chemicals to silver a dial. I don’t believe it’s a good idea to dilute the solution until, “no trace of salt or acid can be perceived by the taste”.

    In 1905 these ideas/actions were understandable and illustrate a fairly common innocence, about various dangers, that exists until things have been tried/tested, usually over time. I’m reminded of my Dad telling me that, to do his own case hardening, he used to but cyanide eggs at the drugstore.

    The only outright mistake I ever found in The Modern Clock was when I followed Goodrich’s instructions to lay out the pinwheel escapement on my prototype regulator. For those interested, I describe this mistake here in post #8:

    http://mb.nawcc.org/showthread.php?74057-Owner-built-precision-regulator

    I am bringing this up again because Goodrich makes the same mistake with the layout of the Graham deadbeat escapement. Following his advice results in half the pendulum swing than what is claimed.

    To quote myself from the above page:

    “Let me make something clear here. I still highly recommend ‘The Modern Clock” for it’s wealth of information. It just shows that we all make mistakes and advice should be considered a guide, not the last word.”
     
Loading...
Similar Threads - starting need help Forum Date
$15,000 build a clock competition help needed Clock Construction Jul 21, 2016
Could Use A Little Help.................. Clock Construction Nov 7, 2015
Unique clock build!!! Need Help!!!!!! Clock Construction Jan 30, 2015
Need suggestions for better sound Clock Construction Aug 18, 2013
I have a Detex Night Watchman's Clock and need help please .. Clock Construction Mar 2, 2013

Share This Page