Use of aluminum for clock plates

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by doc_fields, Feb 19, 2019.

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  1. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

    Sep 29, 2004
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    What obstacles would there be in using aluminum plate for clock plates? All pivots would be in ball bearings and/or jewels or brass bushing inserts. Just the aluminum used for the plates only, nothing else. Thoughts?..............gary
     
  2. Allan Wolff

    Allan Wolff Moderator
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    Mar 17, 2005
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    I think it would be fine provided the aluminum is not a bearing surface as you indicated (use ball bearings, bushings or jewels.) I have been tempted to do the same thing myself with brass being so expensive. Let us know how it works out for you.
     
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  3. Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins Registered User
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    I will dig around in some past issues when I have a bit of time but I seem to remember a series of articles in the 'Home Shop Machinist' magazine within the last couple of years that was exactly as you inquire about... Constructing a clock movement with aluminum plates... Maybe someone else will remember... If I can find the correct issues in my library I will post again because if you are interested I think back issues are available.
     
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  4. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

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    Thank you Mr. Hopkins! Looking forward to it!..........................gary
     
  5. David S

    David S Registered User
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    I love machining aluminum with my smaller metal working equipment. So from that perspective I think it would be a good idea. Even if it had to be a bit thicker for stiffness, it could then be a candidate for polymeric bushings like IGUS. The plates could even be anodized prior to inserting bushings to minimize oxidation over time and give them a nice finish.

    David
     
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  6. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

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    Thanks Allan!.................................gary
     
  7. Harry Hopkins

    Harry Hopkins Registered User
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    Gary, I found the article on constructing a clock with aluminum plates. It is titled 'Making a Pendulum Clock' and It is a 4 part series in the 'Home Shop Machinist' Magazine. Part 1 is in the Sept/Oct 2016 issue and the rest of the series follows each issue for a total of 4 parts. I seem to be missing the Jan/Feb 2017 issue which would be part 3 but I loan my magazines to a buddy and maybe he still has that one. If you wish you can private message me with your address and I would be happy to loan them to you. If you rather you might be able to find back issues online. For the complete series you will need: Sept/Oct 2016, Nov/Dec 2016, Jan/Feb 2017 and March/April 2017. I will check with my buddy tomorrow to see if he has my missing issue.
     
  8. Phil Burman

    Phil Burman Registered User

    Mar 8, 2014
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    Aluminium plates work just fine. I used them, together with aluminum pillars, in my prototype strasser regulator as per the attached photo.

    regulator with al plates and pillars.jpg
     
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  9. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

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    Harry, thank you very much for your efforts in finding those articles, and your offer to loan them to me. But, I wouldn't be comfortable borrowing them, as something could always happen to them while in transit to or from me, or while in my home (think grandkids). I really appreciate the thought though. I've decided to go ahead and try it here soon after the prototype is done, then if it's a go, I'll use aluminum plates on the final clock.

    I'm very aware of the effects of temperature on aluminum, and will compensate for any error that will affect timekeeping. Thanks so much for your response!.........................gary
     
  10. doc_fields

    doc_fields Registered User

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    Thanks Phil! Would be nice to see more pics of your movement!.............................gary
     
  11. Phil Burman

    Phil Burman Registered User

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    Have a look in this thread.

    Phil
     
  12. Phil Burman

    Phil Burman Registered User

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  13. Robert Doris

    Robert Doris AzBob
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    As Phils nicely crafted movement in the photo suggests, aluminum plates with brass wheels and other components make for a nice contrast. Another option is one could have the aluminum anodized to the color of choice. Thermal expansion of Al is not much greater than brass.
     

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