Wood Gear Clock



I have always had a fascination with how things work. As a kid I drove my parents’ crazy taking things apart but it was part of learning. Even today I will look at something a wonder how it was made or how it works. For most things I believe that if someone else can do it then so can I, now I am not saying that I am smarter than anyone else, I believe for the most part that all of us can figure most things out if we try.

Around a year ago I was looking at a pendulum clock, I have always been fascinated with clocks but never understood how they worked. I started reading articles on the internet and learned the basics. I will not get into detail unless anyone wants more information but the most interesting aspect of a clock is the pendulum. The time it takes a pendulum to make one revolution is the same whether it swings one inch or twelve inches, the only thing that changes the time it take to make that one revolution is the distance of the pendulum its self. Because of this it is great for keeping time as you have a constant that can be used to release the gears.

The point of this article is not to explain how a clock works but what I gained from it. In researching I came across clocks made of wood…gears and all! Being a woodworker I was intrigued by this and decided to research more and found a web site called www.wooden-gear-clocks.com . The web site offers plans and kits for wooden clocks. I ordered a set of the plans and went to work.

It was a great project but the gears are very tedious so a scroll saw is a must. There were so many parts that I sent around three months just working on it a little at a time. The plans include full size patterns that I simply applied directly to the material to be cut with a spray contact glue, anytime you try this make sure to only spray one side or it will not come off later. After cutting and finishing all of the parts it was time to start assembly. This was not as difficult of a task as I had though as the plans were easy to read.

Because wood is so sensitivity to moisture and temperature it is not a clock you can just hang on the wall and forget about. It takes some time to get adjusted just run but I have it accurate within about a minute in twelve hours. It is a great conversation piece and it was great learning about how clocks work.
Chris Adkins



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