01 September 2013

Tock, Tock, Tock, ... Wooden Clocks Clicking for Eternity

Everybody has a watch or two or three ... but who has an old pendulum clock hanging on the wall of the living room? And when you are one of the chosen who owns such a wonderful piece of mechanics which moves about 86400 times a day knows how that gear actually works?

As always the best way is to build a pendulum clock by your own. OMG - tinkering with brass or other metal stuff is not my piece of meal. But as always there is an easy solution: Build it with wood! Clayton Boyer does not only produces these clocks, you have a chance to see them working.

That's an easy one. Have a look at this beauty:

I confess I would not try to build a thing like this (at the moment ;-) But coming back to Clayton Boyer. You can look for hours at the gear and still do not understand what's going on. He has written a fantastic eBook like 'Clocks for Dummies' with the goal to bring you all the needed knowledge to construct your own clock:
"A practical Guide to Wooden Wheeled Clock Design".

He starts from the beginning of clock construction and gets strait to the calculation of the pendulum, wheel ratios, wheel sizes. Of course there is some mathematics involved but it's easy and could be managed.

Galileo Pendulum Clock (Wikipedia)
On his way he explains the different wheels which work in a train and how the function together. This alone is worth the money of the book. I never before understood the basic principles. But that's of course just the start: He explains in depth what sizes are good for the wooden construction and how it is actually done. And I understood that you don't need a workshop for thousands of dollars.

In this book there are no plans but if you understand and follow the instructions you can build your clock from the scratch. If you are not sure where to start you can use the plans of Boyer. They include all the plans 1:1 and instructions how to build. Really well done and I will start in winter with an easy model.

An if you have enough clocks hanging on the wall why don't you consider a Celestial Mechanical Calendar and Orrery. Help yourself and have fun.

And now as always some music.

Stay Tuned!