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Wooden Clock - Quintus - Complete

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by two40, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. two40

    two40 Member

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    What do you want to be when you grow up?

    It all started with that question. A couple of weeks ago my partner and I were holidaying up at the beautiful Great Barrier Reef coast and I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up. Now, we're too old for that question but it was asked with a playful 'what if' and we spent about half an hour discussing it. Wouldn't it be great to posses all of this knowledge that comes with experience and hindsight and apply it to your choice of career at the beginning rather than mid way or at the end of your working life? We both learned a little about each other and we both reflected.

    She decided to work with kids via musical therapy when she grows up while I decided to make beautiful things with wood when I grow up.

    Perhaps it is too late for me to learn a trade and make a living out of it. Perhaps this is a silly dream that should remain as one. I don't have the answer either way but at the risk of sounding crass and corny, f#ck it, life is too short to keep dreaming - I'm building a wooden clock.

    I own a small selection of tools and no workbench. My woodworking skills go no farther than a none too enthusiastic year spent mucking around with my friends in high school. It will be an expensive venture with lots of frustration but as they say, a dog will bark when struck with a wrench. That hardly made sense :wired: but then again nothing about this makes sense so let's run with it.

    Since you need a minimum of 3 rather expensive machines to start making clocks I figured I would cheat a little with my first one and buy an already cut clock kit. There aren't too many around but one caught my attention. It's a design by David Atkinson from Woodentimes. I fell for the Quintus which is an electromagnetically powered clock. I chose the chime less version and it cost me a touch over AU$200 delivered. It comes with everything you need to get started less the tools.



    Since ordering the kit I have been researching tools. The three necessary machine tools to build a clock from scratch are a scroll saw, drill press, and a belt/disc sander. I'm sure you can build them without these tools but no sane mane would try it. Certainly not one with very little woodworking experience to start with.

    I have managed to source a drill press from a family friend and yesterday I purchased a belt/disc sander. The scroll saw is not a necessity at this stage since this first clock comes with cut cogs. There will be other tools required no doubt. I own a small selection as I already mentioned but one thing I do not own is a decent workbench. Rather than spending money on the bench I will try to get away with a home built one. I managed to source an office type bench top from work which is very solid. All I have to do is attach it to some legs and maybe build a shelf under it.

    [​IMG]

    This is the sander I picked up for $60 yesterday. It has an upright 25mm belt and a too small 127mm disc but it'll do. I bought it mainly for the belt (used to sand between cogs) and let me tell you it's a hard task finding these types of sanders here in Australia. They seem to be readily available in the states but the shipping is not kind.

    I will be posting periodical updates in this thread but for those that want to follow my silly journey you can find lots more on a little blog I started called Ticking Wood. Follow me and see if I can finish one clock before I cut off one finger. Seems like a realistic goal. :D
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  2. C.Michael

    C.Michael Iron Photographer

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    THIS is cool. Goodluck, I constantly think of things I would love to make. Never get around to it though :(!
     
  3. lithos

    lithos Member

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    Did you hear about the wooden clock...?
     
  4. lithos

    lithos Member

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    John Harrison, one of the single greatest boffins to ever live and one of the greatest horologists to ever live, built his first clock out of wood.

    He had zero formal horology training, either. He was a cabinet maker, hence the wooden clock.

    Harrison went onto create, at the time, the world's most accurate, stable chronometers - uber-clocks - the designs of which remained unchanged and in use for over a century, and without which we wouldn't have had the Age of Sail, and the golden age of exploration and trade would have petered out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  5. pelmen

    pelmen Member

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    Great project and oddly enough a virtual one I'm halfway through (I got the kit plans for a wooden clock and permission from the author to create a 3D model from it all).

    I really like wood as a medium and respect the craftsmanship that can go into items. It's actually not too difficult to get a good start with things like bread/chopping boards (such as the chess board pattern using two different woods...very simple to actually make). Great gift ideas and maybe even something you can make a little money on the side with.

    I highly recommend anyone interested in wood work (whether they intend to try any or not) to check out the Wood Whisperer (www.thewoodwhisperer.com) site. The videos are great, very entertaining and very informative...don't let tool envy put you off watching. He goes into a lot of techniques and tricks from simple sandpaper and hand tools right up to the big machines. He takes you through projects such as breadboards and even a workbench (making sure you build a perfectly true box benchtop and solid level base etc). Also things like choosing the right types of wood for a project, where to get decent wood and what features in a piece of wood might lead to trouble once you start working and what features will enhance the look of a final piece. Really entertaining just to watch regardless and you can't help but learn stuff too from it.

    Good luck with the clock!
     
  6. OP
    OP
    two40

    two40 Member

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    I've read a little about him. A very interesting and switched on fellow.


    Would love to see some progress pics if you have them.

    Just last night I subscribed to their podcast and have left the PC on to download a whole bunch of them. I did watch one and it looks like a fantastic source of information for beginners such as myself.

    Cheers
     
  7. pelmen

    pelmen Member

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    The only pic I have handy (just happened to be on a thumb drive) is an old test render just to check geometry and see how parts were starting to look when placed together. Nothing exciting though. The instructions came with autocad files but I wanted to build them myself, giving the edges tiny bevels etc. Figuring out the animation rig so everything turns properly and it keeps time will be interesting (I know I can cheat it but I enjoy doing things the hard accurate way).


    Click to view full size!
     
  8. OP
    OP
    two40

    two40 Member

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    How long have you been working on this project? Some of the experienced guys can build a clock from scratch in a weekend but I'm guessing my first one from scratch will take me a fair few weekends and then some. :o

    Keen to see more pics when you get the chance. What type of escapement are you using? I'm absolutely in love with the walking escapement as seen below. It's a design by Clayton Boyer and it's another electromagnetically powered design. I'll be buying these plans along with some others of his but will leave the Tucan for my second or third build. Want to get some experience first and produce a half decent clock.

    [​IMG]

     
  9. BRGMCS

    BRGMCS Member

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    I saw some of the actual Harrison clocks at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich last year, and a couple of them were running (H4 is too delicate to leave running all the time). Seriously amazing things to see, especially when they are the real thing and not reproductions. They sound beautiful.
     
  10. lithos

    lithos Member

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    It's one of the most awesome and inspiring and beautiful stories around, I think. Some of the maps Cook made on his second and third voyages are amazingly accurate; he carried the Larcum Kendall clone of H4, K1.

    OP should read Dava Sobel's "Longitude" for the breakdown of Harrison's story. It's a brilliant one. Great hero, dastardly villain, all true.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    two40

    two40 Member

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    I work in a bookstore so I picked it up today. Fairly small book. Looks interesting. Cheers :thumbup:

    [​IMG]
     
  12. BRGMCS

    BRGMCS Member

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    the documentary series is VERY good as well.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    two40

    two40 Member

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    Woke up at half past 5 on Saturday. It was too early to start banging about in the garage so I moved my blog over to a self hosted WordPress site. Check it out at:

    tickingwood.com


    I spent whatever other spare time I had, which wasn't until Sunday, to clear out a room in the basement in preparation for a bench build. I picked up a couple of 1500 x 750 x 35 laminated office style bench tops from work on Saturday which will help me keep costs down. To further help with keeping costs down the frame will be made with 90 x 35 MGP10. Looking forward to spending some father and son time with my dad when we're building the workbench. I've taken some photos of the room before I started the clean and will take some more as we build the bench so more on that soon.

    The sander I bought last week turned up on Friday. After stripping it and giving it a good clean she looks set to rub against some wood. I took some photos of this as well and will post them soon. The disc sander, as I suspected, is too small and I will need a 12" unit soon.


    Read the first chapter on my way to work this morning. Must say I didn't want to get off the train. Cheers for the recommendation.
     
  14. sirshelldrake

    sirshelldrake Member

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    what tools do you need to buy? You can pick up scroll saws for about $100 and bandsaws for around $200. I can't imagine there would be a need for anything fancy, just an ability to accurately cut the teeth and cogs.

    best of luck, I too have wanted to do similar. I know there are a lot of different types of wood clocks out there and the plans aren't that expensive.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    two40

    two40 Member

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    Scroll Saw
    Carba-Tec 18" for $600 plus a few dollars for a Hegner quick release
    or
    Excalibur 21" for $895

    I'm leaning more towards the 18" but there is a trade show coming up where I might be able to get a decent enough discount to justify the 21". Re the $100 scroll saws - I'm of the mind that an entry level anything will just cause you more problems so I'm trying to stay away from them. When I talk about saving money I'm doing that more so that I can buy better quality tools and to keep my lady friend from hyperventilating.

    Drill Press
    Hare & Forbes SBD-25A for $350. Has good reviews and is a good value for money drill.

    Disc Sander
    Woodfast DS300 for $250. This one can wait a little bit but I'm sure I'll feel the shortcomings of the 5" I own very quickly.

    Band Saw
    Hare & Forbes BP-355 for $890. This will have to wait. I don't need it right away and I can make do with my circular saw for rough cuts initially. I figure the scroll saw can do most of the detail cuts since the sizes of the wood I'm cutting will be pretty small initially. The band saw will be a luxury but if I keep at it I'm sure it will become a necessity.

    There will be a whole bunch of other small tools that I'll need but I can buy them bit by bit to ease the pain. Chisels, files, sanding pads and papers etc.

    Plans look pretty cheap to me at about $40 odd from Clayton. He has at least 3 that interest me. Materials will put a small dent in my wallet but nothing too scary. There will be a lot of waste initially I imagine.

    Cheers :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012
  16. OP
    OP
    two40

    two40 Member

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    eBay purchase... :)

    Earlier today I purchased a Dremel 4000 with the 4/50 set, a workbench, and a station for $254 delivered. I was trying to get it through Bunnings as I have a contact (mother in-law) that can get me discounts. It just happened that the Dremel rep was in her store today and he told her that this particular kit is not available to NSW retailers. He also said that eBay was likely to be the cheapest place to get it so I clicked on that buy button with little hesitation.

    Now I just need to keep my little brother away from the Dremel. He burnt out the motor on the last one. He has this special talent where he can break even simple tools like hammers and screwdrivers. :lol:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. sirshelldrake

    sirshelldrake Member

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    nice tools your aiming at buying!
    IMHO the excalibure will be over kill, but if you can afford it, go for it. I understand your comment about saving for a better tool, but at nearly 10 x times the price of my ryobi, I'm not sure they are 10x better in value. The two big differences I see is you get to use pinless blades and have a longer cutting arm. Keep an eye on ebay for 2nd hand Dewalt scroll saw's. Should be able to get them for around 400ish and as good as the Carba-Tec's.

    Can't comment on the drill or sander (my next purchase is a drill press). I like the one you linked except i'd get a full length drill press. You don't want a drill sitting on valuable bench space, better to have a free standing one if you can.

    That bandsaw you linked, that's a beast! 2hp will rip through anything.

    p.s. best site for woodworking in Aus = http://www.woodworkforums.com/
     
  18. OP
    OP
    two40

    two40 Member

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    Cheers. I have been checking out eBay but I haven't seen anything decent scroll saw wise yet. Will keep checking. I will most likely settle on the Carba-Tec one as an extra $300 for the Ex21 can instead go towards something else I will need.

    Re the drill press, I agree about the bench space. My original plan was to buy a pedestal one but I quickly convinced myself otherwise after I realised you have to drill in to the floor to secure it. I've just done some more reading about bolting them down and it looks like you don't necessarily have to. If there is some wobble they can be bolted to a wide mdf board for extra stability. Since I'm only drilling wood I doubt it'll budge. The extra bench space will be most welcome and I have just the spot in my garage for the drill press. Many thanks for prompting me to rethink my purchase. :) This is the floor standing model - D147 at $396

    Which drill press are you thinking of buying?

    btw, the basement room I'm using is only 9sqm so space is at a premium. I don't think the bandsaw will fit in there. It will need to go in some other room which isn't that big an issue. Anyway, that's a purchase a while away.

    I laid out the bench tops on the floor and came up with a nice configuration to maximise floor and bench space. I even came up with a neat little spot for a home made router table. I was trying to get to Bunnings today to get the wood for the frame but it's almost lunch time now and the footy starts soon. They close at 7pm tonight so it'll have to wait for another day.

    I've joined that woodworking forum. I've done lots of research re tools there. Plenty of useful information. :thumbup:
     
  19. sirshelldrake

    sirshelldrake Member

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    Glad I could be of assistance. p.s. bunnings is expensive, search your local area for a timber yard for your wood use.

    as for what drill, I haven't really looked around as I can do everything I've wanted with my cordless. Would love a pedestal and to be honest, the one you linked looks good for the money.

    Cant wait to see some WIP of your clocks. I'll pick your brains for where to get plans soon enough ;)
     
  20. aznpsuazn

    aznpsuazn Member

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    I have been chasing an affordable sander in that setup for months!
     

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