Neal's wooden clock

I have mentioned in other threads that I am starting to build a wooden clock, I thought I would go through some of the methods and solutions I have used.

The plans are meant for cutting out on a band saw and not a cnc machine.

I have found these free plans here:-


I have to say that I live in the far north (Ålesund, in Norway) and access to normal hobby stuff is not easy, for example Baltic Birch marine grade is easy to find but the brass rods for making the bearing are impossible to buy for me here.

After moving from England, I am now not imperial any more and have gone over to as “Captain Slow” calls it continental measuring (millimeters)

The WC5 drawings come as PDF files and are not dimensioned as to be able to redraw/use them in a cad program, but as I used to work as a technical drawer (Autocad) I was able to rip the drawings from PDF and wobbilify them into Vcarve so that they would be acceptable enough for cutting. I can go through the process, if any one requests it.

So now the frame is cut out.

My next hurdle is the brass rod bearings, I tried all my Ironmonger
shops here in Norway, nobody has brass rods and definitly not 1/4 inch, luckily I remember seeing that someone mentioned cheap skateboard bearings from China, so I checked on Aliexpress and found these,

Flange Ball Bearing

these are meant to be used on laser printers or 3D printers, I deemed them as good if not better than a brass to wood bearing… thoughts please

I will try to keep you all informed as I go along.

Thanks for your time :slight_smile:
regards Neal

I too made a wooden clock (one of these )and had the same problems sourcing parts (I live in Australia).

In the link above, I know Brian has a few links where you can order clockmaking stuff online (I never did because it’s still very expensive shipping stuff to Oz).

What I ended up doing with mine, was to go to a model shop (model cars, drones, planes etc) and see what bearings they had. Once I had some bearings, I then looked around and found whatever brass and steel rods I could find.

Some bearings and rods matched, but most of them needed to be adjusted in some way. Shafts that were slightly too big were put into a drill and sanded down to size using a file and emery tape.

To fit the bearings into the clock, I opened the plans in VCarve and changed the size of the bearing holes in the wood.

Pretty rough and ready, however in the end, it still worked. Here’s my early prototype - the first one that actually ran…

If you get stuck, let me know, maybe I can help…

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I guess I am spoiled,

Here in the states, in rural northern Minnesota no less, I can find just about anything that you have mentioned, bearings, brass rod, baltic birch plywood(or a reasonable facsimile there of) within 75-100 mile from home if I dont mind the trip. Most of these items can be had right here in our community of 3500 people at the local hardware or lumberyards.

It is humbling to be reminded of how fortunate I am to live where I do and that not all can pursue thjier hobby as I choose to do.
Thank you for the eye opener.


@JkWestphal at the risk of starting something I’m not equipped to finish, you do unfortunately have to put up with Trump, Cruz, Clinton…

Australia has nothing THAT bad…

(Tongue firmly in cheek).


Don’t forget that they just called an election today so who knows who we’ll get?

Sorry to bring the conversation back on track! :grinning: Here is a link to brass tubes and rods;

Not sure how the cost of shipping will affect the over all pricing.

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I got the frames cut on the CNC, I had to do some adjusting in Vcarve, but they came out fine.

I have deviated from the work list, and used 6mm threaded rod and used chromed 10mm tubing to cover it, I used 6mm nyloc nuts on the back and cut down insert nuts on the front.

I looked at some stainless steel screws and cut them with my angle grinder, getting them to the same lengths on the bench grinder is really tedious, do-able but tedious. More on that soon.

regards Neal

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Assembly (Rev 1)-10.pdf (98.6 KB)

progress has been slow mainly because the pinions are a pain to make, I have made the small pinion on the Arbor T2 and the Escape (the bigger one where the escape arm interacts) the time taken and the results though good enough could be better.
So I decided to use Matthias Wandel’s gear template generator, the number of teeth on each pair are allotted on the drawing. I just dialed in the teeth and distance between the shafts and export it via dxf, into vcarve, here again I met a speed bump, when I matched the two “cogs” and the frame there was a certain amount of stickiness that no amount of sanding would help. I decided to built a jig, I got the idea from Clickspring

A Pinion Head Depthing Tool

The aluminium: I used my CNC to cut it out, and using this jig I am able to scribe the exact distance between the shafts, Clicksprings jig looks much better than mine, he is a real craftsman :thumbsup:

Next is the winding mechanism


Looking great

Thanks for a great tip (pinion jig). It will make it much easier to get an all wood clock working reliably.

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ill have to keep an eye on all this. i want to to have this as one of my projects. just got things up and running last night and i am new to all this. so still trying to figure out how to make things work smoothly!

Winding mechanism.

Assembly (Rev 1)15.pdf (77.4 KB)

As you see there are those pesky brass rod/pins again, but I found a neat replacement for them, 2mm nuts and screws, my local branch of Biltema has lots of them.

notice the really small screw in the end for extra weight without I found the rachet arm doesnt always fall into place.

I took the idea from Clickspring and made a little vice for clamping small wheels whilst I drill them.

2 of the type barrel nuts to the left of the vice are the secret to this tool.

Again I used the CNC machine to mill out the wooden parts :slight_smile:

regards Neal