Wooden clock, and a question about clock mainsprings

@DavidWestley - Sounds similar to work hardening a metal. I’ll consider it if I have issues (though I’m admittedly not super eager to go through each tooth with a dremel to polish it, hah.)

An update, since I’ve not shown anything for a bit. I finished up cutting out the frames and over the course of a few nights got them glued together:

Titebond 3 is probably overkill, but I figured “why not?”. I ended up not including any pegs or inlays or anything to hold the frames together. The front frame has its front bevel to keep it sturdy (which I made sure to cut at a 90 degree offset to the main front frame). The portion of the back frame that’s load bearing was all cut from one piece and the legs were just tacked onto the sides. It feels pretty sturdy so far, so hopefully it’ll hang in there in the long run.

Most of the pieces are now cut out (which took 5 times as long as I expected going into the project) and I’ve started to dry fit some of them:

My first impression was “good grief this thing is complicated”, followed by relief that everything seems to be generally lining up so far.

My main issue now is with the spring. I don’t like the design that’s included in Clayton’s plans. The first issue is that there seems to be only one supplier for the spring, and that supplier has a terribly insecure website. The other issue is that it just seems overly complex. It seems like a traditional clock spring should be able to do the trick with fewer parts. And so now I reach out to the other clock makers here to see if anyone else has experience with this…

I’m looking at using the open loop-end clock spring that I included in a pic above, but I’m having a terrible time finding concrete details on how to implement the mechanism. It seems like I should be able to run another brass rod between the two frames to pin down the outer loop end, and then add a hook to the arbor for the center part of the spring to pull on. I figure I should be able to drill and tap a 1/4" to 3/8" (depending on what I buy) brass rod pretty easily on my drill press, and then carve down a brass bolt to form the hook. Does that seem sound? Am I totally overlooking some key detail to how these springs work?

Not sure I can help. The only clocks I’ve made all use weights to drive the mechanism - is that an option?

Try Brian Laws web site woodenclocks, I know he has a number of links to suppliers of clock mechanisms and springs.

Here is some page I found on the subject.
Probably already covered.

Forgive me if this is too simple to explain or if someone has already broken this down but… I just downloaded the free sample gear project from Brian Law’s site. Great idea to prove I can do this and work out any bugs. So first bug. The DXF file is way off scale. not the right size at all. so It took me a while but I figured it out.
IF YOU HAVE FUSION 360 AND VCARVE (that is just what I used. I am sure other software is capable of this also).

  1. open new project in Fusion 360
    (in Fusion)

  2. start sketch

  3. select plane

  4. Right click on work area, slide mouse downward until you high light the insert option then slide slight right and then down to highlight the insert dxf option Click it.

  5. Pop up window will appear. select plane if not already selected. then click folder next to "select dxf file.

  6. find your saved dfx file on our computer. (make sure it is unzipped or extracted). double click and wait.

  7. pop up box click ok (may insert backwards or upside down this is fine)

  8. click inspect button or measure. Measure a known dimension. be very precise. many decimal places out and take note if drawing was done in metric or imperial. (exp. my drawing said hole diameter 6mm or .24 in. well 6mm is NOT .24in. it is .23622 in. which is no big deal for a hole or anything to be off that much but as you scale the whole thing it will compound and other things will be off. so be exact in your measurement).

  9. If you have selected the right units of measure or it is to scale and measurement is correct then you are good to export and skip to step 14

  10. Your measurement is not what it should be so then Take your exact measurement that your drawing says you should have. Divide by what your exact measurement you are actually getting.
    (exp. what I should have .23622in / what I have 6in = .03937 and yes I know this example is a simple using the wrong unit of measure but it will work with whatever your issue is.)

  11. close measuring box. Towards top left menu bar click the sketch down arrow menu. Slide down to sketch scale. click. select entire sketch. then select point. I use origin. doesn’t matter I think. wait.

  12. Scale factor will appear in pop up box. type in the result of the equation above. “example .03937” click ok wait

  13. measure your known dimension again. remember to be accurate and remember actual unit conversions. if this checks out then your drawing is to correct scale now. (if you use fusion to generate gcode then do so from here. if using other software keep following steps)

  14. close measure box. Find sketch in left browser drop down tree. right click on it. slide down to save as dxf. click. Save as whatever so you know where and how to find it in your computer.

  15. Open Vcarve. or whatever software you are going to use to create g code.
    (In Vcarve)

  16. in v carve under drawing under file operation click icon that says import vectors from a file. find the saved dxf file and bam!! you should have a good to scale drawing now. measure to verify this.

sorry if this is over explained but I fumbled through it and now I know exactly what to do anytime I get a drawing that is not to the correct size. just follow these simple steps.