Welcome to Brian Law’s wooden clocks
Free plans to help you build a wooden clock. The plans on this site are those of clocks designed by myself over the last few years. At present there are Twenty one sets of plans available, and it is intended to add to them as new designs become available.
Each clock design is illustrated with a series of rendered images, and a set of drawings, drawn to scale and presented as PDF files. The earlier clocks were originally drawn to scale so that the prints could be attached directly to the timber and a band saw or scroll saw used to cut around the profiles. Now it is more common to use some form of CNC machining to produce the gear profiles, so the DXF files for the clocks are available and in some cases the 3D model files as well.
The original clocks are still available for free but as the new clocks appear I will make a charge for the files.
I hope you find your visit to the site rewarding and if you have any comments or suggestions please contact me.
What do I need to build a clock
This question is looked at in detail in the latest article in the Woodenclocks Blog
The article focus’s on the tools and equipment needed from the minimum, on to the requirements of a well equipped workshop.
DXF files available
If you require the DXF files for any of the clocks on the site then go to the page for the clock that you require, where you will find the DXF files listed along with model files for the newer clocks. The files can be used to produce Gcode so that you can machine the profiles on CNC machine
Bundle 5 - Clock 15 + Gears for Projects + Mechanisms DXF and PDF Drawing files
Each bundle contains the Drawings as a PDF file and the DXF files for machining and they cost $25
It is difficult to get a sense of the actual size of the clocks just looking at the pictures of them on the clocks own page. To try to overcome this and give you a proper sense of their relative sizes I produced a graphic that shows them all lined up at the same scale over 4 separate pages. Click above to download the PDF file.
All Clocks together
Scrollsaw Woodworking Magazine
3 of the Woodenclocks designs have been reproduced in the Scroll Saw Woodworking magazine. Clock 11 was the first to appear and then Clock 2 in spring of 2014 and finally Clock 17 later the same year.
The patterns and instructions provided by the magazine are excellent and will be sufficient to enable you to cut out all of the components to build the clock.
Clock 24 - was designed to incorporate the 3rd version of the Woodenclocks Escapement which now has 30 teeth and revolves once per minute, this simplifies the gearing but requires a bigger version of the Escape Wheel to enable it to work as a wooden gear clock. Taking advantage of this increase in size the clock has been designed in inches from the ground up so all the shafts, bearings and materials use imperial dimensions. The clock is still dual dimensioned, so those wishing to build the clock can do so.The escapement is a modified version of the original using the intermediate spider to ensure positive locking.
A seconds dial has been incorporated into the Escape wheel with a hand formed as an integral part of the lifting arm.
The front frame has an inserted Barometer fitted, this is really only a suggestion as it in no way contributes to the clocks function, but it does offer ways of customising the clock. I have also used a proprietary winder normally used for winding Grandfather clocks, the reason was to enable the winding shaft to be incorporated below the drive train, which necessitated that the winder shaft pierced the dial.
Run time for this clock with a 4.5lbs (2.2Kg) weight and the centre of the dial 63”(1600 mm) above the floor, is 12.5 hours. This can be doubled by adding a simple pulley arrangement, see clock 23 for an example.
With the introduction of this new clock to the site, its has made me realise that
I have never really indicated before which clocks use metric and which use
imperial units, so to correct this ,I have introduced a set of icons that indicate what units are used in the design. Inches are in Blue and Metric units are in orange. If drawings are dual dimensioned as most of them are then they will appear with the major units at the bottom in bold with the secondary units at the top in brackets, much as they appear on the drawings themselves.
Most of the clocks on the site are dual dimensioned but some of the earlier clocks were not and these are indicated with an icon using a single unit.
Clock 21 was originally designed as a simple snap together clock suitable for building as a school project on a CNC laser.
It has become clear that restricting it to construction by laser, has prevented many would be clock builders from being able to make the clock.
The purpose of this update therefore is to provide you with a version of the files that can be can be used on a CNC router machine using a Ø1 mm or Ø1.1 mm router cutter.
The changes are fairly subtle, the addition of ‘Dog Bone fillets’ that allow the fitting of square corners into tight fitting slots, being the most significant change. The redesign of the hooks that hold together the parts once they are snapped into place is the only other real change.
The new profiles therefore can be used to to cut out the parts either by Laser or by CNC router cutting.
I have also arranged the profiles onto separate layers so that the internal profile cuts and the external profile cuts are separated in the DXF file so that you can more easily program the cuts in you CAM program. I wish I had thought before to do this as it does make the programming so much easier, so I shall try to do that in future.
Any way for any one wants to try a quick clock build with the minimum of time spent finding materials, then you should try this one.
It is worth noting that the original laser cut design actually sealed the cut faces whilst cutting. I found it best to clean up the edges with fine sandpaper and the use Liquid Super glue to seal the teeth and the pallets.
Clock 26 -Has been designed to incorporate a Remontoire, that, combined with the Woodenclocks Gravity Escapement should, in theory, offer the best chance of achieving the most accurate clock in the range. Remontoire is from the French word 'remonter' which means "to wind". It is a constant force device used in a clock whereby the main source of power periodically lifts a weight by equal amounts and at equal intervals to drive the clock’s escapement. This avoids any irregularities that can be built into the gears forming the clocks drive. There are several designs that could be used for the Remontoire, I have chosen to use an early design called the ‘Robin Remontoire’ with a modification to the triggering action to improve its consistency. It is a continuous chain drive that uses a small weight suspended on the chain between the last gear in the drive chain and an identical gear on the escapement shaft. This weight is the constant driving force for the escapement and will drive it for 30 seconds. At this point, a trigger is lifted to allow the drive train to pull the weight back up again to its start position, at which point the drive train is once again locked. This triggering action is where the design differs from the original Robin design.
The main features of the clock are:
● Runs for nearly 13 hours on single cord drop when the centre of the dial is 1530 mm from the floor.
● Main weight 2.5 kg.
● Escapement weight 31 gramme's.
● Overall Height 590 mm
● Minute hand moves every 30 seconds (I thought this was going to be odd but, in the end, it seems quite natural).
● Uses a gravity assisted ratchet to reduce both the noise and the effort needed to wind.
● You can add a simple pulley to get it to run 24 hours but I would advise anchoring the cord to the wall, not the clock frame as you have to double the weight to get it to work with the pulley and 5 kg hanging from the clock is not advised.