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Copyright © All rights reserved. Brian Law Design

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 eighteen 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 now available and in some cases the 3D model files as well. These enable the clock builder to not only simplify the construction but also to increase the accuracy.

The original clocks are still available for free but as the new clocks appear I will make a small charge for the files.

Four new clocks have been added over the last year, and it is planned to add 2 more this year, with Clock 19 being the first of those.

I hope you find your visit to the site rewarding and if you have any comments or suggestions please contact me.

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 either to produce Gcode so that you can machine the profiles on CNC machine or it can be used for your own design projects.

Special offers

Bundle 1 - Clocks 6,9 and 10 are probably the most challenging to build.


Bundle 2 - Clocks 3,7 and 8 are all built from the bottom up in inches.


Bundle 3 - Clocks 12,14,16 and 17 are all of the wind up clocks driven by a spring .


Each bundle contains the Drawings as a PDF file and the DXF files for machining .

Bundles 1 and 2 cost $20 each and bundle 3 costs $25

To read the PDF files you will need Adobe Acrobat reader so click on the image below to install it on your computer.

New videos for clock 19 can be seen here

New videos for clock 20  

Woodenclock wallpapers to Download
eXTReMe Tracker

Free DXF files


If you want to try a sample of the DXF files for a test on your CNC machine then this small assembly is ideal. It has 2 gears mounted onto a base strip with the centre positions set so that the gears mesh correctly. The file has some dimensions in dual metric and imperial formats so as to allow you to check the correct import into your system. The holes and pins are Ø6 mm but can be drilled out to 1/4” if you are working in imperial.

The sample is of course free, simply click on the image to download.

Gear Sample-iss3.DXF

Gears for Projects

I have introduced a collection of gears, so that you can use them for your own projects

There are 30 gears in the collection. They are all developed from the tooth profiles used to run the Woodenclocks, so for slow running applications like Automata they are ideal.

Go to the Gears for projects for more information.

Gear for Projects

Clock 9  Pocket Watch Style

This is the most compact clock I have designed with a short pendulum having a period of oscillation of 1 second, that is a ½ second swing in each direction. This required an extra set of gears in the train, to achieve the correct ratio for the escapement.

The unit is hung on the wall by a special hanging bracket that allows the clock to be easily mounted.

The front of the clock has a door to which the dial is fitted, this can be opened

to better view the internal mechanism.

This clock requires that the case be turned on a lathe or machined in 3D, so could be more difficult to build for those who don’t have the equipment. To help with this I have included the 3D data in with the drawings and the DXF files.

The clock was designed in metric units but is dimensioned in both metric and imperial. Click on the image to go to the Clock 9 page.


Clock 11  Compact/ Simple Style

Clock 11 is the second new clock this month, and has been designed in response to a number of requests for a simple clock design that could be made by a first time builder.

I have tried to do this here and although the clock is simpler it is still going to take dedication to see it through.


The design is simpler as it only uses 6 gears, by comparison Clock 1 has 12 gears and Clock 7 has 14.


A further change to reduce the number of gears was the introduction of a pull cord that is wound opposite to the weight, so by pulling down on this cord the weight is lifted back up.

I have also tried to reduce the size at the same time so that the largest parts can be fitted onto a small router table. I don’t really know what that minimum size is but the largest piece on this design is 277 mm tall so can be fitted to a piece of A4 paper, or Letter size paper if you live in the US.

Actually the Dial is slightly too large to fit an A4 sheet so you would need to stick two off set copies together to do that.

New Clock Bundle- Clocks 12,14,16, and 17


When Clock 17 was completed it brought to a close the series of designs using the spring drive as the source for powering the clock. Clock 18 returns to the weight driven designs that characterise all the other clocks on the site. It seems appropriate now to offer all of these clocks together at a reduced price for the bundle so you can have a greater choice of which one you would like to build.

Click on the picture of a clock to go to its page.

Mechanisms for Projects.

Last year I introduced Projects for gears , which gave you a selection of gears to use in your own projects, this year it is the turn of mechanisms, There are 6 sizes of Geneva mechanism. An inverted Geneva mechanism, a couple of rotary to linear convertors and a couple of Intermittent motion devices.

These are packaged as DXF and PDF files, along with image files and videos to explain the workings.

Clock 14 - Mantle Clock

Clock 14 is another compact spring driven wind up mantle clock, unlike Clock 12 this is not a minimalist design but uses a full gear train to drive the hands and has a very open construction to show off all of the gears .It is again quite small standing 316 mm or 12.5 inches tall, and dimensioned in both metric and English.

The clock runs for about 20 hours on a single wind, but as with all the spring  drives the accuracy can vary but if its wound every 12 hours it will keep time to within a couple of minutes over the 12 hour run.

The drawings and CNC files are available for download along with renders of the models and instruction for building the clock.

The prototype has now been completed and can be seen in the video on Youtube.

Clock 17 - Flying Pendulum Clock  

Clock 17 The flying pendulum clock is a clock that uses a flying pendulum escapement mechanism. A small metal ball, connected by string wraps around one post, then unwinds before repeating on the other post.The flying pendulum clock was invented and patented in 1883 by Adler Christian Clausen and J. C. Slafter in Minneapolis.

The clock was never really a good time keeper and original sales of the clock where apparently to Jewellery stores, who used it to attract customers into the store by displaying it in the shop window. It is a novelty really, but to watch it in operation is still fascinating.

The Clock is relatively simple to build having only 5 actual gears, the pinions being replaced by pins set into the the gear sleeves.

There are a lot of pins in this design , I used dowel pins readily available from engineering supply stores, but there are also headless pins and Brads that can be used.


Clock 16 - Verge and Foliot Style with Spring Drive

Clock 16 design is based on the traditional Verge and Foliot escapement with a spring drive mounted in the bottom gear. The original design was the first mechanical clock design to be developed in the middle of the 14 th Century.The escapement consists of two flaps mounted on the vertical Verge shaft that alternatively engage and disengage with the series of pegs around the periphery of the escape wheel, the speed at which this happens is controlled by two weights mounted on the horizontal Folio beam. The larger the weight and the further out it is positioned the slower the Clock will run.This type of clock design was never very accurate, but it persisted right up to the 18 th century. The design was eventually superseded by the much more accurate Pendulum designs.

This is the 3 rd clock to be driven by a spring so like those others it can easily be positioned anywhere in the home, its is a relatively simple clock to build.


Clock 15 - Art Nouveau Style

With Grasshopper escapement

Clock 15 is the first clock design to use the Grasshopper type escapement . Developed originally by John Harrison as a means of reducing friction in the escapement, it is a more complex and intricate design that require more accuracy in the making, but rewards by being quieter and more interesting to watch. I have tried to reduce the original complexity by removing much of the adjustment used in the original, so if the plans are followed carefully it should work pretty well ‘out the box’.The clock is styled after the Art Nouveau period and as such has flowing natural lines and curves reflecting that of nature.

Mechanisms for Projects

Clock 12 - Wind Up.


I have put an new clock on the site, it is a completely new design, that will stand on a fire place or cupboard, without the need for a hanging weight. It is designed to use a spring to provide the motive force, and has a compact pendulum to swing within the height of the clock. The clock is small designed to fit onto the smaller CNC machines and measures 350 mm (14 inches) tall and 190 mm (7.5 inches) wide.

I have just completed building the prototype, you can see the result on   the videos on You Tube shown opposite.

Most of the work has gone into designing and developing the spring drive using a standard spring from clock suppliers.

The prototype has been built using a variety of materials and techniques to reduce friction and ensure that the spring has the power to drive the clock.

Another change from the normal is the inclusion instructions on how to to build the clock, not instructions for making each part, help full instructions for putting the clock together and getting it ticking


This is a first for Brian Law’s wooden clocks, as we have one of the clocks featured in the Scrollsaw Woodworking and Crafts magazine.

In the Summer edition  patterns for the wooden gear Clock 11 are published along with test cutter Rolf Beuttenmuller description and video of  his build of the clock.The patterns have been adapted from the original design of Clock 11 available on this site.

Clock 11 is probably the simplest of my designs as, it requires less gears to be cut, but is still a fully functional timepiece and an excellent introduction to the making of wooden clocks.

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.

For more background on the original and to get the DXF files if you want to build this with your CNC router go to the Clock 11 page.

Clock 11 in Scrollsaw woodworking


Clock 18- Clock with Non Circular Gears

This new clock features a drive train composed of non-circular gears, a novel design that poses some difficulties on the path to finding a working arrangement that will function as a clock, and give accurate time keeping. The design is the result of a fairly lengthy trial and error process to firstly devise gear pairings that will mesh together in the non circular forms, and then to find a series of workable ratios that would give the correct timing to the clock.  The ratios 3:1, 4:1 and 5:1 when combined together give a total of 60 :1 which is exactly what is required. I also changed the geometry of the escapement that I usually use, to one that more closely follows the design of the Graham Dead beat escapement, with pallets that span 8 teeth. The end result has been a clock that works really well using a 1 kg weight, and can be adjusted to be accurate to within approximately 2 mins in 24 hours. It will run for 24 hours if set on the wall with the dial centre 1.6 meters above the floor.

You can view the Detail drawings of the clock and the renders showing in detail the construction along with the instructions for assembly. The free files are restricted and are not suitable for actually making the clock with but all the drawings and renders along with the DXF and DWG files for using with CNC machining can be purchased from the download page.

Clock 2 in Scrollsaw woodworking

Brian Law’s wooden clocks, is again featured in the Scrollsaw Woodworking and Crafts magazine.

In the current edition  patterns for the wooden gear Clock 2 are published along with brief instructions on how to set about building the clock .The patterns have been adapted from the original design of Clock 2 available on this site.

Clock 2 is one of a few that are not screwed to the wall but are Bracket or shelf mounted and that makes for a more grounded appearance.

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.

For more background on the original and to get the DXF files if you want to build this with your CNC router go to the Clock 2 page

Clock 19 - All Plastic

This new clock is a little different from the rest of the clocks here, as it is designed to be made in plastic from the beginning. I have had many questions over the years regarding the use of Acrylic to build clocks, so I thought it about time to do just that. It is not only possible but relatively easy to work in Acrylic as it has none of the odd behaviours of timber like twisting or splitting.

I have also tried to extend this theme of ‘easy to build’ by designing out some of the more difficult components that would normally require the use of a lathe, and to use standard sheet sizes. Packs of A4 acrylic sheet in 3 mm thickness in a variety of colours are readily available from a number of craft and Design resources, so all of the flat components can be CNC machined from a few A4 sheets. You can’t get away without using some other workshop equipment but this is kept to the minimum, so if you want an interesting, challenging but resource friendly project then this may be what you are looking for.

Clock 20 Gravity Escapement

This new clock has the classic appearance of Clock 1 but with a brand new escapement developed especially for use in a wooden clock. The escapement design is based on the one devised by Jim Arnfield , its called a gravity escapement as its method of giving an impulse to the pendulum is detached from the main weight and is delivered by a gravity arm instead. This clock therefore has the potential to be the most accurate clock that I have introduced on to the web site.

That, combined with a relatively straight forward build makes it ideal for wooden clock builders.


Gravity Escapement - Animation

The new gravity escapement design found a new outlet on Youtube yesterday when

Ken Kuo posted a video of  his  version of the escapement.

Watch it  here









Ken has a wonderful collection of Escapements that he has animated in Solidworks , well worth viewing.

Automata - Projectile lift

This was a bit of fun for me, its clearly not a clock but a mechanism for using in Automata or Ball Rolling machines. I had this idea in mind for a while where you could lift a ball or marble a great distance in one go rather that tediously moving it a step at a time, so I set about designing this projectile lift where the ball is moved by a spring over a distance dependant on spring power and initial angle. The trick is to make the release is as consistent as possible so the ball is always fired with the same force. The release mechanism used does this (most of the time) so it has been incorporated into this small rig that uses a Coke bottle top to catch the ball, it has a rolling gate to release the balls into the ball guide at the right time and a balance gate at the top to collect a set number of balls before releasing them to return.


Click on the illustrations above to download a couple of drawings that explain the operation.


There is also a scale drawing so anyone can have a go and develop the idea within there own ball machine. Click here to download the PDF file