Welcome to Brian Law’s Wooden Clocks
Over the last 30 years I have been designing and building wooden clocks and the one thing that they all have in common is they are entirely mechanical with no electrical or electronic drive systems, they either use a weight or a powerful spring to drive them. That is going to change on this next clock with the introduction of a Pendulum Drive Unit usually used along with a quartz powered motor to drive the hands of a clock.
This has been a most rewarding project, the clock running for weeks on end without rewinding and to within a minute a day. I have always shied away from any non-mechanical Drive mechanism for the clocks as I always thought of it as cheating a little, but this one has a purely mechanical gear train and escapement and the inclusion of an inexpensive Pendulum Drive Unit that requires no knowledge of electronics to incorporate. Most satisfying, and I hope you feel the same if you choose try it for yourself.
This clock is the first that I have ever designed that required neither a weight nor a spring to drive it. Instead, it uses an off the shelf Pendulum Drive Unit normally used in conjunction with a quartz battery driven clock. I have tried to limit the number of changes to the Drive unit itself to enable it to be used to drive the gear train of this clock. This work has been completed so that when the parts are built to the drawings there a just a couple of adjustment levers to get it running on your build. The clock runs continuously using a single AA battery and as I write this it has been running for around 7 weeks so cannot tell yet what the long-term running will be.
This clock is designed to be driven by a Pendulum Drive Unit, these units are available on the internet for around $4 and can be easily adapted to drive this clock. This unit enables the design to be simplified so that it needs fewer parts to create the clock and will allow it to run for up to 3 months on a single AA battery. The clock is compact, measuring 250 mm across its width by 160 mm tall, it has two dials, the main for hours and minutes and the second Dial to its right is engraved directly in to the base, a dot on the drive wheel itself indication the seconds passing. The Pendulum on the Drive unit is extended with a conventional Pendulum with an adjustable Bob to increase or decrease the rate at which it swings.
The clock is one of the easier ones to build and can be constructed either by CNC machining in wood or by 3D printing in plastic. Files for both are included.
I have designed this clock for my young great grandson, with a Knights and Castle theme. I have revisited the Spring powered clocks once again to allow the clock to be placed on a cabinet or shelf with none of the hanging parts that young fingers can grab and pull on.
I have put together a chart that tries to list all the relevant information about each clock so as to make your choice a little easier. The chart is actually a PDF file…
This question is looked at in detail 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.
How to Design and Build a Wooden Clock
If you are looking for a challenging woodwork project that is going to test your skills and imagination then building a fully working wooden clock is just what you need. This Kindle book will help you to design your own clock with the included sections on the design and calculation of gear trains along with guidance on gear tooth design. It will also introduce you to some of the many escapement designs used in clocks through the centuries to control and maintain the accurate movement of the clocks mechanism. There is guidance for cutting out parts by hand or by CNC machine or even by 3D printing. To get your copy follow the link below to get your copy.
The files for the clocks are not included, these are paid for separately.
Over the last 20 years I have designed and built prototypes of more than 40 different wooden clocks. In the main I have enjoyed the process and think it is now time to look at this body of work as a whole, so this E-book takes the form of a journal and is available as electronic file in PDF format. The book contains nearly 200 pages of illustrations of the 42 clocks so is an excellent fund knowledge on wooden clocks.
Each clock has its own set of pages with a short precis of its attributes and a description of its unique features and at the end of the book there are 6 pages showing the clocks hanging in line so that you can get a sense of their relative sizes.
Links to the clock’s website page are accessed through the blue outlined boxes on the first page of each clock so you can obtain further information and detail drawings for the clock concerned.
It is a large file and will take some time to load so patience is required when downloading.
A design journal for Wooden clocks, with occasional thoughts on side issues related to clock design, materials, mechanisms and automata in general. There are articles on choosing the right materials along with those concerned with the equipment you will need to build your own clock.
To browse the Blog click here >
BUNDLE 1 – Clocks 6, 9 and 10 are probably the most challenging to build.
BUNDLE 2 – Clocks 3 and 7 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.
BUNDLE 4 – Clocks 1, 2, 4 and 5 all of the original clocks.
BUNDLE 5 – Clock 15 + Gears for Projects + Mechanisms DXF and PDF Drawing files
BUNDLE 6 – Starter Clocks – Inches – Files for Clock 41 and Clock 47 *
BUNDLE 7 – Starter Clocks – Metric – Files for Clock 39 and Clock 45 **
The Beginners Clocks – Files for Clocks 30 and 31
The inch ones – Files for Clocks 24 and 25
Easy and Hard – Files for Clocks 21 and 33
Each bundle contains the Drawings as a PDF file and the DXF files for machining and they cost $36.
* Bundle 6 includes a book and costs $42
** Bundle 7 includes a book and costs $42
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.