Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wooden clock: crossing out. wheels

I am getting used to clockspeak. Gears are wheels. Almost. Big gears are wheels. Little gears are pinions. Axles are arbors. Sometimes arbours, depending on the brand of English you speak. Bearings are pivots. What horrifies me is that I have learned both the Italian and German equivalents to these terms. And so we come to crossing out. For a clock to work, we have to have minimum mass on all the wheels. This makes it easier for the weight, or spring depending on your clock, to drive the stupid thing! So it is a time-hallowed practice, dating from the 16th century at least, to remove as much material as feasible from the wheels. In fact we make spoked wheels. To do this we cannot use a bandsaw. The blade of a bandsaw is continuous and we cannot stick it inside the wheels without breaking it. So I used my faithful jigsaw. I got this contraption at a thrift store for $10. A best buy to be sure.

What you do is drill four holes inside the area to be crossed out. Then you unship the jigsaw blade. You then insert the blade through the hole you have drilled. You then hook up the blade again. This is not as easy as all that. You cannot see what you are doing and must sort of guess where the blade goes. But it is doable. Then you ever so carefully saw out the wheel. You could do this with a fretsaw. But it is an awful lot of work by hand. Above, a wheel all crossed out. Approximately. It still needs to be sanded down to the line. Another wheel on the saw. the escape wheel to be specific. I now have all the wheels crossed out.

The whole thing about sanding down the various wheels and pinions is problematic. John Wilding found a linishing belt for his bandsaw. Good luck with that. Never even heard of one till I read the book. No such nimal at Home Depot (or Lowe's, pr even AHI). So I am now in improvise mode. I am making a linisher. This is a low-profile belt sander. Stay tuned.

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