Friday, February 15, 2013

Sanding wheels on the clock

I continue my last post. Too tired last night to finish it. You will recall that I have to sand the wheels. So there are points where the linisher fails. I decided to make special blades for my Dremel jigsaw. It is an actual Dremel, by the way, and no knockoff; I bought it at the thrift store for $10. The problem with this jigsaw is that it uses pinned blades -- blades that have a cross-pin drilled through them. It will not accept ordinary scrollsaw blades. So we must overcome this. I cut a broken bandsaw blade into suitably sized pieces, and "blued" the ends. That is I stuck them into a propane torch flame until they turned blue. This softens them up so you can drill them.

Once you have drilled them you can silver-solder a pin into them. The pin was supplied by a cut-up safety pin. More than one use for a safety pin. Above we have the Dremel jigsaw. To the right, a proto-blade (ex-bandsaw). To the proto-blade I glued pieces of a cut-up nail file or emery board, sold at very cheap prices anywhere. (Used to buff your fingernails.) So I have a reciprocating sander. I can use this to sand the wheels. Furthermore the blade is at right angles to the wheel, at left. This lashup works like a charm. A little slow, but much better than too agressive. I ground the teeth off the bandsaw piece; I am trying to sand, not to saw. 

I also put a wooden table on top of the Dremel's steel table. This cuts down the noise and vibration by a whole lot. Today I got two wheels and two pinions sanded. This is clockspeak. The wheels are the big gears. The pinions are the little gears. A clock (except for the escape mechanism) is nothing more than a gearbox. Geared way up, too. That is why it has such different "gear" sizes.

Eventually the emery board gets all choked up with sawdust. You can rescue it with "sculpy," a modeling clay sold at craft supply stores. It removes sawdust. very well. But sooner or later I will have to cut out another emery board and glue it in.  Small price to pay. I am glad I built the linisher; it will be useful later. But my $10 Dremel is doing the job just fine right now.

And thanks to Carlo Croce,  q.g., Italian clockmaker extraordinary, for his suggestions on how to modify a Dremel jigsaw. Carlo has a web site well worth visting if you are interested in mechanical clocks. He even has an English version. Stubborn that I am,  I read it in Italian. Errm. What does comunque mean? Consult your handy online Italian-English dictionary. There is also a Forum; you may get to it via Carlo's website. But you have to interpret Italian. I love Italian. Such a lovely language. I wish I was better at it but I'm glad I can at least read it.

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