The key to making 90-tooth clock gears is 3D CAD and a scroll saw.
SHOP OWNER: Gary Mahony
LOCATION: Toronto, Canada
The way machines work has fascinated me all of my life. As a mechanical design engineer, I have a number of CAD and analysis computer programs at my disposal that I can use to optimize a design. These included some cool programs that can animate a model, determine if parts are strong enough, and analyze the forces on bearings and other areas of a clock. Currently, I'm working on designing a new wooden clock.
An article by Wayne Westphale, in the January 1986 issue of Fine Woodworking, shows how to make a clock similar to this one. The plans intrigued me for years but were slightly out of my league. Cutting wooden involute gears with an indexing head, metal lathe, and router was well over the top for me then.
Years later, my job involved drawing machine parts; first on the drafting board and later on the computer, using AutoCAD, Solidworks, and Pro-E. Around this same time, I bought a scroll saw to try my hand at Intarsia.
What I realized was, just like Intarsia, full-scale CAD drawings could be used as scroll saw patterns to make wonderfully detailed and accurate clock gear templates. The scroll saw method for cutting the gear teeth solved my biggest hurdle.
Can you imagine making a 90-tooth gear using a router and a template only to have tooth number 90 fly off into space? In addition, where are you supposed to get a 90-tooth template, special router bit, and indexing head? Scroll saws don't have this problem.
I have always felt that the Internet is a place to share ideas. Since I have certainly benefited from all of the free information available, visitors can download my plans free from my WebPage. It is my way of giving something back to the Internet community.. . . Gary Mahony
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