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Perpetual Calendar

18/04/2019

Over the last year or so I’ve been researching, testing, and fabricating my first perpetual calendar clock. If you’re curious about what the term “perpetual calendar” means I should explain: A simple calendar mechanism, or complication, shows what the date is, sometimes accompanied by the day or month. In order to be designated a “perpetual” calendar clock things get quite a bit more complex. These mechanisms also account for whether there are 30 or 31 days in the month, and they will automatically advance the indicator (in this case the hands) accordingly. In addition it keeps track of when it’s February, including knowing when it’s leap year, so the hands automatically jump from the 28th or 29th of February to the 1st of March.

This project is less than half way finished. If you compare this to my completed work you’ll notice that I have yet to sculpt the flat cut-out pieces into 3D forms. I do however have the perpetual mechanism in place and it’s working great so far. It’s also keeping really good time!

It should be done by the end of the year. Stay tuned.

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Chain

29/03/2019

 

 

 

 

 

Link by link. Three feet down, six to go. Adding a handmade chain to a clock (rather than a cable) adds about 30% to the total time of fabrication. It’s soooo worth it though.

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It has a pulse

26/03/2019

The latest commission has a healthy heartbeat! The next step is completing the chain so that I can test the mechanism for the full one-week run-time. After that I can begin sculpting everything with the foredom-grinder to make these flat pieces of 2-D brass into a 3-D clockwork sculpture.

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Temper & Polish

21/03/2019

 

There are a number of parts that needed to be heat treated in order to function correctly in the clock. Pictured is a bath of molten salt used to hold the metal at 1500 degrees, after which it’s quenched in oil to hold it in a fully hardened state. The escapement is left fully-hard and goes through an arduous polishing process. Below there’s a picture of the dead-beat escapement being polished with a very fine polishing stone. After that (not pictured) the pallet-nibs are polished further with .05 micron polishing paste and polishing sticks.

The other parts are springs and are therefore heated in a separate kiln at 700 degrees to achieve a spring temper. To finish those off they’re nestled in a layer of brass powder and heated on a hotplate to create that nice blued finish.

The clock actually has a pulse now. I’ll post a small video of it ticking soon.

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Chain

24/02/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This commission will feature a nine-foot handmade chain. The function of this decorative addition is to transfer power from a weight to a sprocket that the chain wraps around, giving the energy to the first large gear in the gear train.

Each link is individually cut out with a jewelers say and carved with a rotary tool. The caps & pins that hold the chain together are seemingly simple, but each of the caps need to be very accurately reamed to be a perfect press-fit with the pins.

Finally there is the sprocket, ratchets, and great-wheel assembly. This ratchet assembly allows the user to crank the weight back to the top for another two weeks of run time. Notice that there are actually two ratchets back-to-back. In between the large ratchet and the gear there is a torsion spring. This has a short power reserve so that the clock will continue running even while the clock is being wound and the main weight is disengaged.

Next will be the polishing and tempering of the steel springs and clicks. Molten salt bath, temperature controlled kilns…fun stuff.

The finished chain will take awhile to create but I’ll also be adding to the length of that for the next post.

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Gear Spokes

1/02/2019

 

Spoking gears. Similar to the clock that this commission is based on the gear spokes have flavors of old english lettering to reel in my usually unbridled style. I’m also starting to cut the chain links. More on that in the next post.

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Progress

22/01/2019

After many hours making lots and lots of screws, the frame is now assembled. Time to put some gears inside:)

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Quinquagenarius

11/01/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not long ago I was approached to create a mechanical clock that would commemorate a client’s 50th birthday. He wanted something similar to an earlier piece I made called “Mechanical No.6”. This is what I have so far. A clock-in-the-works titled “Quinquagenarius” which is a classical latin word meaning “fifty years old”.

I decided to use several pieces of layered metal for the dials and some of the decorative extremities in order to create a nice amount of depth. The center window in the smaller dial is where the escapement will be ticking away and there will be an attached hand counting off the seconds.

All of the pieces of metal are cut and the gear train is finished. Now it’s time to start making lots and lots of screws and assembling everything.

Stay tuned & Thanks for visiting the site!

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New Year New Projects

5/01/2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 will be kicking off with a couple of exciting new mechanical pieces.

The first drawing is my very first perpetual-calendar clock titled “Perpetual No.1”. Clock-collectors and watch buffs will know that the word “perpetual” refers to. It means that the calendar mechanism will account for whether there are 30 or 31 days in the month, automatically clicking the indicators forward the correct amount of days. It also accounts for February, in which there are only 28 days and the day indicator needs to automatically move forward four clicks. AND FINALLY it keeps track of leap-year, when every fourth February the hand only goes forward three rather than four. This four year mechanical cycle repeats, “perpetually” keeping track of the month and date forever.

The second drawing is a commission that will commemorate a client’s 50th anniversary. I customized a double-dial design for him based on a piece titled “Mechanical No.6” which was finished a decade ago. I’m really looking forward to creating this one, and really love the design. One notable difference from the piece it’s based on: “Mechanical No.6” had the minutes on the big dial, and the hours on the small dial. This new iteration will have both the minutes and hours on the big dial, and the small dial will feature a second-hand with an exhibition dead-beat escapement in the center. It will also have his birthday in romans, and of course the handmade chain just like the original.

The double-dial commission will be getting most of my attention in the coming months, so a majority of my upcoming posts will be about that. However I already have over 400 hours into the perpetual clock, and I’ll throw up some pictures (and video!) of that piece soon.

One more thing…If you’re interested in commissioning a clock for 2019 I still have room for one more this year. I’ve been drawing and creating lots of clock-plans for future endeavors, and I’ll be posting those soon. Don’t hesitate to email me and I can give you the details about how to have a piece of your own custom made by 2020.

Thank you & Enjoy the new year!

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Booklets for Sale

25/11/2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New booklets are now for sale in the shop. 48 pages of offset-printed clockwork candy for your eyeballs. This 8 1/2 x 5 1/2 book features a collection of my best horological work, including photos of “The Jungers Commission”. It also has pictures and descriptions of my process, so you can get a glimpse of how the gears and screws are made.

Click on the “SHOP” link above and buy yours today.

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