Temper & Polish

 

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.

Chain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Gear Spokes

 

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.

Progress

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

Quinquagenarius

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

New Year New Projects

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Booklets for Sale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Finished Commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The latest quartz commission is finished! As requested this one is about double the size of my usual quartz work, although it’s hard to tell on the white background with no context. After testing the clock for a few days, and enjoying the impact and readability of a piece this size, I’ve decided I’ll likely be making more quartz work on this scale. I’ll be sad to see it go, but happy that the client will enjoy it, and give it a good home.

Floating Commission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently completed a quartz piece titled “Floating” which featured calligraphy suspended along the dial rim. Someone in Florida really liked it and decided they wanted a much larger version, so I customized the design for them, and began construction of this piece.

The original is 20” wide, and is one of my favorite quartz pieces to date. This one however has a 42” wingspan, and is cut from thick 1/4” brass. Everything is coming together nicely so far.

More progress posts coming soon!

Note: “Floating” is available in the shop now. Also, if you’re interested in a commission of your own, don’t hesitate to contact me via email at: info@ericfreitas.com

Thank you!

Paper Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Paper Moon” Complete

The concept drawing for this piece was finished back in 2016. It was always one of my favorite designs and I knew that I would have to make it some day. Two years later I’m happy to finally hear it ticking in my home with a steady one second pulse.

This is my first wall-hung clock with a moon-phase dial. I originally learned how to make a lunar-display mechanism when I was building the 7 1/2-foot-tall clock titled “The Jungers Commission.”

This is also my first clock with a one-month power reserve. It’s quite convenient to only have to wind it up every 32 days. I must admit though, I kind of like winding it and hearing the ratcheting sound, so it probably won’t make it to a month very often. The light-brown surfaces are made of kitikata rice-paper. The moon is also kitikata paper (thus the title) and the face was painted with oil paint.