Workshop Practice Series 33 Making Clocks

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Workshop Practice Series 33 Making Clocks

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Introduction

Clock making appears to hold a
fascination all of its own, particularly
amongst model engineers, many
deciding to make a clock after having
made mnckls of vari!’llS types. There
is something absolutely fascinating
about clock making that seems to
draw one towards it. This book is
intended as a brief introduction to the
tools, materials and methods generally
used and to offer an explanation of
general forms of construction. It is not
a book of plans but those who ha\c
sufficient confidence could usc the
information it contains to make a
simple clock.
Although clocks come in all sorts of
shapes and sizes the basic principle
behind a mechanical clock has not
changed for about five hundred years.
Of course modern materials and tools
have superseded some of the older
ones but this apart the horologist will
still tend to work in the traditional
fashion. Clock making has long been
part of the model engineering hobby
rather than being entirely the preserve
of the horologist and the type of
workshop owned by the average
model engineer is quite suitable for
the work. Although a special
workshop is not required, one thing
that will not do is to work in a
workshop that is full of swarf and
other rubbish. Accepting that we
cannot always ha\C a clinically clean
place in which to operate, particularly
if it serves several purposes, it is still
possible to make a clean area for
special usc and this should be a
priority. A cornn of the workshop can
be cleaned and ~my oil or grease lying
on the bench ~\\ abbcd otT Keep this
area clean while clock making
operations arc in progress. It is a good
idea to make a false top for the
workbench and cover it with baize or a
similar material which is soft and will
not cause damage to polished metal.
As with all nC\\ projects, do not try
and run before you can walk. Don’t
start by trying to build a complicated
mechanism such as a full Westminster
Chime but rather make something
simple. A mechanism with a single
hand is a good idea. such a piece when
well polished can look attractive as
well as being t:1scinating to watch
when it is working. Visit museums
where clock movements can be