Step 6: Cutting The Gears

Picture of Cutting The Gears
Now comes time to put the hard design process to the test. Cutting the gears. After printing out the full size drawings, I cut them out and glued them to the wood. A spray adhesive works great. I use 3M Super77, and it dries fairly quick. At least within a few minutes after gluing, I'm ready to start cutting without it peeling off.

I drill all the holes first. It's easier to handle a full size board with the drill press than trying to clamp a gear blank that's only 1.5 inches in diameter without splitting it. Also, if something goes wrong, you haven't wasted all that time cutting it out just to have the board split.

After drilling the holes, I cut the gears out around the outside diameter, then I start cutting the teeth.
livin0811 year ago

Hello there - I was wondering what you used for axles on this. I'm considering doing a gear clock, but I can't decide what to use. I was thinking brass rod in a brass press-fit bushing might make for a functional and decent looking axle, but I have no idea what other people have used.

treg7 years ago
Do you ting it is possible to cut only one quarter of gear, then duplicate it 4 time for each gear with a small diameter copy bit on a router ?
marvay (author)  treg7 years ago
It might work, and is worth a try. Although my first try at cutting the gears was with a router. I was cutting the entire gear, not a quarter of it and I wasn't using a duplicator but was doing it freehand. I decided that I like my fingers too much, and they were coming awfully close to the fast spinning bit. Especially with the smaller gears. The router also didn't give me a 'clean' cut, and I found out that there was going to be a lot of finishing.