Wooden Gear Clock





Introduction: Wooden Gear Clock

Clocks Challenge

Finalist in the
Clocks Challenge

I have always loved wooden gear clocks.  So for my birthday my wife gave me a Dremel and a copy of Scroll Saw Magazine that had a pattern for a wooden gear clock.  This is my entry for the clock contest and 4th Epilog Challenge, it is also my first Instructable. So fair warned.  I have had thoughts on making gear clocks to sell.  If I had a Zing laser cutter then cutting out the gears would be much more precise and need much less sanding and fine tuning.  

Step 1: Get a Pattern

My pattern came from Scroll saw magazine spring 2011 Issue 42.  You don't have to get this one It just had a good pattern and instructions. 

Step 2: Materials

The Materials needed:
Spray Adhesive
3/4" plywood
1/2" plywood
1/4" plywood
1/8" plywood (hard to find for me)
1/8" hardwood (I did not use this but probably should have)
1/4" washer
2 #8 2" wood screws
2 #8 washers
14' 50lb fishing line
1 1/2" 13 1/2 "copper pipe, end caps,

Safety gear (ear, eye, hands, body... ect)  If you want it protected then protect it

1 1/2" 5" copper pipe, end caps
2 hooks
7lb led shot
1/16" rod or wire
1/8" brass rod
#8 threaded rod and nut
3/8" wood dowel
1 5/8" light compression spring
wood glue
Wood I got at big box stores, everything else Ace;

Dremel with router and wood bit (or scroll saw)
Dremel sand paper or sanding wheel (or belt sander)
cut off disks
hand drill (or drill press is better but did not have)
drill bits (3/8, 17/64, 1/4, 9/64, 1/8, 1/16)
Dremel engraving tool

Step 3: Cut and Glue

First make copy of the pattern, then make additional copies of parts that you must cut more then one of (such as wind pulley parts) the pattern only has one of each

Second cut out the pattern, if using the Dremel make sure there is a lot of extra wide border around each piece, the router guide will push up the paper destroying the pattern, which is bad.

Third, spray adhesive on the back of the pattern and attach them to the blanks.

Step 4: Drill Holes

Drill the holes in the patterns, sand the rough edges that the drilling makes, or the Dremel guide will get stuck on them.

Note, use an awl to mark/start hole then drill

Step 5: Cut Out Parts

Cut out the parts.

I recommend start with the non gear parts first to get used to the Dremel and get the speed setting right. 

Also using the engraving tool, engrave the numbers on the gears, I also did not drill out all of the holes on the minute wheel I used the engraving tool to mark them instead. 

Step 6: Sand Everything

As the title says, SAND EVERYTHING.  Every edge.  Then sand the gears, make sure the pinions (small gears) mesh properly with the proper gear.

Step 7: Glue the Pinions, Connectors, and Wheels

Glue the pinions, connectors, and wheels together,  Also glue the wind pulley assemble together.

Sorry I did not take pictures of the glued pinions. 

Step 8: Assemble It

Finally put it together. 
Make the weights. 

Following the blown out diagram, assemble the clock. 

Make sure you string the wind pulley correctly

All that is left is to run the clock and adjust the pendulum and mounting to make sure it keeps even time.

Note:  As you add each wheel, make sure the wheel and pinion mesh by running the wheel by turning the pinion,  If it doesn't run smooth, make the gears that are binding and sand a little off.  Make sure the wheels run smoothly.

I did not take off the paper to make it easier to see in the picture but I will.



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Can you please post the templates somehow? It's very hard to find a particular clock design online because there are so many variations. I'd like to see this one in particular.

I think copy right means "copy and sell" Not copy and giveaway. Just my thought!

I am sorry but I do not believe I can due to copyright. The template is property of the magazine.

ummmm, sooo they invented the clock?

the idea here is to share on how to.

and if you are still not for it
do your own template, or a bit of numbers.

I don't think he can post those because of copyright but you can recreate the templates with Matthias Wandel 's gear template maker: http://woodgears.ca/gear_cutting/template.html the free one should work but the full version has a bit of a hefty in price. . .


I can probably work out the gears myself in CAD but that pendulum mechanism I'm not so comfortable with

Second Mathias' site- he has some serious wood gear guidance.

Hi. I don´t know much about making clocks or gears, but I have been looking into the subject lately and found interesting stuff on Internet. Just keep searching, there is a lot of stuff on the Net ...

I found out that four of the basic (and more important gears) that you need for a clock are the 8:28 and 7:24 (teeth each). You can print the gears using this online tool


and a copy of the template is... ?
(please) :D


i would post this in the laser challenge, you might win a laser printer which would make this much easier. this is also a great i dea, I just need to find the diagrams...