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Old 02-24-2014, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default Thomas Wooden Clock

I am thinking of building the Thomas Wooden Clock, and would like to ask a few questions of someone who has already completed the build. Either on the open forum or via PM.
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:38 AM   #2
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What do you need to know Aurthur? The Thomas clock has changed over the years I have the original plans where all the gears are cut out of 1/2" stock, I know some of the laser cut kits have reduced the gears to 1/4" & 1/8" stock. Can you post a link where you found the plans? Even though the clock has gone through minor changes over the years the principle is the same.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:11 AM   #3
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Great!
Originally I had a paper copy of what I presume were the original plans. That was back in the late 80's, I believe I ordered them from an ad in the back of some magazine. Sadly, those old plans seem to have gotten away from me at some point over the years. Back in 2009 I got a new PDF copy of the plans from:

www.clockplans.com

though they don't seem to be available there any more. In fact, I haven't found anywhere online where they are currently available. I assumed that everything was all in order and ready to print out and cut gears. However, looking at the printed sheets, I notice that many of the measurements don't match those indicated on the prints (they are smaller than indicated), so I assume that I will have to scale each pattern up by some percentage in order to make usable parts. I wish I had noticed that before I cut my first gear. Oh well, it was good practice I suppose. These plans do call for 1/2" stock.
Are there any other little traps in these plans that I should be aware of? Any hints or tricks that you can offer? I appreciate any assistance.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:39 AM   #4
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Obviously I should have checked the dimensions on the printed patterns before I cut the gear. Looking over my printer settings, I find that when printing PDF's it defaults to "shrink to fit". Setting it back to "actual size" fixes the issue, but then of course some parts are too big to fit on an 8 1/2" X 11" sheet. Luckily I can print 11" X 17" sheets, that should fix the problem. I'll try that this afternoon.
What's that they always say about "measure twice and cut once"?
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Old 02-25-2014, 06:48 PM   #5
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Aurthur

All wooden geared clocks are a little tricky at first but as you build and see how things work together finding the trouble spots is not too bad. I usually try to work by shafts, in other words pick one shaft and cut the gears, pinions, pulleys, winding arbors etc that go on the shaft once you have the first one finished then start the next one so you can see how things mesh together.
You also want to dial in your drill press to be as accurate as possible. I took a 1/2" drill bit and clamped a couple pieces of plywood around it after cutting a V groove, then I mounted a dial indicator out on the end of the plywood. You'll be surprised how far out your drill press really is. I'll try to take some pictures tomorrow so you can see the set up.

I have all the gears drawn in Autocad if you want some real accurate templates. Photocopies get distorted over time and I think the original plans were done in 1964 so who knows how many times they have copied.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:35 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions on tramming the drill press. I'll be doing all the critical drilling on my milling machine, which I keep in pretty good tram. Also a great suggestion about working by shaft, I hadn't thought about that.
Thanks for the offer of the AUTOCAD gear files, that wound be great! I'll PM you my email address.
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