I finally got an afternoon in the shop, so I took my drawings out and was preparing to start slicing up the white oak and walnut plywood into gear-sized squares to send off to my laser guy. It was then that I started going through each page again (the plans are pretty complicated, with options that necessitate different parts combinations), and I noticed there were several gears that I hadn’t drawn up. So, I headed back to the office and fired up AutoCAD again and spent another couple of hours drawing up the rest of the parts. Even if a final part isn’t made of ply, the laser will make a perfect router template. The two gears that the weights hang from to give it a 2:1 were especially important, both mechanically and aesthetically.
I’m making one entire set of gears out of white oak and another out of walnut, so I can mix and match every other gear to hopefully give it some contrast. I’m thinking about making the dial ring out of one complete piece of mahogany, then laser engraving numerals into the clock face. We’ll see. Even though I’m still in the drafting phase, doing things like intersecting perpendicular bisectors have really taken me back to my drafting classes in college. The gears aren’t recommended to be finished, because it can gum up the works, so the look of the ply will be the finished look. I may ask Mr. Boyer if I can pre-finish the ply before cutting it out, thereby ensuring there is no finish on the mating teeth. Part of me feels like I’m cheating with this laser thing, so I may have to still make a clock by hand. The only reason I thought of the laser option was because I have to make some close friends a wedding present, so I thought I’d kill a couple of birds with one stone.
Kim said that we should make a bunch of these and sell them at the local craft store (she always uses “we” in the strangest situations, i.e. we should put new shocks on the pickup). That’s when I had to tell her that would be violating Mr. Boyer’s design, and I can only make them for family and friends, non-profit. I thought that the fact that this subject came up was very interesting because it’s been the topic of conversation here on LJ’s and Marc (TheWoodWhisperer) asked Darrell Peart the very same thing in his online interview.
The good news is that I seem to be able to draw the gears up (we’ll only truly know if the clock runs properly), but if this is a success, then I’ll be working on the celestial calendar gears this winter when work slows down. So, still no actual woodworking, but progress has been made. Hopefully, I can cut up some ply today.
-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails