Wood Gear Clock

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by HighRockWoodworking posted 04-08-2010 09:12 PM 4687 reads 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Wood Gear Clock
I have always had a fascination with how things work. As a kid I drove my parents’ crazy taking things apart but it was part of learning. Even today I will look at something a wonder how it was made or how it works. For most things I believe that if someone else can do it then so can I, now I am not saying that I am smarter than anyone else, I believe for the most part that all of us can figure most things out if we try.

Around a year ago I was looking at a pendulum clock, I have always been fascinated with clocks but never understood how they worked. I started reading articles on the internet and learned the basics. I will not get into detail unless anyone wants more information but the most interesting aspect of a clock is the pendulum. The time it takes a pendulum to make one revolution is the same whether it swings one inch or twelve inches, the only thing that changes the time it take to make that one revolution is the distance of the pendulum its self. Because of this it is great for keeping time as you have a constant that can be used to release the gears.

The point of this article is not to explain how a clock works but what I gained from it. In researching I came across clocks made of wood…gears and all! Being a woodworker I was intrigued by this and decided to research more and found a web site called . The web site offers plans and kits for wooden clocks. I ordered a set of the plans and went to work.

It was a great project but the gears are very tedious so a scroll saw is a must. There were so many parts that I sent around three months just working on it a little at a time. The plans include full size patterns that I simply applied directly to the material to be cut with a spray contact glue, anytime you try this make sure to only spray one side or it will not come off later. After cutting and finishing all of the parts it was time to start assembly. This was not as difficult of a task as I had though as the plans were easy to read.

Because wood is so sensitivity to moisture and temperature it is not a clock you can just hang on the wall and forget about. It takes some time to get adjusted just run but I have it accurate within about a minute in twelve hours. It is a great conversation piece and it was great learning about how clocks work.

For more pictures of this clock visit my site at

Chris Adkins

-- Chris Adkins,

10 comments so far

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3768 days

#1 posted 04-08-2010 11:17 PM

This on my to list also… someday…

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View HighRockWoodworking's profile


182 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 04-09-2010 01:05 AM

No time like the present JM. It was a fun project, I still have the gear patterns and one of these days will make another with my own design. I have sketched a couple of ideas on incorporating the clock in with a cabinet that still shows the gears. I guess it is my turn to say…...someday….

-- Chris Adkins,

View Troy's profile


186 posts in 3089 days

#3 posted 04-09-2010 01:27 AM

A testament to your patience on a scroll saw. (I speak from experience). That project is certainly a great reason to go through such detailed work.

-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3321 days

#4 posted 04-09-2010 02:46 AM

Looks great Chris : )
I too have this on my to do list,
I think they are fascinating.


-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

View sras's profile


4811 posts in 3155 days

#5 posted 04-09-2010 04:16 AM

Congratulations on diving in and creating such a nice piece! I also have this on my list of things to do. I would eventually like to create my own design, but I think I need to find a set of plans (and time).

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View woodworm's profile


14468 posts in 3617 days

#6 posted 04-09-2010 06:20 AM

This project certainly underlined the level of your patience and skill – the benchmark that is too high for me.
Very very nice piece – Excellent!!!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Sivers's profile


44 posts in 3408 days

#7 posted 04-09-2010 03:16 PM

I have this same set of plans. I am still on my first gear, we’ll call it the practice gear because it is going to have to be redone as I am new to scroll sawing.

View CaptainSkully's profile (online now)


1600 posts in 3584 days

#8 posted 04-09-2010 03:58 PM

Very nice! I can’t wait to start on my Simplicity clock from Clayton Boyer. I’m probably going to have a fellow LJ cut out the gears with his laser, after I draw the gears up in AutoCAD and send him some wood.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View HighRockWoodworking's profile


182 posts in 3005 days

#9 posted 04-09-2010 10:47 PM

Thanks for all of the great comments. It was a experience and I would highly recommend for any others. Good luck to all of you and stop by my site for more pictures. I have several pictures of the side view that shows close-ups of the gears.


-- Chris Adkins,

View albachippie's profile


772 posts in 3061 days

#10 posted 04-21-2010 10:32 AM

This is amazing. You have more patience than I have right now! Definitely added to my favourites.

Welcome to Lumberjocks by the way!

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics