Madrone Geneva Movement/Clock

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 06-12-2015 08:11 PM 1346 views 1 time favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made the brass Geneva movement back in 1967 when I was an apprentice and had it screwed to the steel plate it is now mounted on…only now it has bearings in the plate and a 5 rpm motor driving it. The Geneva Movement is the the mechanism used in motion picture projectors to move the film one frame at a time. I found this wrapped up in a rag with my old precision tools and wanted to make a fitting place for it. The plan included a clock and I wanted it to be in one block of wood. I have some process shots I’ll post below.

The clock is a 1.5V DC Atomic clock that is set by radio frequency from Colorado. I put a rechargeable battery in it and an onboard charger so if the power goes out, it will run for 3 months by itself. The face of the clock is maple burl and the markers are shell casings. I have 38 specials in the 12,3,6, & 9 positions and 22’s in the other 8 positions and the 22’s have not been fired so there is no mark on the rim. I parted them on the lathe and drained the powder out. The glass is non glare type. The switch on the back controls only the motor for the movement.

The Madrone case is 4” x 5 1/2” x12”. The base is also Madrone wood and is 5 3/8” x 6 3/4”. It is finished with wipe on Poly and three stage buffed.

The bottom shot shows the cord bushing, all the cracks I had to fill and the gussets where I saved a little bit of the red madrone bark. I was going to have it on the base all around, but too much of it fell of. I dried this block in the microwave for a whole day- 2 minutes at a time and it cracked severely. I was lucky they were all on the bottom.

Here are some process shots:

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

24 comments so far

View ZAGREB's profile


438 posts in 1067 days

#1 posted 06-12-2015 09:30 PM

perfect as allways

-- bambi

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3800 posts in 3011 days

#2 posted 06-12-2015 11:16 PM

so Kewl I love clocks

The grain is awesome, I’m going to have to look up genevo movements and learn more about them

thanks for the post such a great clock

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Mean_Dean's profile


4928 posts in 2564 days

#3 posted 06-13-2015 12:01 AM

Very interesting clock! Would love to see it in operation—any chance of a video?

-- Dean

View kiefer's profile


4873 posts in 2084 days

#4 posted 06-13-2015 12:35 AM

Nice clock Jim
Good to see you finished the project that you started back in 1967 but then you don’t want to rush something special like this .
I think I understand the clock mechanism but the word ATOMIC scares me a bit but in your hand I am certain it is safe .
A link I found explaining the Geneva movement

Thanks and take care

-- Kiefer

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21459 posts in 3268 days

#5 posted 06-13-2015 12:42 AM

Nice job Jim and a good piece of engineering as well.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16763 posts in 2522 days

#6 posted 06-13-2015 12:44 AM

Thanks for the nice comments. I was fascinated by it the first time I saw one. Dean I made video of it but it won’t load on here for some reason. I did find this video of the movement in action so you can see how it works. As one shaft makes a full revolution, the other one make a 1/4 turn or indexes 90 degrees.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

9324 posts in 3469 days

#7 posted 06-13-2015 01:10 AM

Super COOL clock & story!

A clock with all of the features to make it a complete No Hassle clock!

Cool workmanship…

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

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4527 posts in 1930 days

#8 posted 06-13-2015 01:32 AM

Very very nice Jim

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View BobWemm's profile


1723 posts in 1343 days

#9 posted 06-13-2015 02:51 AM

Just gotta love that mechanism, and the Clock.
That is a great combination.
Thank you for sharing with us.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

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3804 posts in 2240 days

#10 posted 06-13-2015 03:14 AM

Don’t think I’ve seen one like this Jim, great news it’s now seen the light of day, revisiting the past can drag up some very pleasant memories at times :)
can’t wait to see the video of the movement, well done Bud

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

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8664 posts in 2285 days

#11 posted 06-13-2015 04:04 AM

I don’t know much about clocks but this is beautiful combination of clock project and bandsaw box.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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5049 posts in 1460 days

#12 posted 06-13-2015 04:16 AM

Hats off to you for holding on to a treasure from the past Jim. I like the idea and choice of the one piece of wood for the housing. Building clocks was my favorite pass time years ago. I’m sure it was a fun build. Nice touch with the 38’s and 22’s. I should use some of my 38 shells on a project only I keep forgetting. Nice job.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2751 days

#13 posted 06-13-2015 09:02 AM

I like it a lot Jim. Unique and interesting and beautiful wood to boot.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16763 posts in 2522 days

#14 posted 06-13-2015 10:39 AM

Thanks Joe, Randy, Bob, Pete,Ivan , Dave and Mike!!
Here are some images of the madrone trees. They are red and just stand out so nicely in a green forest.
Mode detail n this pretty tree:

Hi Pete. I wish I could post the video of this one, but it came from my camera and Lumberjocks says it is in the wrong format. Maybe I can get Rick to help me put it on You tube and then I can add the link.

Hi Dave, I have made a lot of clocks and they all have batteries in them and they all stop after a while and I have to change the battery. I found this rechargeable battery with the plug in charger at Klockit and put it in here so maybe I’ll never have to mess with the battery!!

I also found a box of digital clock circuits that I built using 7 segment LEDs when I was building clocks before the LED clock became available everywhere. I’ll have to design some wood case for them too.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2284 days

#15 posted 06-13-2015 04:07 PM

Josh, this is so beautiful. This is really nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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