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Solaris Wooden Gear Clock

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Project by GodofBiscuits posted 1442 days ago 9142 views 32 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is Solaris, a wooden gear clock designed by Clayton Boyer of Hawaii and built by myself. The gears are made of Baltic birch ply while the rest of the clock is constructed of Tiger maple. I used Bull’s eye Seal Coat Shellac with Transtint dye to pull out the figure in the wood. The maple I got had a faint tiger figure so I wanted to pull the figure out as much as possible. I then put on 7 coats of Arm-R-Seal sanding with 320 between coats. The finish was then knocked down with some 0000 steel wool to give it a beautiful satin finish. The gears are not finished so as to reduce friction between gears. I think my next clock, I will finish the gears to give them some protection and give the wood a warmer color but leave just the mating surfaces of the teeth without finish.

I entered Solaris in the Fine Art Woodworking competition at the OC Fair this last month and won second place in my division as well as two industry awards and second place in People’s Choice. I think it would have done better had she been judged hanging up and running as opposed to sitting on a table in pieces. I unfortunately was not able to hang it up myself so it wasn’t judged complete. I now know that next year I will have to devise some sort of stand or false wall that I can mount it to and have it show ready when I deliver it.

Plans for this clock and many other amazing clocks are available on Clayton Boyer’s web site at http://lisaboyer.com/Claytonsite/Claytonsite1.htm
I am currently working on three more of his clocks as well as a design on my own. Building this clock was a major challenge but an enjoyable challenge.

Here is a video of Solaris running for the first time.

Thank you for checking out my clock and feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I’m more than happy to infect the world with the wooden clock building disease. :o)

Jeffrey

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?





25 comments so far

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2162 days


#1 posted 1442 days ago

Dude, I’ve already got the disease, and it seems that Clayton Boyer has the cure. I’ve got the Simplicity plans, they’re drawn up in AutoCAD, and I’m going to have a CNC water jet cut cut out a set of plastic templates so I can crank out a few for wedding presents. I’m really looking forward to finishing one of the “easy” clocks, so I can make the Celestial Calendar. BTW, how does your clock keep time? Is it too noisy? Thanks…

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

View GodofBiscuits's profile

GodofBiscuits

94 posts in 1679 days


#2 posted 1442 days ago

The clock uses a gravity escapement. If you notice in the video I included, I have simplicity on the wall next to Solaris. The next two after Simplicity are Swoopy and Attempt. Where did you get AutoCAD drawings of Simplicity?

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?

View GodofBiscuits's profile

GodofBiscuits

94 posts in 1679 days


#3 posted 1442 days ago

Oh, and to answer your question… I wouldn’t hang Solaris in the bedroom unless you are a heavy sleeper. Her escapement is a little on the noisy side but for me, it’s a pleasant noise. :o)

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?

View Woodenwizard's profile

Woodenwizard

1058 posts in 1658 days


#4 posted 1442 days ago

Great Job! I am in the middle of building a wooden gear clock but am a little stumped as to how to finish it. Did you do the finishing before assembly or after. If after assembly how did you protect the gears or before assembly how did you deal with the areas that are glued together?

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View GodofBiscuits's profile

GodofBiscuits

94 posts in 1679 days


#5 posted 1442 days ago

I did most of the finishing work with the clock disassembled, finishing the clock assembled would have been a nightmare and a half. I did not finish the gears because I was worried about friction caused by the finish or the finish causing the teeth to stick to one another. I plan on using blue tape to cover the mating surface of the teeth on my next clock and finish the hub and spokes with Arm-R-Seal. Once the finish was applied, I assembled the clock a few more times to make sure everything fit and ran smoothly. You definitely want to finish your clock before you assemble it for the last time and also chase any holes you drilled so you don;t have any finish in there gumming up the works. I made that mistake so no I chase all holes well after the finish has dried.

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1719 days


#6 posted 1441 days ago

those wooden clocks never stop impressing me
great work , well done (one day….....)

thankĀ“s for sharing it

Dennis

View sras's profile

sras

3784 posts in 1733 days


#7 posted 1441 days ago

Another project that goes on my “list”! I hope I can be woodworking for many more years. Yours turned out excellent!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)

TopamaxSurvivor

14618 posts in 2279 days


#8 posted 1441 days ago

Nice work. any more tips? I want to do one of these clocks one of these days.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View GodofBiscuits's profile

GodofBiscuits

94 posts in 1679 days


#9 posted 1441 days ago

@TopamaxSurvivor Thank you, I would honestly have to say… Order the plans for the clock you want to build and study the snot outta them. If I had it to do over I would have start with a simpler clock than I’ve built here. It was definitely a learning experience and one that’s earned entry into Clayton’s Masochist’s Corner but I earned it with a lot of headaches and do overs. I have about seven gears sitting on the wall of my garage as reminders to take my time, be patient and not rush my work. I’m certain that’s not as much an issue with others but a great lesson learned for me.

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?

View ND2ELK's profile

ND2ELK

13495 posts in 2377 days


#10 posted 1441 days ago

Very impressive clock. Beautifully done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless
tom

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View TJ65's profile

TJ65

1354 posts in 1653 days


#11 posted 1441 days ago

Absolutely stunning.
I can only dream of being so perfect that the thing would actually work if I made one!!!!!!! :-)

-- Theresa, https://sites.google.com/site/tmj65treasure/

View toyguy's profile

toyguy

1358 posts in 2441 days


#12 posted 1441 days ago

Well done…..... I love the movement of this clock. Another project I must try sometime…Thanks for the links.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View rowdy's profile

rowdy

373 posts in 2046 days


#13 posted 1441 days ago

Amazing, just amazing. I am envious.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1190 posts in 2162 days


#14 posted 1441 days ago

I drew them up from the purchased plans very carefully with a digital Vernier caliper. What about finishing the faces of the gears, then doing the sanding, routing, etc. when milling the teeth? That would clean up the mating surfaces. BTW, I bought two sheets of cabinet-grade plywood, one walnut and one oak. I plan on cutting an entire set out of each, then mixing and matching every other gear so that there are two complete clocks with contrasting gears.

BTW, I started a blog on my clock-making process here.

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

View mcoyfrog's profile

mcoyfrog

2908 posts in 2198 days


#15 posted 1441 days ago

WOW now thats intense,,, I love clocks..

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

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

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