Toucan Wooden Clock

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Project by johnstoneb posted 09-10-2012 03:49 PM 10398 views 9 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a Clayton Boyer designed wooden clock. I just finished. I was going to give it to my son and his wife. It is kind of plain. I am going to build another using some hardwoods (domestic and exotic) to add some color. This is all out of Baltic Birch plywood.
This is the second wooden geared clock I’ve built. The lessons learned on the first really helped on this one.

Boise, ID

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

15 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2197 days

#1 posted 09-10-2012 04:30 PM

Very nice job—this is one of those things on my “bucket list,” but will probably stay there for awhile, at least until other things are done. Thanks for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View luv2learn's profile


2723 posts in 2208 days

#2 posted 09-10-2012 04:53 PM

Bruce, great job!! Cutting the teeth on all of those gears can get tedious but you conquered :) Your choice of Baltic birch for your first clock project was probably a good one.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View RussInMichigan's profile


600 posts in 2686 days

#3 posted 09-10-2012 06:12 PM

Nice clock.

You can add some beautiful color and get rid of any plainness you see with dyes or veneers. Baltic birch is an ideal substrate for either the dyes or the veneers. You could add color to any of the components, but use a bit of caution with those parts that require close tolerances like the gears.

By the way, what name did Clayton gave to this clock, and how is this one powered?

Thanks for sharing it.

View johnstoneb's profile (online now)


2788 posts in 2078 days

#4 posted 09-10-2012 07:48 PM

It the Toucan and it’s electromagnetically powered. When I build the next one the frame and gears will be baltic birch I will probably stain the frame but leave the gears natural, then use hardwoods for the base ,face ring and some of the other parts.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Cygnwulf's profile


30 posts in 2028 days

#5 posted 09-10-2012 07:55 PM

I love the walking escapement on that one. One of these days, I’ll build one of Clayton’s designs….

-- Stephen H -- If it ain't broke, it probalby still needs fixing....

View DickB's profile


66 posts in 2224 days

#6 posted 09-12-2012 03:10 PM

Nice job! I designed and built a similar clock. I’m curious about the Toucan escapement – it appears that if the pendulum swing is too small or too large, the escapement won’t work – can you comment on that? I would also like to compare notes on the drive. I use a more complicated circuit with a microcontroller, with the advantage that it regulates the pendulum and keeps accurate time.

-- Dick,

View johnstoneb's profile (online now)


2788 posts in 2078 days

#7 posted 09-12-2012 04:59 PM

You’re right about the escapement and pendulum swing. The cam is adjustable and will compensate for some excess pendulum swing.
The pendulum has a fixed bob that you can see in picture 5 with a fixed magnet mounted in it and then it has an adjustable bob partway up the pendulum that you screw up or down for adjustment. I currently have it adjusted to where it is gaining less than a minute in 24 hours. It will take a while but should have it to where it is very accurate.
The drive on this consists of 2 windings an inner sensing coil and an outer impulse coil, an NPN transistor, a diode, and a 9 volt DC power supply.
That was probably the hardest part winding the coil to my standards and soldering the components in.
I may have seen your clock online. When I was looking at this clock I was also looking at other electromagnetic drive clocks and did find one that used a microcontroller to regulate the clock.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View DickB's profile


66 posts in 2224 days

#8 posted 09-12-2012 05:37 PM

Thanks Bruce! I had trouble with the varying swing of the pendulum causing errors at first, but evolved the design to a cam on the pendulum pivot that results in limited movement no matter the angle of swing. I started with a two-transistor single coil circuit but it wasn’t reliable for me so I came up with two other designs, one with the microcontroller. Both are single coil. I have seen one clock where a microcontroller was used to trigger the coil current, but it did not regulate the pendulum. If you are able, please post or send me a link to the one that you found.

I’m working on my next clock which will have a second hand. Someone adapted Toucan for that, but I’m planning a bit different approach.

-- Dick,

View Rob Mammen's profile

Rob Mammen

67 posts in 2597 days

#9 posted 09-15-2012 01:37 AM

Very nice job. it should look even more beautiful using contrasting species of wood. Nice Work, Keep it up.

-- Rob, You have failed if you have not tried.

View jc8952's profile


17 posts in 2051 days

#10 posted 09-21-2012 06:21 PM

Nice clock Bruce!

I think the Tucan is next on my list. I have already built a Simplicity ( ). Making a clock is a lot of fun.

View johnstoneb's profile (online now)


2788 posts in 2078 days

#11 posted 09-21-2012 06:52 PM

I am building another Toucan right now using some different woods. I think my next one will be either the simplicity or the 6. I need to talk to my daughter se which she likes best.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Tornado78's profile


5 posts in 1616 days

#12 posted 10-10-2013 08:01 PM

I Like!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20091 posts in 3010 days

#13 posted 10-12-2014 09:31 PM

That is so cool!!!!!!!!!Nice job on it!!..............Jim

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

View toyguy's profile


1617 posts in 3742 days

#14 posted 11-29-2014 12:04 PM

I have never built a wood gear clock; but I have been looking at them the past few days. It was nice to find this old thread at LJ. Answered a number of my concerns about the drive mechanism. I have now put the Toucan plan on my Christmas list. Looking forward to building this marvelous little gem.

-- Brian, Ontario Canada,

View bushmaster's profile


2699 posts in 2187 days

#15 posted 04-11-2017 02:20 PM

Impressive project, infact all your projects are impressive.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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