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Synchronicity Clock

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Project by DickB posted 409 days ago 1938 views 8 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Synchronicity is an exposed wood gear clock with a novel drive mechanism. Like one of my previous clocks, it uses an electromagnetic pendulum drive. A rare earth magnet is hidden in the back of the pendulum. As it swings past a coil hidden in the clock’s back, a battery-powered circuit detects this and injects a pulse of current, repelling the magnet and giving the pendulum a push. A microcontroller measures each and every swing of the pendulum, and slightly speeds up or slows down the pendulum as needed, so the clock keeps perfect time.

I used Baltic Birch for the wheels (large gears) in previous clocks, but this time I wanted to give the gears more character, so I used 7/16” oak. Blanks were made up from eight pieces of oak wedges. I glued together four wedges at a time to make halves of the blanks, then sanded the sides of the blank halves to be glued to each other together. This corrected a slight error in the angle of the wedge cuts. The blanks were then raster carved to produce the hub and spokes, and the teeth vector cut.

The clock was entered and won a recent Carvewright contest. All of the parts were designed using the Carvewright Designer software and machined using the Carvewright CNC machine. Only a 1/16” ball nose carving bit, a 1/8” straight cutting bit, and a 60 degree V bit were used.

Most of the gears ride on brass bushings made of hobby brass tubing, but key parts such as the ratchet wheel and second hand shaft, and pendulum, are on bearings (like RC car bearings). A cam at the pendulum pivot is used to drive the moving pawl. This limits the travel of the pawl, regardless of the angle of swing of the pendulum, the latter of which is varied to regulate timekeeping.

The clock was designed to be a wall clock, but Carvewright intends for the contest-winning projects to travel to trade shows and the like. So I built a stand for it for more convenient display. I also built a shipping box to ensure the clock could travel safely. And I made a video for the contest, to highlight features of the clock and illustrate some of the design and build process:

http://youtu.be/bJhiP7XDl0Y

A variety of woods were used: mahogany back, oak wheels and pawls, maple frame and pinions, pine face and pendulum, hickory bob and stand, and walnut hands. No stains were used, just three coats of satin lacquer, the final coat out of a spray can.

I have a few tweaks to make to the design to make the clock a bit easier to build. Once I do that, I intend to put the design into the Carvewright Pattern Depot for others to build. (Sorry, Carveright files use a proprietary format, so it is not possible for me to convert to DXF for other machines.)

-- Dick, http://www.carveshop.com





13 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15462 posts in 1472 days


#1 posted 409 days ago

This is great. I love these types of clocks. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- 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

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112002 posts in 2183 days


#2 posted 409 days ago

Very cool a wonderful and unique.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Sanding2day's profile

Sanding2day

923 posts in 452 days


#3 posted 409 days ago

Incredible! Wish I could tell you I understood half of your posting but this would be a falsehood… Amazing work without a doubt… Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4387 posts in 898 days


#4 posted 409 days ago

Very nicely done!

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

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

6915 posts in 1520 days


#5 posted 409 days ago

This has to be much fun to watch it operate!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

942 posts in 2413 days


#6 posted 409 days ago

nice work. Where did you find the circuit that imparts the pulse? I have designed my own circuit but, I find that mine is an energy hog and will not survive several months of battery power without a change. The gears will be an issue as soon as you cross weather boundaries during your travel. I have some experience here! I’d be willing to share my own experiences with you. Your call. Well done!

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

942 posts in 2413 days


#7 posted 409 days ago

View Diggerjacks's profile

Diggerjacks

1738 posts in 1744 days


#8 posted 409 days ago

Hello Dick

Congratulations for the piece and the patience

A fantastic work

I love all these types of clocks (a project like this in the future for me perhaps !!!)

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View DickB's profile

DickB

61 posts in 925 days


#9 posted 409 days ago

Thanks all!

HorizontalMike, you can see it run in the video.

Max, your clocks are amazing! I design and build my own electronics. This clock is not as efficient as I would like. I think it will do better with a stronger magnet and a double coil. That is one of the tweaks I plan to try.

-- Dick, http://www.carveshop.com

View Surfside's profile

Surfside

3054 posts in 779 days


#10 posted 409 days ago

This is truly a work of art! Jaw dropping gorgeous.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View TheTalkingGrape's profile

TheTalkingGrape

266 posts in 463 days


#11 posted 408 days ago

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

3279 posts in 1473 days


#12 posted 408 days ago

It’s hard to say something clever. It’s so amaizing that I’m speachless.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View mcoyfrog's profile

mcoyfrog

2923 posts in 2200 days


#13 posted 408 days ago

Way cool!!! Very intense design, I dig it, and I love clocks…

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

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