My first attempt at clock building was a wooden gear design. I made a few partial designs, but was never able to build a fully functional wooden clock. My first working clock was my 3D printed SP1 clock. I designed several more 3D printed clocks and learned a lot in the process, but want to transition back to wooden clock designs. I am a lot more confident that my next attempt at wooden clock design will be successful.

My CNC router is a generic kit from eBay with acme lead screws and a Bosch Colt palm router. The cutting area is around 36" by 24" which seems sufficient for cutting any clock components including the frames. I struggled with backlash and machine flex until upgrading to ballscrews and an 800W water cooled spindle. I added an extra linear rail to stiffen the Y axis movement. It now seems perfectly capable of cutting wood gears needed for a clock. All I need now is more time to start building.

I feel that a CNC router is a great way to cut wooden clock gears. Many clock builders may be more comfortable using a scroll saw. I will try to be aware of any considerations that would be needed for both scroll saw users and CNC router users.

Below are some sample gears cut from solid wood. The blank on the left is glued up from solid wood segments and thick enough to make several gears. Each gear is separated from the blank on the band saw and run through a drum sander to smooth the surfaces. The spokes have large radiuses for using a spindle sander and roundover router bit. These parts were designed to minimize the amount of hand sanding required.

Stay tuned for more information



This rendering shows what a wooden clock based on SP2 might look like. The gears are larger with tooth shapes optimized for wood. The escapement was modified to make the pendulum proportional to the rest of the clock. The frame has a long central beam to support everything. There is just enough room behind the "III" and the "IX" for support columns between the front and the back frame.