Handy tools for you clock guys

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  • #49772
    dave booth
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    Here is a “quick and dirty” wrench I made for adjusting hands in modern clocks (typically, Hermle, Urgos, and Keinnenger). The minute hands on these clocks have a brass bushing with a square hole in the center. Occasionally, you will run across one that does not line up exactly with the center of the time marking when the chimes or strike go off With this wrench, it is a simple matter to turn the hand slightly on the bush, to get it to align exactly.

    I used a piece of 3/8″ cold rolled for the handle, because that is what I had handy, but the important part is the wrench itself. All it is , is a “cut” nail – you know, those square ones used for nailing into concrete block, or installing flooring? They are super hard, and useful for all sorts of things, from home made cutting tools (just grind the end to the desired shape), to punches for mainsprings. I cross drilled the piece of stock with a bit just large enough to set the nail al the way through, then drove it in until it was tight. A cutoff wheel in the Dremel was used to whack off the excess on the fat end toward the nail head, and then I just ground it down flush on my bench grinder.

    #63674
    dave booth
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    Here is an assortment of cutting tools made from those same nails. The photo was taken by placing my camera lens against the back side of a slide projection lens. Each tool is about1/32″ wide at the business end.

    I suppose you could make gravers from them, as well, but I make gravers by grinding the ends of old needle files. That way, I already have a handle on the other end.

    #63675
    dave booth
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    One of the most important jobs in clock work is pivot polishing. To properly do that, you really need a runner. Here is one that I made from some old brass stock I had laying around. First I turned off a round piece and center drilled it. Using a screw through the center, I mounted it on the drill press table, and drilled series of graduated holes around its circumference I then tightened a nut on the back side of the screw, and chucked it in the lathe by the screw thread, and turned the work piece down to 1/2the diameter of the holes Then I made a piece to fit in the tailstock of my lathe, and mounted a piece of flat stock on it. I drilled it, and filed a slot in the flat stock, so that the runner could be adjusted up and down slightly, secured by a #6-32 thumbscrew. In this particular photo, the pivot is set to be polished from below, because at the time I just happened to grab my right hand burnisher, but if you have a burnisher of the proper “hand” you can just as easily mount it to work down hand. (That is the third wheel out of a Seth Thomas type 41 movement)

    #63676
    dave booth
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    • Topics Started: 6
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    Here is another photo that shows the runner from a better angle.

    #63677
    dave booth
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    Several years ago, I had a Junghans clock come into the shop on which someone had tried to “fix” a balky strike by reducing the size of the fan. In order to make a new fan, I needed a die to form the groove for the fan arbor. So I clamped two pieces of square key stock together, and drilled a hole through them exactly at the joint between them. Separating them, I then used the shank of the drill bit as a male die. I was able to sandwich a piece of sheet between them, and with the drill bit sandwiched in also, I simply whacked it a few times with a 12oz peening hammer. Here is the fan, stamped, and ready to be cut down to shape, and drilled for the spring retaining wire. I purposely left the brass sheet oversized in both dimensions, so that I could cut it to size exactly perpendicular to the groove, and not have to worry about trying to get it all aligned while I was beating on it.

    #63678
    Bob Tascione
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    • Topics Started: 38
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    Hey Dave Great tips!
    Thanks a lot for posting these up here.

    Bob

    #63679
    dave booth
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    • Topics Started: 6
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    Here is another handy tool I made several years ago. I can’t recall now just what I was tryning to clamp, but it was something nthat had to be clamped tightly, and my 2″ machinist parallel clamp was too big. So I hied myself off to my local Lowes, and dug through the specialty Fasteners section drawers until I came up with these items: A pair of woodruff keys, two pieces of #4-40 threaded rod, two #4 tubing spacers and two #4 hex coupling nuts.

    The most difficult part of making the clamps was drilling the woodruff keys for the clearance holes. I cheated a little bit by using a really heavy center punch, and by “milling” a small indentation for the drill to start, using a round cutter in my Dremel. (I wrecked two HSS bits doing that part. ) I drilled a pilot hole with a #60 twist drill, then opened it up for clearance in each jaw, and for threading in the opposite jaw. Were I to do it over, I’d turn the keys over, and do some careful layout work, so I could drill perpendicular into the flat surface of each.

    I used a pretty liberal coating of nail polish on each piece of threaded rod, and ran the coupling nut down while the paint was still wet, so that the coupling nuts became the hand nuts for tightening the jaws.

    After I made the clamp, it was still too big, but a little filing took care of that problem.

    Total construction time start to finish, not counting the trip to buy the parts, was about an hour.

    (The hand screws don’t look parallel in the photo because of some sort of weird foreshortening, but trust me, they really are parallel to one another)

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dave boothHandy tools for you clock guys