Making a Clock Cannon Pinion – Part 1

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  • #49644
    arutha
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    I am currently in the process of restoring an old English fusee drop dial wall clock. The movement and case are in a sorry state but the main problem is the cannon pinion is missing completely. This thread will show you how Daryn and I went about calculating what was missing and then making it.

    To calculate the dimensions of the cannon pinion –
    D.O.C = Distance Of Centres – 23.40mm – The distance of centres is the distance between the minute wheel pivot hole and the centre arbor pivot hole (as the centre arbor sits inside the cannon pinion).
    We then need to find the “module” by taking half the tooth count of the minute wheel, half the tooth count of the canon pinion (there is a 1:1 ratio between the minute wheel and cannon pinion and as the minute wheel has 40 teeth then so too will the cannon pinion have 40 teeth), which gives us 40.We take 23.40 divided by 40 and this gives us a module of M=0.585
    Daryn knows from previous experience it is best to round down a touch on most clocks apart from old English longcase clocks which like a fraction more play so the module is then rounded up a fraction.
    We settle on a module of 0.575 and this is now used to work out the diameter of the missing cannon pinion wheel by multiplying it with the number of teeth on the missing wheel plus 2.71 so 0.575 x 42.71 = 24.55mm.

    We now have the missing information we need to get started.

    First we find a piece of suitable brass close to the same thickness as the minute wheel to mark out the wheel blank. You can use engineers blue for marking out but a permanent marker does the job well.

    The wheel blank was rougly cut out on a band saw and then we drilled the centre hole so the wheel blank can be fitted to a mandrel for tooth cutting later. We just need to make sure the mandrel isnt bigger than the finished size hole.

    The wheel is now mounted to the mandrel and turned to its finished diameter of 24.55mm.

    Daryn has the luxury of a lathe almost permanently set up for wheel cutting. The wheel blank on its arbor is now transferred to this lathe and the lathe can be set up and the cutter fitted ready to cut the teeth.
    I am posting up some pictures of the lathe set up so you can see one method for cutting wheel teeth.
    Daryns lathe is set up with “direct indexing” which just means he can fix different count plates directly to his headstock spindle and as you can see from the first picture there is a brass bar fitted to the back of his lathe with an indexing pin fitted through the top to fit into the holes in the plate.

    This lathe has its own milling head which can also double up as a drive unit. A pully mounted in a drill chuck is fixed into the milling head and this drives the cutter spindle which is mounted to a vertical slide.

    The arbor used for holding the wheel blank for cutting has the end cut to a point. This makes things much easier when centering the cutter. If this is not done correctly you end up with a wheel full of off-centre teeth. We now also colour the outside of the wheel blank with ink, the cutter only forms the gaps between the teeth so we will now be able to see when the cutter has gone deep enough and formed the teeth correctly as there will not be any ink left on the tips of the teeth.

    Here is the wheel after the tooth cutting process is completed –

    In part 2 we will be making the pipe and rivetting the two together.

    #63075
    gerene
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    • Topics Started: 16
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    Thanks Paul and Darryn for this explanation and pictures. Nice luxury setup!

    Jan

    #63076
    oldmantime
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    Yes thank you. Very good information and images.
    Oh, to spend a day playing in that shop!!!

    Peter

    #63077
    arutha
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    • Topics Started: 85
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    Thanks Jan and Peter :)
    Daryn has a fantastic workshop and I do feel very lucky to be being taught by him.
    Part 2 to follow soon :)
    Paul.

    #63078
    bernie weishapl
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 58
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    Good stuff Paul. Nice shop setup.

    #63079
    willofiam
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 75
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    Daryn and Paul, thanks for posting this, of course I knew you were working on this BUT while reading this I had an idea 🙄 (oh boy, not again) For my own experiment I will use your measurements and make a cutter to see if it turns out a wheel like the one you made, once again just trying to prove this cutter making process. Cant wait for the rest…great job ;) , see yah soon. William

    #63080
    arutha
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    • Topics Started: 85
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    Bernie – Thank you, Daryns set up, not mine :( I am kind of replicating it in my own workshop :)

    William – Good luck with that and don’t forget to post up here how you get on with it. I am glad this forum is giving you something to do, I hate to think of you sitting there twiddling your thumbs ;)
    Paul.

    #63081
    bernie weishapl
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    • Topics Started: 58
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    Yea Daryn told me you are a copy cat. 😆 😆

    I actually got to meet him online on the clocksmiths forum. I thought I recognized the name when he answered on of my questions on pivot polishing. Just thought I would let you know. He is a good guy with lots of knowledge.

    #63082
    daryn
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 2
    • Total Posts: 97

    Thankyou for the compliments Bernie, you’re making me blush!
    If anyone has any questions about this feel free to ask…..
    Daryn

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aruthaMaking a Clock Cannon Pinion – Part 1