True Confessions from an Experienced Clockster, Part Two

Part Two of Bob's email today.  Bob built the Genesis clock, but he shares some excellent tips applicable to all designs.  My responses are in red.

Bob continues:  The only problem I had with Genesis per the plan was with the 4' dowel it called for. Locally, I find 3' but not 4'. I made a 3/8" square rod (walnut) and rounded the corners on the router table. I further rounded the top to fit into the pallet but left the bottom squarish to fit into the bob. It all looks great. I suspect the builder on your blog, aside from the shipping issue, probably couldn't locate 4' dowel.Look closely at the pendulums of some of the Genesis shown on my Flickr' link on my mainpage. You will see how some ingenious woodworkers solved that problem. They have added a link in the middle of the pendulum's shaft so that it can be made in two parts, and then press-fit together.

I thought I'd pass on a couple of crazy glue solutions. The 1/4" drill bit I have doesn't quite match up with the 1/4" rod that I buy. It makes the stationary arbors like on Genesis or Balance too loose. I have found that if I rub CA glue in the arbor hole and let it dry, it adds just enough extra thickness to make the arbor go in tight.This is a great tip. I have always recommended using spit - which expands the hole to the correct size for a press fit on the arbor. Water works too...for the sissies. Probably other glues would do the same but just have to dry longer. That technique has worked for loose arbor caps as well. Yes, you can spit on those too, but I like your CA idea, and it is probably better for most builders. The second "aha" moment was born out of laziness. On two separate clocks in adjusting the pallets I have sanded off a tad too much. Rather than cut another pallet, it works well flatten the offending area and then add a small rectangle of wood with CA glue and then reshape as needed. Genesis got that treatment as I did a careless job doing the adjustment and was faced with starting over.

As long as I am owning up to "screwups" there is a mistake that I made several times before I learned better. Your pendulums hang on a dowel with a groove. At first I thought that if a little groove was good, a deeper one was better. As it turns out, that just causes extra friction and causes clocks to stop. I have replaced a few of the hanger dowels which had too deep grooves and on Inclination actually filled the huge trough with epoxy. With so little friction needed to stop these mechanisms it is easy to run into problems and sometimes that involves learning what not to do.Now that's one I've never heard of. Thanks for 'fessing up. Stories like this really help me help other guys. Having the clock stop because of an excessively deep pendulum pivot rod groove would never have occurred to me.

I noticed that on Genesis you advised not finishing the wheels. I do finish mine but have a solution to keeping the teeth clean. I know you and Adrian, and no doubt others prefer to cut the wheels on the bandsaw so this wouldn't work. I prefer to cut wheels on the scroll saw which leaves the waste intact. I put the wheel back in the waste piece for spraying, plug up the arbor hole with a q-tip and spray away....finished wheels, clean teeth.I LOVE this tip! This one is a forehead slapper. Tips like this make me think "Why didn't I think of it!?!?" Brilliant idea, Bob! This is a "Must Share!" idea.

I loved the pictures of the roosters. I have listened to them a lot on your videos. I printed out the pages for Wee Willie last night. I think I'll cut a wheel or two after church.


Thanks for sharing this excellent information, Bob.