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  1. #1
    The title comes from a regular feature of my model engineering club where members can show projects in progress or finished. I'm posting here because I made passing reference to one of my projects in another thread. Someone asked me about it but I didn't want to clutter up that thread with that info.

    I have to start by saying that I almost never make reference to work I do on my machine as very little of what I do would be of interest to others. However, it occurs to me that it might encourage other people a bit to know that a CNC router or similar isn't always about glamorous, flashy, bits of work. They are great, of course, but the bulk of the jobs I do with mine are much more mundane - but do you know? It's really useful to have a machine to help you do the boring, ordinary, stuff as well as the odd "good enough to put on the wall" projects. In the same way that I posted about my router - it looks like a crock of s**t but it works - it might help others understand just what machines like this can do and I'm all for encouraging people to jump in at the deep end.

    Anyway, first project 'cos that's the one I was asked about is a wooden clock. Hands up on this one - I bought the design from someone else as the requirement arrived in the workshop a couple of weeks before Christmas and there was not time to design/develop something of my own. The design I bought was this one, one of a range of clocks from this designer. Again, because of time constraints I bought the high-grade plywood and hardware fittings kit from the same guy, although there is nothing particularly exotic about any of it and I have even found at least one source of the "aircraft-grade" plywood not too far from me. I bought the design as a set of DXF files for all the CNC-cut components, loaded them into Vectric Vcarve (not Fusion 360 this time as it is all pretty straightforward 2.5D toolpath stuff) and generated gcode for my machine, I had already bought a couple of brand new cutters especially for it to try to avoid any tearing or splintering on the ply, and in fact this stuff machined really well. Even then I made another little whoopsy in the CAM phase. I watched the machine start cutting pieces from the first panel and though to myself, "that seems to be going quite fast." Then I looked at the Mach3 screen - target feed rate was 60000mm/min. I had overlooked the fact that Vcarve, when you are setting up feed rates, has a drop down box for units. I had not noticed that this defaulted to mm/sec - and I had set it to 1000. Very conservative as I wasn't sure how this stuff would cut, especially with a lot of detail for things like gear teeth - but in fact it topped out at my machine's limit of 5000mm/min and didn't bat a eyelid. So, I learnt something there.

    Cutting the clock parts is actually quite quick. I won't mention the fact that I carefully set the tool to one corner of the work to work coordinate zero but forgot to then hit the zero axis buttons on the Mach3 screen. Whoops - I wasn't going to mention that... Anyway, I found some lesser quality ply in the workshop to make a replacement of the gear wheel that was spoiled but took the opportunity to modify the design slightly so that the spokes are actually in the form of my grandson's initial. Nice to have personalised it.

    Assembly takes rather more time - although a second one would go faster. Actually setting up. tweaking, adjusting, etc, took quite a long time. It was probably nearly two weeks before I had it running reliably and keeping fair time (it gains around 3mins per day, which is probably about as good as technology like this will get - if I want better I buy a quartz clock from a market stall for a couple of quid). Clocks are very sensitive to friction and getting the bearings just right, adjusting the pallet shape where the pallets pick up the teeth of the escape wheel, etc, took time. In the end I actually read up on the characteristics of this kind of escapement to better understand just how to adjust it, but it runs pretty well now.

    Just to prove that it does exist and run (and you can tell it's mine by looking very carefully for the wheel with the initials as spokes!) It's fixed to a temporary board just so that I could hang it on a door - in the first couple of weeks it was up and down on a regular basis for adjusting. Sorry about the background noise on the video clip. Other people put all sorts of different background music on (which I have to admit often has me reaching for the mute button...) but this background was the television and completely accidental Your turn to reach for the mute button, guys!

    My wife likes it enough that I shall be building at least one more, the next one having a bit more fancy wood and some nice engraving. That will be a lot easier now I know (more or less...) what I'm doing.
    Last edited by Neale; 07-02-2020 at 11:26 PM.

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Neale For This Useful Post:

  3. #2
    JAZZCNC's Avatar
    Lives in wakefield, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 17 Hours Ago Forum Superstar, has done so much to help others, they deserve a medal. Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 8,279. Received thanks 1,427 times, giving thanks to others 105 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    Should rename this thread " Show n Tell " so others can do the same.! . . (And I'm not taking the Piss either..Lol)

  4. #3
    Hey, if you can't take a joke you shouldn't have joined! Anyway, title modified. Join in, guys - this is just the place for the "it might not be pretty but it does the job!" projects.

  5. #4
    That looks ace Neale, you've just reminded me about these clocks and the desire I had at the time to make one once my machine was up and running so thanks for sharing.

    To embed video in a post its: [v i d e o]YOUTUBE URL HERE[/v i d e o]

    No spaces in the word video though.

    EDIT: We do have a Woodworking Project Showcase section and one for metalworking too.
    Last edited by Lee Roberts; 06-02-2020 at 11:46 PM.

  6. #5
    Lee - I had a quick look for a category that was more relevant but obviously missed it. Feel free to move this, though, if that makes sense and before too many people find it!

    I don't often post links to videos so just took the route I knew. I'll try to remember the proper way for the future!


  7. #6
    That's really spooky Neale. Guess what clock I made first? Not that surprising perhaps, many people have commented on how mesmerizing the Sextus design is. Mine is just made from the bog standard ply from the local hardware, It's a 1900Km round trip from here to the nearest shop with anything better.
    I've put a couple of videos below. Please feel free to laugh at the machine that made it. There isn't much of that little beastie left in the current version.

    I'm also using the rather splendid 'Gearotic' software from Art Fennerty, original creator of MACH3, to design gear trains for my own electric clocks. Weight driven wooden clocks are an interesting project but have the problems of having to be wound every day, are innacurate and the weight (3Kg-ish) tends to distort the frame and stop them working after a while. They're also expensive to send through the post if you don't want the recipient to have to source their own lead.
    The third link is to a video I've linked before. This is the prototype of an electric clock which can be locked to either a quartz crystal or, as shown in this video, a GPS receiver which means it runs with absolute accuracy. My current problem is how to make wheels (heaven forbid you use the word 'gears' in the presence of an horologist!) out of hardwood rather than mere ply. Whe the grain is tangential to the wheel the teeth tend to chip while being cut so I've bought a bandsaw and made a jig for cutting pieces for 12-piece segmented blanks that have radial grain all round.

    I realise there are specialist showcases elsewhere on the forum, but perhaps this is a good place to show off some of the smaller, less flashy stuff as Neale suggests and perhaps also take a relaxed attitude to veering off topic and chatting a bit. The MYCNCUK alternative to meeting down the pub after a serious discussion about choosing the right drivers for a new machine. Maybe Dean can bring the Guiness?

    Last edited by Kitwn; 07-02-2020 at 06:24 AM.
    An optimist says the glass is half full, a pessimist says the glass is half empty, an engineer says you're using the wrong sized glass.

  8. #7
    My most recent project, the reason the new clock hasn't got very far, is a table-top weaving loom for my wife. She already has a 70cm wide folding model made by Louet but wanted the 40cm version as well due an accute attack of OLAD (Obsessive Loom Aquisition Dissorder), a common afliction among dedicated weavers. Rather than force her to save up the considerable asking price I decided to build one for her as a Christmas present. It wasn't quite finished in time but is now working nicely.

    The design is a blatant rip-off of the original with changes to cope with it being a one-off DIY project without the fancy moulded parts and I changed the sizes of timber used to match the range of DAR Tasmanian Oak available from Bunnings Warehouse. One of the reasons for it not being finished in time was that production could not start until after a visit to Perth in November from which I returned with the car stuffed full of a 12 inch bandsaw and and a surprising amount of timber which left no room for passengers. The wife and her mother flew there and back anyway so I was safe!

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    An optimist says the glass is half full, a pessimist says the glass is half empty, an engineer says you're using the wrong sized glass.

  9. #8
    AndyUK's Avatar
    Lives in Southampton, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 2 Weeks Ago Has been a member for 4-5 years. Has a total post count of 434. Received thanks 92 times, giving thanks to others 42 times. Referred 1 members to the community.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitwn View Post
    accute attack of OLAD (Obsessive Loom Aquisition Dissorder), a common afliction among dedicated weavers.
    Oh god that sounds worryingly familiar. Despite wifey still being under 30, the number of weaving/beading/lace making related contraptions in the house seriously terrifies me.

  10. #9
    I made a BT30/ER11 drag engraving tool holder last week

    Ingredients List -
    A BT30 10mm Endmill Holder
    An ER11 chuck on 10mm shank turned to length and with a slot milled in the side for combined retention, rotation prevention and travel limit by the BT30 Endmill Holder's grub screw (screw adjusted to just allow vertical float)
    One spring
    A diamond drag engraving cutter from my Gravograph IM3 pantograph machine
    A dash of low strength Locktite for the Endmill Holder retaining screw.
    A drop of Way Oil on the ER11 collet chuck's 10mm shank
    You think that's too expensive? You're not a Model Engineer are you? :D

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AndyUK View Post
    Oh god that sounds worryingly familiar. Despite wifey still being under 30, the number of weaving/beading/lace making related contraptions in the house seriously terrifies me.
    Sounds familiar! Christie does weaving, lace making (I used to make bobbins for her to sell on her website), knitting (we live in the tropics!!), crochet, cross-stitch, quilting and occasionally plays the harp as well. Oh, and we're messing about with resin based jewellery as well. We're looking to retire to Tasmania in a couple of years but will need a large 4-bedroom house with a double garage just for the two of us to have enough room for our hobbies!

    Could be worse I suppose. At least we've never had any of those nasty, smelly, expensive child things.
    An optimist says the glass is half full, a pessimist says the glass is half empty, an engineer says you're using the wrong sized glass.

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