Reproduction Longcase Clock
Part 3
The barrel assembly is the next step. As far as 'parts-
is concerned it's certainly the most time consuming:
there are typically 11 parts separately made for each barrel.
Here you can see the assembled products>>>>>>>>.
Before I bought my Logan lathe I had to cut the barrel
threads on my friend's engine lathe.

The time side great wheel has 96 teeth (a common number
of teeth for this type of clock) which needed to be divided
equally using the semi-universal dividing head I have. I ran
into problems, though, as I tried to work out the
division.....there was no provision for 96 teeth (see
wheelcutter for the way around this problem).
The time & strike barrels fully assembled
Now I move into the upper trains for the strike and time. I
started with the time side first. Up until now, the gear cutting
has been done on brass - a soft and relatively free cutting
material. Here, however, I must begin to cut pinions, which
are made of hard steel; homemade fly-cutters are no match
for this material. This is a job most easily accomplished with
true pinion cutters: made specifically for pinions which are  
beautifully manufactured. I can see using these cutters on a
future reproduction Vienna Regulator or, I guess, any clock
that employs a deadbeat - or better - escapement, where a
crisp, clean profile is desired.

The center arbor is certainly the most difficult to make>>>>>>
it has the extended pivot through the front plate which (we'll
see later) will integrate with the motion work. It also
incorporates the decorative taper as you can see. But where
is the pinion???

It is customary to harden & temper the pinions, but if the
pinion is part of  the arbor you run the risk of warping the
arbor during the quench (especially the long center arbor).

As much as I am all for tradition in most all clockmaking
matters, I'm not opposed to using Loctite here to secure a
separately cut pinion to the center arbor. In the heyday of
clockmaking (specifically: anytime before the 20th century
when it was an
actual industry and not an obsolete craft as it
is today) the clockmaker had access to pre-drawn 'pinion
wire' (which is no longer available) which came from suppliers
in all sizes, thus avoiding having to ever form a single pinion
leaf on an arbor.
So who's cheating??  I am, of course, because I'm the sucker
who's trying to re-create the past with no access to pinion
wire, and no industry to cater to..So........
yes, my friends....  
...I'm only cheating myself
Back to Home
Center arbor (before pinion attached) and center wheel