Clockmaking and Associated Techniques

My first intention on setting up the workshop was to make a clock.  I had no idea where to start.   As an alternative I thought instead that I might build a Morse Code Key for my amateur radio interest and from this found William Smith’s site which combined the making of clocks and Morse keys.

William Smith published a wealth of information in the form of books and videos on both these subjects.  Not only did he detail how to make these items but he also went into detail on the tools that would be needed and how to use them.  I was immediately hooked and bought the whole of his information library.

This lead to an immediate expansion of the workshop facilities and tooling many of which readers will recognise on my asset listing.

Having read up about his clocks, I left the Morse Key idea for the time being and started building Bill’s Gearless Gravity Arm Clock.   It was perhaps not the simplest of designs to dive in with but it had the attraction of having an electro-mechanical element.   There followed some long hours leaning how to cut wheels and make fly cutters.

By chance I spotted that the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors were having their Annual Convention in Chattanooga.  This was only 2 hours up the road from where Bill lived with his wife Judy.  It was an opportunity not to be missed and I duly arranged my flights and stay.  As a result I had the enormous pleasure of meeting Bill & Judy in person and spending a few hours in their company.   Sadly Bill died the following spring but his legacy lives on with his web site and with Judy continuing to support his many product sales.

The clock is now finished and with the help of Paul, my brother-in-law, it has a nice case around it.  More details are given on this project elsewhere on my site.

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