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Author Topic: How to make a working clockwork  (Read 6344 times)
AstroidMint
Swab

United States United States



« on: August 05, 2011, 03:46:55 am »

I don't know how to get old windup pocket watches or how to turn them into a working clockwork figure/creature.
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Matthias Gladstone
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United Kingdom United Kingdom


Call me Ishmael


« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011, 09:49:59 am »

You can get cheap pocketwatches on ebay, amongst other places; as for making clockwork figures, that's a real challenge - it depends on exactly what you're trying to achieve, but anything half decent is going to be tough to do. What did you have in mind?
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sidecar_jon
Snr. Officer
****


« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2011, 08:24:44 pm »

Clockwork motors are available...notable Mecano did some...
http://meccanoman.co.uk/catalog/index.php?cPath=83_85
or ready made into toys ... http://www.traditional-tin-toys.co.uk/tin_toy_manufacturers.shtml
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Fellow of the Victorian Steampunk Society


« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2011, 11:39:56 pm »

Music box movements and fittings are also widely available, from wind up to hand crank versions. They are well worth exploring, just Google "Music Box Movements" half a dozen sites will pop up (Deans are good) and the American sites literally have a hundred or more tunes for the wind up versions. Remember the keys rotate and you can harness that rotary movement, as well as those designed for the eponymous ballerina.

More complicated automata generally now use several electric motors, with plastic gearing, this is how for example a Billy Bass operates. You can gut a small electronic 'walking' toy of its motor and gears (usually a single unit) and harness the motion from those, usually easier and more controllable than a clockwork, although I have done both.

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Proudly giving the entire Asylum The Finger!
Mr. Phikset
Gunner
**
United States United States



« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 12:06:13 am »

Or you could go hurtling off the deep end like me and work on getting a clockmakers lathe and gearcutter to make all your own gears...
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When asked how long something will take, always tell them longer than what you think it will take.  That way if something goes wrong you have time to fix it and if everything goes smoothly then you look like a miracle worker.
 - Scotty
Will Howard
Zeppelin Admiral
******
United States United States



« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 01:10:39 am »

Mr. Phikset, have you really gone off the deep end?  Oh, my!
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"I'm a Barbarian by choice, not ancestry..."
AstroidMint
Swab

United States United States



« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2011, 07:14:40 pm »

I think i will just make a music box that looks like a spider. I need to know how to make or buy some music boxes though.
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Mr Peter Harrow, Esq
Zeppelin Overlord
*******
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Fellow of the Victorian Steampunk Society


« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2011, 07:43:59 pm »

You can buy a music box movement from any number of websites, the movements are about 5cm x 6 cm x 2.5cm, for the smallest. There are three different types of mechanisms keywound, the most common music box movement, wind up and play for a minute and a bit, with a wire'trap' which starts /stops it,  handcrank where you have to crank the mechanism to get it moving and pullstring, you pull the string which winds the clockwork. Potential with the last for your music box spider, you may have it able to climb up the string.

The US music box sites often have a playable audio sample. You can check out the tunes available before hand. Some of them are attractively brassed which means that you might want to put in a transparent window to show the mechanism working (the pull strings are mostly sealed units though). One option would be to have the wire trap operating off one of the legs so that in repose it stops the music box, pick it up though and it releases the trap and starts playing.

Note movements are very quiet if you play them without placing them on a surface, they need this to resonate. The handcrank I just modded to a larger brass handle (cut the small handle to make a straight shaft, get a tube fill it full of epoxy putty, let it set, drill hole all the way though, size the hole to the new handle and glue) is about 10 times as loud inside the box it is fitted to after being attached. It plays "You Are My Sunshine"
Brass jewellry box hinges, and clasps are readily available, I have some fitted to my iPhone case.

None of this is so expensive as to be unaffordable and you should be able to get everyhing for about $15 (movement, hinges, clasps) plus p&p.
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