Monday, December 14, 2009

The Verge and Foliot clock escapment in wood

My appreciation and interest in clock mechanisms is growing all the time. Here's a wood version of one of the earliest of all escapements: the verge and foliot.

Wikipedia on the verge escapement:
The verge (or crown wheel) escapement is the earliest known type of mechanical escapement, the mechanism in a mechanical clock that controls its rate by advancing the gear train at regular intervals or 'ticks'. Its origin is unknown. Verge escapements were used from the 14th century until about 1800 in clocks and pocketwatches. The name verge comes from the Latin virga, meaning stick or rod.

Its invention is important in the history of technology, because it made possible the development of all-mechanical clocks. This caused a shift from measuring time by continuous processes, such as the flow of liquid in water clocks, to repetitive, oscillatory processes, such as the swing of pendulums, which had the potential to be more accurate. Oscillating timekeepers are at the heart of every clock today.

Here is a link to Wikipedia's article on the verge escapement.

[ Thanks Steve! ]


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Friday, April 24, 2009

Skeleton Clock with chronometer escapement

I'm no authority on clocks or clockworks, but you just have to love a large skeleton clock with all the exposed metallic mechanical finery. Here is a good example of what I mean. This clock happens to use what is known as a 'chronometer escapement'.

Here is a book on various clock and watch escapements with detailed instructions for making all types of escapements and for locating and correcting problems with them.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Del's wooden escapement drive machine

Del has shared with us a wonderful wooden machine he built around 1985. This is a nice example of a mechanism that converts reciprocating motion into circular motion via a ratchet mechanism. The really cool thing about his particular design is that it does not matter which direction you turn the crank -- the ratchet will always rotate in the same direction. Very clever.

If you would like to communicate with him directly, visit Del's YouTube channel.


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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Beautiful wooden tower clock with wood gears

Here's a nice video of a beautiful wooden tower clock. The clock was designed and built by Adrian Iredale, who was inspired in part by Clayton Boyer's wooden clock designs.


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Monday, September 22, 2008

Incredible Grasshopper Clock - The Corpus Clock

Incredible Grasshopper Clock - The Corpus ClockThis mechanical clock was unveiled at the University of Cambridge last Friday. Cosmologist Stephen Hawking was there to introduce what is know as "The Corpus Clock".

The clock was created by horologist John Taylor. He designed the timepiece as a tribute to English clock maker John Harrison, inventor of the first viable marine chronometer. If you want to learn more about Harrison, I recommend Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time.

The Corpus Clock has slits cut into its face behind which blue lights indicate the hour, minute, and second. On top of the clock is a mechanical grasshopper-like creature named "chronophage," meaning "time eater". The creature eats away the minutes with its moving jaws as the minutes advance toward it.

Here is an article on the clock. Here is another article on The Corpus Clock at Wikipedia.

Here is a video of the Corpus Clock.

[ Thanks Art! Thanks Aaron! ]


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