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Member postings for Alan Charleston

Here is a list of all the postings Alan Charleston has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Machinery's Handbook
17/03/2017 06:16:10

I've got my Grandfathers 1914 Fifth Edition which I still use. Tapers, threadforms, involute gear cutters etc. don't seem to have changed - I hope.


Alan C.

Thread: John Wilding 8 day Weight Driven Wall Clock
17/03/2017 06:09:12

Hi Russell,

Thanks for that. Just to clarify, does the Q factor of 10,000 applies to the pendulum alone - without the crutch?

Also, pardon my ignorance, but is the amplitude the horizontal distance the pendulum travels or is it the angle it moves through?

Another couple of extra questions,

I have had the pendulum oscillating with the crutch and pallets operating the freewheeling escape wheel. The pallets made the escape wheel rotate backwards. Does this mean I've got the pallets about right?

I haven't attached the wheels to their shafts yet. John Wilding recommends Loctiting them in place but I think I would prefer to slit the arbors and fit collets to compress them onto the shafts as he recommends for attaching the crutch to its' shaft. I can then adjust them to where I want them to sit easily. Is there any reason why I shouldn't do this?

Thanks again,

Alan C.

15/03/2017 22:43:08

Thanks Stephen - Just what I wanted to know.



15/03/2017 06:27:45


After waiting for weeks my 0.2mm slitting saw finally turned up so I have been able to cut the slots required to get the pendulum installed. It's amazing how the suspension spring lets the pendulum oscillate for a couple of hours when it's set in motion.

I now need to install the crutch. The book gives the dimension of the slot which goes around the upper block as 3/16" which is the same as the upper block. In my case, this has resulted in a tight fit. Am I right in thinking that it should be a loose fit with the slop taken up by the adjustable shim? If so I'll file the crutch slot out.

Does anyone have any photos of the way the upper block fits into the crutch?

I've made the pallets, so once I've got the crutch sorted out I can look at putting everything together and see if it ticks. Exciting times indeed!


Alan C.

12/02/2017 21:45:33

Thanks for the help. One of the problems I struck was that the book says that the line GH shown in drawing 2 should pass through C and between F and D. It doesn't specify how it should pass between F and D. I have therefore drawn GH such that it passes through a point midway between F and D and generated a drawing of the pallets which I have printed and glued to a piece of 1/16" brass. I'll follow Bob Stevensons advice and see how I get on.

Thanks again,


12/02/2017 00:42:12


I wonder if someone can help me with the pallets for this blasted clock. The method for marking them out using a depthing tool shown in Wilding's book is too complicated for me so I have been trying to simulate his method using a drawing program to generate a paper pattern I can glue onto the carbon steel blank. The problem I have struck is trying to understand the situation shown in drawing 2. As I understand it, the pallets are supposed to cover 71/2 teeth on the escape wheel. As far as I can see from drawing 2, the pallets cover 8 teeth and appear to lock the escape wheel so it can't move. Any help will be gratefully received.


07/01/2017 05:31:27

Thanks for the link to Cobb's site. My problem is that I am in New Zealand so getting stuff here could be expensive and slow.

Alan C.

06/01/2017 05:33:42

backcock2.jpgHi all,

Thanks for the help. I got stuck in and have made the back cock.


The plate connecting the two pieces of angle was silver soldered and the pendulum post was soft soldered into position. I'm pretty sure it will be strong enough.

I haven't slit the post for the pendulum yet as I don't have the .006" spring steel or a 0.2mm slitting saw.

I can source some .006" spring steel shim plate locally. Will this be OK for the suspension spring?

I will order some 0.2mm slitting saws from CTC Tools. At $2-50 each I'll get a few of them I think. The thinnest saw I've used to date is 1/16" so any suggestions about things to watch out for will be welcome.

Here is a picture showing where I am at the moment. The wheels and pinions haven't been loctited to the arbors yet. I want to have the pallets in position so I can see the whole train before I set them in their final positions.


Thanks again for your help.


Alan C.

02/01/2017 20:08:57

Hi Dick,

Thanks for the information. It's just as well I asked for help instead of charging ahead on my own. You are right about me using the old (1990) book. I have made the lantern pinions. I'm the same as you with regard to a mixture of imperial and metric.


Alan C.

02/01/2017 06:11:07

Hi Stephen,

I'm at the stage where I'm starting to look at the pendulum and escapement and I have a number of questions.

1) Is the arbor which supports the pallets and crutch 3/16" diameter with 3/32" pivots? I can't find any reference to it in the book.

2) I can't find any dimensions for siting the pivot hole or the holding screw holes in the back cock which supports the arbor. Are these not critical?

3) I can't make head or tail of the crutch. Do you have any photos of your one? Is the angled bit at the bottom of the crutch separate from the shaft and if so how is it joined. What are the two 10BA holes for? How does the top of the shaft connect to the collet?

A lot of questions I know. Wilding's book is driving me crazy with the lack of dimensions on the drawings and the poor explanations on how to proceed. This is supposed to be a hobby - i.e. fun! Not much of that at the moment.


Alan C.

31/12/2016 03:11:34

Thanks Stephen.

Thread: Hi from Papakura in New Zealand
30/12/2016 06:13:00

Hi All,

Thanks for the welcome.


Alan C.

Thread: John Wilding 8 day Weight Driven Wall Clock
30/12/2016 05:54:25

Hi again Steven,

I've just noticed on your 3rd photo that the collar on the right of the centre arbor doesn't rotate in the side plate. I've reamed the hole on the front plate 0.150" for this arbor. Have I got the hole on the front plate wrong as well?


Alan C.

30/12/2016 05:44:32

Thanks Steven. That's just what I was after.

I'm not sure how far I'll get. I faffed about for a week getting ready to start drilling the pivot holes in the plates, and then made a mistake on the very first one! I drilled the centre wheel pivot hole 3/32" instead of 1/16". I think I'll leave it and add a collar to the shaft to hold it in place.

If I do manage to finish it I'll maybe put together a couple of general assembley drawings and post them for others in the future.

Hi Dick. Have you made the shell? If so, did you use silver solder to join the two halves?

Thanks for all your comments.


Alan C.

29/12/2016 07:08:18


Has anyone built the John Wilding weight driven 8 day wall clock?

I started one 10-15years ago and struck a problem so I set it aside to think about it. I'm getting old and if I don't get stuck into it now, I may never complete it. I think I've resolved the problem I had initially, but I realise I'm not sure where all the bits go in relation to each other as there are no GA drawings in the book and the photos aren't much help either.

I'm particularly interested in pictures looking down into the clock showing the escapement and pendulum supports.


Alan C.

Thread: Hi from Papakura in New Zealand
29/12/2016 06:54:39


I've been mucking about with steam engines for the last 10 years or so and have made about a dozen or so of them. They all work OK but my only attempt at making a Stirling engine (Manfreds 2-90M) failed so I suppose my skill level is only average.

The first project I made was actually Gallileo's Escapement by John Wilding which I successfully completed. About 12 years ago started on his 8 day weight driven wall clock. I struck a problem and put it aside to have a bit of a think about it. A couple of weeks ago I started on it again and have realised I'm not sure where all the bits go in relation to each other as there are no GA plans in the book and the photos don't show the crucial bits.

Up till now I have been a member of the HMEM website but they don't deal with clocks much. I see that this site does so here I am.


Alan C.

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