How to make wooden clock gears

Written by darby stevenson
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How to make wooden clock gears
Whether your design is old-world or purely contemporary, a handmade wooden clock is one of a kind (wooden clock image by dwags from Fotolia.com)

Wooden clocks can be a beautiful addition to any home. Making your own wooden clock in the shop, moreover, can be a challenging and rewarding project. Because the main component in any clock is the gears, you're going to be making quite a few of them. Instead of drawing directly on the wood, make or print a paper cutout. If you are constructing a clock from a kit, it may already include cutouts for the gears.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Graph paper
  • Small awl
  • Band saw
  • Wood
  • Drill
  • Sandpaper

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Draw your gear template out on graph paper, print the templates from your clock instructions, or cut out the template that came with your clock kit.

  2. 2

    Glue the template to the wood for your gears. If the gears are going to be visible, glue the paper to the unexposed side.

  3. 3

    Use an awl to punch a small hole just above the centre of the line between each of the gear's teeth. This will guide the drill.

  4. 4

    Select a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the space between each gear tooth. Drill holes through the spaces in the locations marked by the awl.

  5. 5

    Carefully cut the gear out using the band saw. Because of the drilled holes, you should be able to cut straight down to finish making the spaces between teeth.

  6. 6

    Scrape off the paper template with a chisel or scraper. If there is any remaining paper or glue, gently sand it off.

  7. 7

    Inspect the gear for any inconsistencies and sand out the rough spots. You will probably want to hand sand this part to make sure you don't remove too much wood. If you have any other gears already finished, test the new gear against the old ones to make sure they move smoothly.

Tips and warnings

  • Depending on the size of your gears, you might need quite a small blade for your band saw.
  • Be extremely careful when making small cuts such as these using a band saw.

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