Strike and repeat control assemblies, racks - January 2011                         

Back Up Next

Astro 01-11.jpg (733190 bytes)

Astro 01-11 (1).jpg (127544 bytes)  Astro 01-11 (2).jpg (133987 bytes)

Last month B had drawn his idea of how some of the basic strike lever components might look like. However there was no provision for the complex repeat mechanism that must still be incorporated and the silencing feature. Therefor, before any further fabrication can begin, the entire strike mechanism must be incorporated. Shown above are several concepts with the overall general schematic in the first photo. The next two show subset drawings. The third photo shows the beginnings of an additional pair of fly fan assemblies that will be used to gently drop the two racks onto the snail cams. This is necessary since the snails will be delicately skeletonized out and the racks, especially the hour rack, are quite large and damage could result from the rack tail hitting the thin snail rim. Besides, what a great excuse for another piece of fancy equipment to mesmerize the viewer!

Astro 01-11 (3).jpg (675955 bytes)  Astro 01-11 (4).jpg (914433 bytes)

Now fabrication begins. The first parts are the cams which will serve to drive the seesaw mechanism that will raise the racks during the striking sequence.

Astro 01-11 (5).jpg (907208 bytes) Astro 01-11 (6).jpg (933048 bytes) Astro 01-11 (7).jpg (846278 bytes)

The first two photos show the rough out of the hour rack as well as the two circular blanks that will later become the hour and quarter snail cams. The third photo shows the first trial set up of the seesaw that will raise the rack during the strike sequence. The rubber bands serve in place of the final biasing springs At this point all of the levers are temporary. Once the proof of concept and decorative design is complete, the actual, steel parts will be fabricated and later heat-blued. The videos below show this operating.

Astro 01-11 (8).jpg (920146 bytes)  Astro 01-11 (9).jpg (906738 bytes)

First photo shows a close-up of the temporary seesaw device. One can see how this is driven off the heat-shaped cam shown within the hour rack cutout. The next photo shows the placement of the quarter rack.

Astro 01-11 (10).jpg (869076 bytes)  Astro 01-11 (11).jpg (876672 bytes)

The first photo shows the quarter strike seesaw. One can see that we intend to carry through our bird design as applied within the escapement. Next we see how much of the rack and strike lever components will be obscured by the tellurian dial.

Astro 01-11 (12).jpg (887097 bytes) Astro 01-11 (13).jpg (839472 bytes) Astro 01-11 (14).jpg (819762 bytes)

This is the last photo of the clock before it is dismantled to cut the last remaining plates consisting of the pendulum support brackets and the far right hand corner pillar. That pillar is shown in the next photo being shaped to its final design. Next the completed pendulum support structure. This was later redesigned to more closely follow the shape of the antifriction wheel supports within the escapement.

Astro 01-11 (16).jpg (838201 bytes)  Astro 01-11 (17).jpg (931935 bytes)

Astro 01-11 (18).jpg (865377 bytes)  Astro 01-11 (19).jpg (894246 bytes)

The clock is next taken to pieces to attend to some housekeeping issues including finding and correcting various tight spots. It now takes approximately three hours to tear down the clock to this level and a similar amount of time to reconstruct. I think B now understands John Harrison's travails with his repeated reassembly cycles during the creation of H1! However, while this machine is much more complicated, we do have a bit of an advantage over Mr. Harrison of nearly 275 years of technological advancements. But still, at this level, it always comes down to precision hand-craftsmanship.

Astro 01-11 (20).jpg (841590 bytes)  Astro 01-11 (21).jpg (934041 bytes)

Astro 01-11 (22).jpg (853712 bytes)

The movement is now reassembled and running. The front areas are now fully skeletonized. Look carefully at the last photo. The overall design of the clock displays a strong symmetry from left to right. However, look closely and you will see many subtle variations. For example look at the lowest, inside branch of each corner pillar. Both hold similar wheels but are completely different in shape from each other. The lower frame structure reflects a classical design serving as the foundation. Moving upward it morphs into the curvilinear organic forest of ivy shaped appendages supporting a forest of wheels and visually stimulating mechanical fascinations. There is still a set of wheels contained within an ivy shaped frame to travel across the front lentil supporting the escapement wheel assembly.





  Astro_01-11_vid , Astro_01-11_vid3 , Astro_01-11_vid4 , Astro_01-11_vid13 , Astro_01-11_vid14 , Astro_01-11_vid16 Astro_01-11_vid19 , Astro_01-11_vid23

Back Up Next