Fabrication of dial work, compilation of work December 2012 through May 2013 - June 2013, part 4                        

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Buchanan continues with the dial work for the astronomical skeleton clock. In this section we decided to do a redesign of the orrery dial ring. We also complete the remaining ten dials. The rest of the dials as well as the redesign of the orrery are all now monochrome, or black and white.

This close up of the orrery ring artwork shows three dial indications. To the left are the planetary identifications from the innermost planet of Mercury to the outermost, Saturn. Next in the middle are each planet's orbital period in years and then to the right the orbital diameter as compared to Earth's orbit. Earth's orbit is defined as one Astronomical Unit (AU). The zodiacal houses are also represented with the slightly eccentric ring indicating ecliptic.

In this photo all the way to the left are numbers indicating the mass of each planet in terms of the Earth. The  mass of the Earth being 1.000 Me. The redesigned orrery ring has no color, but preserves all of the information of the old dial. We used the same zodiacal figures as that on the planisphere dial and so this will add unity between the two. All of the artwork and mockups for the remaining dials was accomplished in December of 2012.

The artwork is then mounted to the curved plastic backing and inserted into the wooden mockup bezel to check for fit and appearance.


Sun and moon rise and set dial, approx. 3" diameter, and equation kidney cam dial,  approx. 2.5"



Calendar dials. All of these dial rings are about 1.5" or 4cm in diameter, the last, the leap year indicator a mere 3/4", 2cm.

A full sheet of dial artwork.

This is the full compliment of the mockup dial work ready for shipment to the Chinese enamellers. The large sector dial is to be made into a pair, while the small sector dial will be four.

Several photos of the dial makers preparing the copper blanks and first stages of enameling to prepare the white background.



The clock with the full compliment of dial work. It's hard to tell what is real and what is painted wood mockups! What you see here is actually 90% real. The entire movement is fully functional. Only the orrery, tellurian, dials, bezels and of course all of the behind-the-dial work is yet to be made. This is a good time to remind the viewer that this clock is not as large as it seems to covey from the photos. The base is only 20 inches wide.


The completed dials with Bob, his wife Shirley and Mr. Gao.

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