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Preparing for shipping and the development of the Operations Manual - June 2022

This month the clock is being prepared for shipping. Buchanan has also created a set of videos to help me unpack, reassemble and set up the machine.

    The main crate with the clock is shown in the first photo. Notice the careful way the main machine is packed. It is surrounded by a steel cage that has clear plastic on all sides. The plastic performs two important functions. First it keeps any dust and particulates off the machine. Every crate is filled with particles from the sawing of the wood to the packing materials. If the artifact is not somehow protected, either with a plastic surround in the case of a larger machine, or in a plastic bag for a smaller item it will coated in a layer of dust. I have learned this lesson the hard way.

Second, if an inspection is required by authorities they can see and test it, say for explosives, drugs, etc. without having to touch the metal. This avoids damage as well as fingerprints.

The entire cage is bolted to solid 1/4" aluminum plate. That plate is then floated on rubber shock absorbing material. A set of videos was made to show exactly how to unpack and remove the cage.

The next photo is the second crate containing an additional thirteen small crates that contain the various complication modules and other pieces that will have to be reassembled upon delivery.


Here the main crate is being readied for final assembly. Note the white board in the background and the arrow pointing to the last inscription that reads "PARTY". There is a sense of relief that the project after so many years is at last finished!


Early in the morning of June 14, 2022 the two crates are loaded onto the truck and driven to the international shipper near Sydney. The second photo shows the box in the shippers warehouse being moved to its appropriate location. It will soon be on its way to the United States.

Operations Manual  

Buchanan sent a complete set of videos for unpacking and reassembly as well as instructions as to how to set up the clock to coordinate all the complications. Section one of the Operations Manual shows the assembly and use of the carry frame and initial setup of the main body of the machine with seven videos for the unpacking of the main crates (not shown). There is also another set of video vignettes on how to assemble the clock upon arrival found in section two. Section three describes the installation of the clock's complication modules. Section four has a set of video vignettes that demonstrate what is illustrated in the Operations Manual and is keyed by letter A through N.  I used these videos and explanations to create the fifty page Operations Manual for the machine (further editing is still in progress). This information is invaluable for one to be able to unpack, rebuild and set up the clock upon delivery. It can also be used in reverse order to disassemble the clock if it needs to be moved.

The videos here are simply a screen capture of a scene of each video. The actual videos will be on DVD and saved on my YouTube channel. The DVD will be attached to the Operations Manual for future reference for the next owner.

The video screen shots below make up section two of the Operations Manual under the chapter titled: Assembly of the Astronomical skeleton clock to the point of running and before installation of complication modules. 

00074. Install the balances

00073. Secure balance bearing caps

00072. Install escape wheels and escapements

00071. Install cross train drive, R/H side 

00070. Install spiral cross arbor, R/H fly governor 

00045. Secure balance cross bands to balances

00044. Secure balance springs and suspenders 

00043. Secure balance springs and suspenders, close up 

00072. Inserting escape wheels and escapement pallets

000047. Secure lower remontoire weight band to weight

00046. Secure upper remontoire weight band to remontoire sickle mount

00065. Secure strike/repeat weight 

00061. Install mean time dial

00060. Secure mean time dial hands; synchronize with strike train

00042. Secure balance balls 

00040. Start clock 

The video screen shots below make up section three of the Operations Manual under the chapter titled: Installation of the Astronomical skeleton clock's complication modules.

00068. Unpack calendar module

00069. Install calendar module

00066. Unpack Sun/Moon module

00067. Install Sun/Moon module

00064. Prepare tellurion dial, install drive wheel 

00062. Install tellurion dial

00068. Unpack tellurion module

00051. Securing Earth globe to tellurion module

00050. Securing Earth globe to tellurion module, pt. 2

00049. Install tellurion module

00048. Install planisphere module

00057. Unpack orrery

00059. Assemble misc. parts onto orrery

00056. Install orrery dial

00055. Install orrery


These video screen shots below, AA though N show how to set up the various astronomical and time systems of the machine. These make up section four of the Operations Manual under the chapter titled: Setting up the Astronomical skeleton clock. 

AA. Use of the demonstration keys

A. Sun/Moon dial

B. International time dial

C. Equation of time dial

D. Setting celestial train to midnight

E. Setting calendar to trip at midnight

F1. Setting calendar - leap year calculator 1

F2. Setting calendar - leap year calculator 2

F3. Setting calendar - leap year calculator

F4. Setting calendar, remaining dials

G. Setting planisphere dial

H. Setting mean time dial

J. Setting orrery components

K. Setting strike sequence

L. Setting tellurion components

M. Setting to local time

N. Start the clock

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