Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wind-Up Clock

Name of Model: Lego Clock
Created by: Don Rogerson (62 Bricks)
Found at:
Details: Coaxial rotation is one of those concepts that used to constantly stymie Technic fans. Specifically, those of us who likes clocks. Surprisingly, while I've blogged a working grandfather clock before, I've never pointed out how hard it is to solve this problem. Or is it? In recent years, we've seen LEGO designers make frequent use of the once-rare transmission gear to allow multiple different speeds to be transmitted on the same axle. New for 2010, we even have a bevel gear that sits loose on an axle. To build clock hands, it's particularly useful to use that transmission gear with plates with toothed ends (if you have some, that is - few molds from when LEGO liked that "toothed" system are still in production now. There were issues with the sturdiness of the parts, and the newer parts that replaced those elements are much more reliable).

Of course, all of these parts and issues from the past few decades can be worked around by using vintage parts. The earliest LEGO gears, released in 1965, don't connect firmly to Technic axles. They work with Technic axles, but these gears actually were around first. Not only do these work nicely for coaxial rotation, but since they're large enough to be used as clock faces anyway, you can also just build a hand directly onto one and use it as both a hand and the face of the clock.

That solution is clever enough, but this builder upped the ante by powering this with wind-up motors. The result is an analog clock that can really be wound. Follow the links above for video, photos, and more details (including some information on the escapement).

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