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How To Make A Clock In The Home Machine Shop – Part 17 – Making The Regulator And Suspension Post

How To Make A Clock In The Home Machine Shop – Part 17 – Making The Regulator And Suspension Post

G’day Chris here, and welcome back to Clickspring. In this video I make a start on the pendulum
assembly by making the regulator and the suspension
post. The suspension mechanism for the pendulum
is an interesting bit of low tech, given that its based around a fine cord of
silk. Its a simple and elegant idea. The silk thread catches a hook on the end
of the pendulum, and then threads up through the suspension
post to the Regulator above. The regulator shaft can be rotated to wind
up the thread, which adjust the effective length of the pendulum, and a set screw locks it in place. There’s some depthing and layout work required
to locate the rods in the rear plate, some more custom screws to be made, as well as a perfect opportunity to introduce
some rope knurling to the clock construction. So let’s get started. Wildings construction plans specify brass
rod for both the regulator and the suspension post, but I’ve chosen to make them from drill rod
instead. I think the contrasting materials will look
excellent together, and given that its quite a tough steel, it should have a greater ability to resist
marking and wear than the brass. The regulator shaft needs a small indentation to accommodate the set screw that holds it
firm, so I formed that feature first. And with that complete, I formed a dome shape
on the other end with a graver. Next up is the suspension post which needs
a short thread formed on one end to screw into the rear frame, and the same sort of domed shape as the regulator
on the other end. Now both of these parts need cross holes drilled
for the silk thread, but the orientation of the holes for the suspension
post must be vertical for it to look correct. I can’t know that position until its inserted
into the frame, so next I need to mark out and then drill
the mounting holes. The hole positions are located relative to
the pallet arbor pivot hole, so I’m using the depthing tool to lay out
that first position on the centerline of the frames. So that’s the pallet arbor position marked
out, and although I’m not installing the pallet
arbor in this video, I do need to accurately transfer this location
to the back frame, so that I can use it to as a reference point
to mark out the holes that I do need. So I have both plates mounted on the mill, and I’m drilling all of the way through the
front frame, but taking care to just spot the surface of
the rear frame. By doing this, I’ve made a small mark that
I can use for the rest of the layout. In a future video I’ll open up a hole adjacent
to this position, to accept an eccentric bushing for the pallet
arbor. With the positions marked out, the lower hole can be drilled and tapped for
the suspension post, and the upper hole drilled and reamed to accept
the regulator. The upper surface of the suspension post can
now be identified, and the cross holes formed. A quick deburr of the holes, and I can leave these parts as they are for
the moment, while I move on to the regulator thumbwheel. Now in a previous video, I made a set of rope knurls and a bump knurling
tool holder, and this is one of the parts I had in mind
when I made them. A rope knurl is an excellent way to embellish
an otherwise simple part, and very easily give it a bit of extra character
and class. With the knurl in place, I drilled and reamed
the center hole, and then formed the rest of the profile by
hand using a graver. A light polish brings up the surface finish,
and the thumbwheel is ready to be parted off. Now I need to clean up that parted off surface, so I’m using a scrap of drill rod as a stub
arbor, and fixing the part in place with a spot of
super glue. With that surface cleaned up, the glue can
now be soaked off with acetone, releasing the thumbwheel, and then it can
be permanently bonded to the regulator post with some Loctite 603. And at this point I decided that a small brass
collar would be a useful feature to add to the regulator, to set the depth when its inserted directly, rather than relying on the set screw to pull
it in. So I turned that up next, making sure that the profile of the collar
would be a close match with the contours of the adjacent washer when
its installed. Again a great excuse for some more hand turning. A light sand and polish brought up the surface
finish, and then as for the thumbwheel, the part was reversed and mounted on a stub
arbor, to clean up the parted face. OK, so that’s the suspension hardware complete, now I need to form the hole for the set screw
that will hold the regulator in position. To form this hole, the rear frame needs to
be securely held at full length to the spindle. And you can see that its right at the limit
of what I can reasonably accommodate on my small mill. If the frame was any taller, I’d probably have to come up with an alternative
way of doing this on the lathe. I’ve got the work strapped down to a vertical
slide, and I’ve run a section of steel along the
upper length of the frame, to give it some extra rigidity particularly
at the top where I’m going to be making this hole. I’m using a piece of brass rod stock to help
locate the axis of the hole, and I’m leaving that in place while I drill
too, as a bit of extra protection against the drill
grabbing as it breaks through into the opening. That hole was then tapped, and the extension
marked out so that it could be reduced to its final dimension. And I’ve been keeping the matching extension
on the front plate, on the off chance that it might be useful
for holding the plates. But I don’t think I’ll be needing it from
here on, so that can come off completely. Both surfaces were brought to the line with
the belt sander, and then given a quick finish with abrasive
paper. Now for the fasteners. The set screw is a straight forward cheesehead
screw with the typical features you’ve seen for
the rest of the clock fasteners. But the rear pillar screw is the only fastener
in the entire build with a countersink head. This is to give more clearance for the suspension
thread to wind onto the regulator post, close to
the clock frame. Once the features for the screws were formed,
they were hardened, tempered and polished, and then heat blued
on a bed of brass chips. And that completes all of the components for
the pendulum suspension, so lets put them in place and see how they
all fit together. In the next video I’ll complete the pendulum
assembly, by making the hook, rod and bob. Thanks for watching, I’ll see you later. And if you’ve just made your way into this
clockmaking series, thanks for checking it out. This is just one episode of a longer series, where I show all of the steps to make a mechanical
clock from raw metal stock, so be sure to check out those other videos. If you’d like to help me bring you more project
videos like this one, then consider becoming a Clickspring Patron. As a patron of the channel you get access
to exclusive Patron only video content, free plans for the patron projects, and the chance to win the actual project at
the end of each build. Like for example this useful little hand vise. Find out more by visiting And finally, you might also like to consider
purchasing a Clickspring supporter pack. It includes a T-Shirt, Cap, keyring and a
bunch of other cool stuff. There’s a bit more information about this, as well as plenty of project plans available
at Thanks again for watching, I’ll catch you
on the next video.

Reader Comments

  1. Another great video from Clickspring! Whats the camcorder you are using to shoot you videos? They always look super nice

  2. Stunning work as always Chris! The project is really getting close to completion, do you have your next big project lined up already?

  3. I just watched all episodes, great work and a beautiful clock. Can't wait to see it all together and ticking. When is the next video arriving?

  4. I swear this is better than porn. How can such high quality exist on YouTube? And for FREE!!
    Dude, I just love you. Your content is beyond exceptional.

  5. This is the only channel on YouTube that I gladly disable my Adblocker, watch the full ad, AND click the ad. Love your work Chris, much respect mate.

  6. Chris, sending two employees/family members your way today! Going to Rockhampton for the International Brahman Congress. If you can, make sure they mind the time! Cheers!

  7. As always.. very satisfying to watch!!
    Why a silk thread? Why not a steel/kevlar,(something like that) thread?

  8. What's the difference between a drill and a reamer, and what's the objective when reaming a freshly drilled hole?

  9. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms already, need a clock making video fix! Excellent workmanship highlighted with a satisfying mirror finish.

    Pro camera work, angles and focus just tops off that artistic part in me, thank you for an exhilarating series.

  10. Beautiful work Chris, just Beautiful !! Well done, and welcome back, although I have yet to get the planes for this clock, hook or by crook I will be waiting for future instructions. With good wishes, Great work. Thank you, Regs Andrew.

  11. holy monkey, chris — your videos are amazing in all respects!! what is that amazing little hole-starting finger-drill you use after locating some of the smaller drilling positions?

  12. Hello friend,

    I have seen all the videos on your Chanel and cant wait for the next part (18th) of this video series. your work is amazing and motivating. I hope you will upload the new videos soon.

    You are an amazing artist and I'm your biggest fan.

    Good wishes and good luck.

    – Shreyansh Sharma

  13. In school for machining and decided to search for some videos. Without a doubt my favorite channel! I'm amazed at the quality and ingenuity of your tools and parts. Subscribed and enthralled.

  14. how long till the next trying to be patient but love watching your videos so much

  15. I love how when you're milling it looks like you're making some normal size parts, and than when you grab it your fingers look like giant hands and I realize how tiny the parts are.

  16. G'day Chris, Two things I don't like about your vids. #1-people who dislike (idiots), #2- you call yourself an "amateur" : )

  17. Part 13 At the 7:36  mark you are using what I think is a ratcheting screwdriver. What is the make of this tool ?I enjoy your video's very much, what is next ? Perhaps a Sanderson Orrery ?     Ralph McCoy

  18. Gotta admit, goosebumps were had while you were putting the parts together at the end. Thanks for documenting your work!

  19. Beautiful video and work Chris, I missed watching your videos and now I can't wait for another one! Cheers!

  20. This artist should have well over 169,129 subscribers. With videos and content like this, Clickspring should have millions!

  21. hi Chris,
    im sure you've been asked this thousands of times but what programme do you use to create your plans?


  22. So close! I can't wait to see the clock finally finished. I'll be watching the entire series again once that happens. Your production value is very good, and I find it very zen like. It's a great way to unwind, especially while the (rather enjoyable) side effects of my anxiety and depression meds leave me incapable of doing much except for sitting on the couch.

  23. I've posted how much I enjoy your videos before, but I thought you might like to know that I've since taken a lathe course, and I'm learning milling. I hope to do the Gyro project soon, as well as many other little projects.

    Following your Patreon build too. Keep it up, we all LOVE your work Chris.

  24. always wanted to build Harrison's first clock, but dont have skills or tool. You one the other hand could whip one up before lunch

  25. I'm a fitter and turner by trade although I only do it as a hobby these days. I am sooo jelly of your artistic talent Chris! … but you've taught me heaps! Thanks!

  26. Is there a worry that the 100% natural silk will come unwound after tying since it is basically just a bunch of tiny strands that aren't melded together?

  27. its really impressive how you're making really high quality videos of your own projects. These are really nice tutorial quality videos with b-roll and everything.

  28. All I thought I really can make a home clock by my self, but I found that I need a fortune to buy tools and high skill to do it, Great work, thank.

  29. i only just found your channel but i've always wanted to get into clock making so this is a dream come true for me

  30. Its really hard not to swear watching your videos. Mate, you are an Artist, an Engineer and a bloody legend!! Love the work and the videos. Please keep the fine work up!

  31. I love you videos so much. Can you make a video about the shop tools needed to start? i have a plasma cutter a tig welder a chop saw a bench vise and some hand drills…i need a mill and a lathe but i dont know the best options without spending lots of money. thanks

  32. +Clickspring – You my good Sir are an artist! Not just a machinist an artist! I could watch your videos all day. Keep up the good work buddy.

  33. why do you need to locate the drill bit with the wobbly drill bit first? is it to like zero your computer on your mill (assuming you have one) or something?

  34. Great video as always. I would love to see more in-depth narrative on the tempering of the bits, and maybe something (another project) on hand turning? I also like the collets you use, my first reaction was that it would damage the external threads of the screws you hold but it seems to do just fine.

  35. where can i learn this i am 16 and looking for a study and i realy like building stuf and i think something like this would be something i realy like

  36. You mention the frame barely fitting on your mill. Are you using a Sieg X2 or Sieg X3 mill? I'm about to buy my son his first mill (X2 from little machine shop) and want to know if it's big enough for this step.

  37. Won't the distance between the two holes in the lower steel rod change with temperature, and change the effective length of the pendulum?

  38. Chris, your work is spectacular and truly inspirational. I bought a basic lathe & mill & have acquired various associated tools over the last 10 or so years, with the intention of building a gas turbine, but all my projects so far have stalled. I think I now need to build a clock. It looks incredible. Thank you for producing these videos.

    Have you done much work with titanium? It's dark grey contrasts nicely with brass.

  39. Fantastic as always, Chris. God knows why in the hell anybody would thumbs down these videos… but at a ratio of 700:1, I think it's almost acceptable. Still, 20 odd people don't know what they are on about. Killing it, Chris. Amazing work.

  40. I'm thinking the thumbs down are for the same reason that I get so frustrated watching this…… "just shape it up with a bit of hand turning and a quick file and polish to finish it off" and BOOM, a perfectly flawless part machined to within .0005". This series is so perfect that I can't help wanting to see the more human side of "just a bit more here and……. F*#%!, ok, let's try that again on a new piece……." (and yes, this is the second time watching this series)

  41. how did you get into machining? looks very fun but i know nothing about it other than what ive learned on here and channels like this.

  42. Hi Chris, it would be great if one day you would make an elegant scroll clock by John wilding, I’ve just completed one and there’s plenty of interesting parts to make. I’m half way through making the large wheel clock, and thanks for the videos.

  43. I absolutely love the content, It's truly magnificent. But I gotta be honest, by this point in the build I'm watching most videos at 2x speed lol.

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