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How to Make a Wizard's Pendulum Clock

This is an interesting project that teaches you about clocks and how they work.

Did you ever wonder what makes the ticktock sound in a clock? And why?

That sound is caused by something called an escapement and there are lots of types of escapements. In this clock project we use a very simple mechanism called a single pin escapement.

This simplicity is what allows us to make a simple clock out of foamboard.

I also have a video tutorial on how to make this clock at the bottom of the page.

The template for this project is right here





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Will's Tips on Creativity Are you interested in the creative process and how a project like this comes about? The path I took to make this project was quite interesting. I built three different clocks and went through a whole lot of drawings to get to the finished project. Yu can learn more abut the creative process I took here: The creativity of it: the Wizard's Pendulum Clock


About this Project:

This is a simple pendulum clock and while it doesn't actually keep time in terms of hours and minutes it does work exactly like a clock. It has three distinct parts that are important to clock making. First it has a weight that drives it and gives it power. Second it has a pendulum that gives it the accuracy of a clock. And third it has something called an escapement which keep the pendulum going and gives a rhythmic pulse that can be used to drive the time keeping portion of our clock.

Escapements are quite remarkable and I have more
about them right here: About Clock Escapements.

What you Will Need to Make this Project:


Note from Will: The Template and this tutorial is absolutely free! But would you consider a donation of $1 to support my work? Paypal makes it very easy and safe. Click here to donate $1 - Every little bit helps Will to keep making great tutorials and templates. Thanks!


You can simplify this project

If you want to make a pendulum clock that is simpler and easier you can leave out all the stuff with the moon disk. Then you will build just the pendulum and escapement part.

How long does this clock run?

It varies a bit but with a six foot string on it my clock runs a little longer than a minute.

How does this clock work?

The parts of the wizards pendulum clock

Let's take a look at the clock.

There is a weight on a string inside the clock. It is attached to the drive wheel. This weight pulls down and causes the wheel to turn.

This turning of the wheel causes the drive pin to push on the pendulum. It pushes it in a back and forth motion as the wheel turns.

And because it is gravity driven (via a weight) it will continue to work, not allowing the pendulum to slow down and stop.

And we have a second (wizardly) function on this clock. It is the moon wheel that slowly turns and displays the various phases of the moon. This works on the upper end of the pendulum.

As the pendulum swings one way the wire pushes on the flat side of a tooth. And as the pendulum swings the other way the wire rides up the slanted edge of the tooth without pushing or pulling it.

It is a pretty simple setup as far as clocks go!




NextOkay! Let's start building this clock!!! (continue)


Watch the video here:

Suggested Materials and Tools:

Foam Board

Elmer's 900802 Foam Board, White Surface with White Core, 20 x30 (Pack of 10)





Hot glue gunSurebonder PRO2-100 100-Watt High Temperature Industrial Glue Gun, Black

This is the exact glue gun I use for this project. It is a high quality professional type. Amazon does have more economical ones right here: Hot Glue Guns on Amazon.com





X-ACTO Z Series #1 Knife with Cap (XZ3601)





Paper clock
Make Your Own Working Paper Clock

Cut this book into 160 pieces, glue them together, and have a paper clock operated by weights that keeps perfect time and can be rewound and regulated.





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