Sunday, April 22, 2012

Making Time

This blog has been inert for a while but only because I wanted to wait until I really had something special to post. And now I do. After a few industrious late nights and some DIY disasters that read like scenes from a crime novel - super glue in the eyes, sanding off my fingerprints - I have the first two prototypes of my cuckoo clocks ready for your enjoyment.

So here they are. My Meter Cuckoo Clock that uses a voltmeter to display the time and my Nixie Tube Cuckoo Clock that uses my old friend the nixie tubes to display the hours and minutes. The stylings are from the darkest, most gothic region of the Black the Forest - the mythical Wood of Kings.

The Nixie Cuckoo Clock

The Meter Cuckoo Clock

It's early days and there are still a few kinks to iron out but they're coming together nicely I feel.  Naturally there are a lot of people to thank who have got me this far.

Paul J. Jensen over at Tube Clock. Who has been a real inspiration and has shared his knowledge and has graciously re-purposed his own kits so I can get them to work with my cuckoo mechanisms. Mr Jensen is a true gentleman and a hands down genius.

Same shout out goes to the very clever Jared Boone over at ShareBrained Technology. As with Paul, Jared's excellent Chronulator serves as the real brains of my Meter Clock. In all honesty I should call it a Cuckoo Chronulator. Again Jared was also kind enough to adjust his kit to fit my designs.

Many thanks, you princes of men.

So thank you to both these smart men. And thanks also to my friend Rhys (wood worker extraordinaire) who knows more about wood than any human being I know. As to Andrew Beattie who in spite of being a terrible human being is very good with his hands - am I right ladies?

Thanks also to Martin Horspool a man who is nothing if not pure inspiration and a true artist. Check out his stuff at buggybot you'll be glad you did.

Also my fantastic sister who has let me turn her basement into a kick-ass workshop. Cheers Jeggie.

Last, but by know means least,  to my Dad who is a man who always has just the right tools and knows how to get the job done. Thanks Dad.

In building these projects I have spent the last year teaching myself the skills I've needed to get these projects to the level they are now. Woodworking, painting, mold making, electronics and design. It's been a wild ride and I must say there is a true joy to be had in making something with your hands and seeing it come to life. Yes their have been some spectacular failures along the way but when I see these clocks hanging on the wall my heart sings. They are one-of-a-kinds and I made them.

I can really recommend embarking on your own projects - satisfaction is guaranteed.

Right without too much more puffery here are some behind-the-scenes photos for your enjoyment.

Meter Clock Details

Nixie Clock Details

Insights into the Mold Making Process

Assembly and Design 


In Conclusion 

Right I think that's enough of that nonsense. It's been a great experience and it's not over yet...

Here's some older posts here about the evolution of these projects and more. A history of obsession I guess you could call it.  Thanks for stopping in. I've missed you. 

Project History

Projects A-Go-Go

Flipping Cuckoo (this completed project is coming soon)

Tempus Cuckoo

Still Cuckoo

New Year New Clock

Nixie Cuckoo Clocks

The Cuckoo Chronulator

"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly."