Trying to cut small clock gears. - Router Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Default Trying to cut small clock gears.

I started a project years ago and made a jig for cutting teeth on 1/4" plywood that was a good quality. I decided to restart the project and only have smaller gears left to cut and bought what I thought was the same type of 1/4" plywood I used years ago. The new plywood doesn't cut well with some chipping and inner layer chips. I had seen a thin plywood called Baltic birch plywood and wondered if I should order that. I have tried several new very thin 1/8" bits and they all chip the wood unlike the old plywood I cut years ago. This new plywood just doesn't seem as solid as the old Material. I would appreciate any help.

Charlie

Last edited by clockwork; 10-14-2019 at 01:52 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:28 PM
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Welcome to the forum! Add your first name to your profile to clear the N/a in the side panel and so we'll know what to call you. Add your location, as well.

I use 1/2" Baltic Birch all the time to make Longworth chucks. BB has a distinct advantage over box store plywood in that there are no voids and all the layers are Birch, so it is very strong and a much higher grade product.

Art stores like Michael's have small sheets of BB in 12"x24" and 12"x12" in various thicknesses. I buy the full 5'x5' sheets at a local supplier but have used the small sheets many times in the past.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you David for the quick reply and especially for the information about Michael's! There is a Michael's close to me so I'll go check if they carry that plywood. These last 4 gears are small from 0.880" up to 1.82" in diameter and their center hole diameters are all different and smaller than the larger gears that all had the same size arbor hole of 1/2". I'll probably have to make a separate Jig that can manage the small diameter blanks for the gears and be able to change the pivot point size to the match the requirements. I guess the last point is making the shafts or arbors and I have an old small lathe that I need to refurbish and add a motor. The lathe is an antique but probably just the right size for my needs.

One last question -- would you think that Michael's would also have dowels that could be turned on a lathe?

Have a nice day,
Charlie
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 03:09 PM
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The last time I visited Michael's they had dowels, Charlie. So does Lowe's and HD. Take dial calipers with you when you shop dowels - they can differ as much as 0.020" from the stated size.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I will take some calipers to check the diameter -- been through that before. I haven't done any wood lathe work in years so I guess I need to do some cleanup work on my tools and get in some practice.

Again, thanks for that information about Michael's having that plywood. When I told my wife she said there are also other hobby shops here that might have what I'm looking for.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 12:24 AM
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Welcome to the Router Forums Charlie. Most of the woodworking stores will also carry BB plywood (Rockler and Woodcraft). Some of the HomeDepot and lowes also carry it in some locations.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clockwork View Post
........These last 4 gears are small from 0.880" up to 1.82" in diameter and their center hole diameters are all different and smaller than the larger gears that all had the same size arbor hole of 1/2". .......................

Have a nice day,
Charlie



I know this is a router forum, but I would use a Scroll saw for anything that small...
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 09:06 AM
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Welcome to the Forum
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-17-2019, 12:33 PM
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Glad you choose to join the fun. Good first question, well answered. I didn't reaize Michael's had the thin stuff.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-21-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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I know this is a router forum, but I would use a Scroll saw for anything that small...
James,
I do have scroll saws but with age I've developed a bit of a problem with my hands that won't allow me the accuracy needed -- I think. I built a rotary jig type device for cutting the gear teeth at exactly the right positions with a plate that allows the small router guide bushing to follow and cut the correct shape each time. My only real problem is I had started this project maybe 25 or 30 years ago and the plywood that I could buy was a much better quality at Home Depot and Low's. I restarted the project due to being a bit handicapped and needed something to help pass the time. I discovered that what I thought was the same quality of plywood was not even close so I ordered some Baltic Birch from Rockler that I hope is the same quality I found years ago. The fact is you could be quite right about the scroll saw. The last gears I need to cut along with the escapement are very small and I might be able to cut the wood to the correct size and trace the design on it and cut with the scroll saw and clean up with my jeweler's files or fine sandpaper.

I have two of the old Dremel scroll saws that use 5" blades with either the pinned ends or use the clamp-on ends for unpinned blades. What type of blade would you recommend? Cutting the teeth would require very tight curves -- not sure I have the ability to handle that but I feel the challenge might be fun. Routing the gear teeth has worked so far but these little fellows have me a bit stumped right now due to the quality of the wood -- always willing to try something different.

Charlie
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