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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m building a pendulum clock and the picture shows some of the gears I made using a band saw and scroll saw on 1/4” thick Baltic Birch plywood. There is a good amount of sanding left to finish each gear and I wonder if there is a better way to make these gears. Would a router (table mounted or portable) be a better option to make gears and if yes how would you go about it?
 

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Doug
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You can cut gears with a router, the problems are twofold: you are limited by the diameter of the bit, and you need a pattern or a jig. I did some very big gears Gears, Gears, Gears on the CNC a while back, and it cut them out beautifully. I was then able to copy them on the router table.

If you haven't seen Mathias Wandel make gears, check out How to make wooden gears
 

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Sorta depends on the quantity of the gears you are making. For one-offs, bandsaw, scroll saw and sanding. For multiples, I have used pattern guides. Printed CAD type drawings, or downloaded drawings and glued those to some pattern stock, like 1/2" thick Baltic birch plywood and bandsawed and sanded to finish size. Then dowel pinned that pattern to the gear stock and used bearing guided router bits, or a pin-guided router, both on a router table.

My skill at making the gear pattern with consistent tooth profiles was wanting a bit. I eventually went the way of designing the gears in Fusion360 and sending the drawings to a vendor for CNC routing of the gear patterns. Then I did the pin-guided or bearing guided table routing of the multiple gears I wanted.

Lengthy thread/discussion w/photos here. I found it too easy to snap off 1/8" dia. bits, so stuck with 1/4".

Rick
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
While back I saw another similar video with a table saw cutting gears but to my experience this setup is prone to mistakes if you need to cut many gears of various size/pitch.

Mathias always has nice videos, very informative and clear

Obviously a CNC will be the best tool but I dont have one. Years ago I used to build CNC’s but never kept one, I big mistake. I’m always tempted now to make a small one for my needs but I never got the desire/time to do so

I figured to use a router I will need a jig but to make one its time consuming so I rather spend the time sanding to finish my gears. I think its faster

I dont need to design the gears since I bought the plans and all I have to do is glue each pattern to my plywood.

My thanks to all
 

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Paul
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Nicolas, don't forget to show us the finished product.
 

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...snip...
Obviously a CNC will be the best tool but I dont have one.
...snip...
I figured to use a router I will need a jig but to make one its time consuming so I rather spend the time sanding to finish my gears. I think its faster

I dont need to design the gears since I bought the plans and all I have to do is glue each pattern to my plywood.

My thanks to all
You don't have to have a CNC. There are services out there than will run your designs on their CNC routers and send you the finished gears.

The one I used is CurlyWoodShop who made my gear, from my digital designs, I think these are the ones they now offer. I'm sure there are other CNC services, I just don't know of them. It was fast, easy and affordable. From the patterns I received, I made four of the large, seven of the medium and six of the small gears. I recommend designing the gears with no smaller internal radius's of 1/8" so you the smallest router bit required is 1/4". The smaller 1/8" dia. router bits are too easy to snap off unless you are SUPER careful.

Good that you don't need to design them and have the plans, at least if the plans are digital also. I believe the CNC shop would have produced digital designs (for generating the required G code) for additional cost, but I did that design work.

Rick
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It will take time to have my project done, right now I have problem with the color. First I used stain but didn’t like the results. Then remove stain and used paint and then again didn’t like it. Now I will remove the paint and try another and all this after using some scraps and trying various shades of paint/stain. But.... eventually I will settle with one.

I do have the .dxf files but what’s the point to use an outside CNC firm to do my work? This is a hobby project and the idea is to do it all by myself.
 

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...snip...
I do have the .dxf files but what’s the point to use an outside CNC firm to do my work? This is a hobby project and the idea is to do it all by myself.
That is a matter of personal choice.

I tried making all my gears myself. Found them to be too inconsistent for the final application. So, I used an outside CNC shop to cut a near perfect pattern, from which I cut myself all of the gears needed, which were many. For me, it came down to a judicious and prudent application of technology that someone else had, to complete my hobby project. Some go so far as to buy or build CNC router capability as part of their hobby.

...snip... and I wonder if there is a better way to make these gears. Would a router (table mounted or portable) be a better option to make gears and if yes how would you go about it?
You did ask for suggestions of better ways. That is all that was given, so please take it as such and be gracious.

Rick
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry Rick, I just expressed my opinion and there is nothing wrong to use an outside CNC company for any work. Its true that I asked for suggestions using a router to cut gears because I have no experience with routers but making a jig, as it was suggested for this purpose, I found it too complicated.

There are 14 gears in my current project varying from 1” OD to 10” OD half are 1/4” thick ply and the rest 1/2” ply. I decided to do all using my home made bandsaw for the rough cut of each tooth and then I modified a coping saw I had to accept pinned scrollsaw blades and used that to finish cutting each tooth to the line.

I used an Olson 425P Skip Tooth pin end blade 0.014” thick on the coping saw and I must say the work was a breeze. That blade cuts a tooth like a hot knife thru butter, truly amazing. Of course after was the sanding of each tooth which was most time consuming but overall I’m very happy with the results.
 

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I would suggest that you get someone to cut your gears on a CNC machine. After all it is still a router. Maybe you could see if there are any maker spaces near by and go there and get someone to make them. If you have the patterns it will be simple to scan them and turn them into an svg image. Without the template to make your gears you will be disapointed. If you are going to make more than one clock you could get your gears made on a cnc and then use them as a template for a hand held router and/or router table. A clock requires precision if you want it to run correctly.
 

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Hi Nicolas,
Nice to see another member from my area. I also like Mathias' videos, for a young guy he sure gets stuff done and well done at that.
Dan
 
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