Jim Haubert Engineering

Depthing Tool

This page shows views of a tool I built in 1979 to assist me in building the Precision Regulator Clock I display elsewhere on this site.

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Depthing Tool

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As long as people have been building clocks and watches they have needed a way to accurately locate the gears (wheels and pinions) and shafts (arbors) in the plates that support them. This is an example of a small commercial depth tool once sold for watch work:

In order to construct the clock movements displayed elsewhere on this site I made my own version that won a second place at the NAWCC national convention in 2012.

I realized afterwards that I never should have competed with myself as my bushing tool (also shown on this site) received the first place honor. Because all finish shaping of this bronze frame was done strictly by hand using files and abrasive paper, this tool took far longer to make than my bushing machine. It also involved a much greater degree of craftsmanship. I intentionally did not use the buffing machine I own as I wanted to retain all the crisp lines and intersecting corners. This was especially difficult and time consuming around the semi conical ends supporting the runners and the thumbscrews used to lock them in place.

This tool was also displayed in the Craft Competition of the NAWCC 2014 national convention. I felt particularly honored that one of the other contestants, who won a first place with a magnificently constructed clock told me, "People are not going to realize what you have accomplished here". I agreed.

This brought to mind something I was told years ago, "Great art is deceiving in its simplicity".

 

The above view is how the tool appears today. Unfortunately the new roof in my shop developed a leak that happened to be right above this tool when it was setup overnight in my optical comparator. This is why there are some rust spots inside the springs. The water also damaged the 36 year old patina that had developed on the bronze.

When I originally completed this tool, I found that it was not deep enough for the large gears of my prototype regulator. I made the extension arms shown both below and in place in the first view of this tool above. These arms required an even greater degree of precision because each arm had to locate accurately with 3 shafts instead of just 2. Furthermore, I found that the small flat areas around the short shafts required some hand work to have them stop against the main frame without tipping the runners out of alignment.

To illustrate how I currently use this tool, here it is setup in the comparator I mentioned above. When the desired tooth contact is achieved on the screen by adjusting the tool, the sharp pointed ends of the runners are used as a scribe to transfer the location to the clock plates.

In May of 2011 I described this tool in more detail at the Horological Tools forum of the NAWCC. For those of you who might be interested, here is a link to it:

https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/shop-made-depth-tool.73924/

All material on these pages is copyrighted by Jim Haubert 2002 - 2016
 
310 1/2 W. Second Street,  Winslow, AZ,  US,  86047,  928-289-2568

Now Located on "The Mother Road", Historic Route 66