Jim Haubert Engineering
Prototype Precision Clock - The Leftovers Clock & The Leftovers Clock Stand
On January 19,1979 I started building this prototype clock and more or less completed it on March 19, 1979. I said 'more or less' because I developed it to research design and construction concepts. It was (and still is) something of a guinea pig, having survived countless tests and experiments through the years. Someday,  it may be retired, but it will probably never be finished.
I recently christened the clock "The Leftovers Clock" and the stand, "The Leftovers Clock Stand" in something of a tribute to Professor Hall and his "Littlemore Clock".

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This photo was taken in late 1982 or early 1983.

Originally, I had no intention of building a cabinet for the movement as I had a stand that I used for testing clocks that I had repaired.

Almost immediately, I learned that ordinary air currents in the room would disturb the pendulum. This made accurate timekeeping impossible, even though this pendulum weighs 28 pounds. Those 4 chrome plated tubes are completely filled with lead.

I had a quantity of maple woodwork and trim that I had salvaged from a house being torn down. This case was built using casings and cornice molding from around doors.The house had been built in the 1880s.

The dial had been the lid of a 55 gallon drum, the pendulum tubes were for kitchen drains and the pendulum shaft was an extra curtain rod I found in the basement of our house. The only purchased items were:

  • the glass for the cabinet
  • 10 inches of copper drain pipe for the weight shell
  • paint for the dial
  • glue
  • stain
  • tubes for the pendulum tubes

I was disappointed with the accuracy at first until I purchased a RadioShack TimeKube which received time signals from the U.S. Navy.

Then I learned that the inaccuracy was with the electric clock I had used for comparison.

One three week period, when the temperature varied only slightly, this clock stayed within one and a half seconds of the National Bureau of Standards time signals.

Our house at the time was a quite sturdy Victorian Italianate style. It was built using balloon frame construction and a brick veneer. The load bearing wall on which this clock was mounted rested on an 8X8 oak timber sill. The sill in this area was directly above a steel post that extended to a concrete footing I had poured during prior basement repairs.

Because I have never been able to duplicate that original accuracy in any building since that house, I have learned just how crucial a stable mount is for the pendulum,

Turning my attention to reducing friction, this quest has led to being able to remove 4 pounds of weight from the original 10 pounds required in the beginning. A 40% reduction and I have yet to install ruby or sapphire jewel bearings, or pallets.

This is an early photo of the movement taken over 20 years ago. Here it is in late 2013. The winding arbor is spring loaded and pops out of engagement when released from winding. This feature allows the great wheel to be mounted solidly on the arbor for maximum concentricity and an even transmission of motion.

To get accurate information when evaluating many experiments, it is a big help to keep track of small variations in the swing of the pendulum.

I built the camera mount on the right to assure that the lens is always in the same place quickly and easily.

Getting photos like the one below is now just a few seconds away and I know that one taken today can be accurately compared to one taken days, or years ago.

These photos were taken at the 2016 Regional of our local NAWCC Chapters. I displayed this clock with the stand I have made for it so it can be free standing. It has the camera attachment on it and an electronic timer that can be tuned to the GPS signals. This timer is far more accurate than the TimeKube I mentioned earlier. It also allows a person to graph any variations in rate on a computer to assist with attempts to improve accuracy.

When I was dreaming about how to go about making this stand, I thought the Eiffel Tower had a graceful, attractive and hopefully sturdy shape. Looking for material in a salvage yard I came across these curved tubes. I did not know where they came from until I got them home and found that one had a part number on it along with "Buick".

Did I happen to mention I am a packrat and scrounge?

In case you had not noticed by now, I am!

The stand does seem sturdy though. The clock ran with full power as soon as I started it. It usually has needed a settling down period of hours to days. It just depends on how solidly it is mounted.

Now I just need a good footing in our house or shop. The walls in the house appear to be too flexible as the pendulum will swing with no movement in the clock!

YIKES!

 Craft Competition at the NAWCC 2017 National Convention in Arlington, Texas

The clock was entered in the Experimental Timepiece Design category and the stand in The Horological Tools category

The clock earned a third place award and the stand a first place award. These results are especially gratifying because both of these projects were not constructed as showpieces, but as items for conducting experiments.

If you have read this far, then you might be interested in a thread that I started in 2011 that describes this clock and many of the lessons I have learned by building and experimenting with it. The thread is located in the 'Clock Construction' forum of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC).

The thread already has over 46,200 views and has many excellent contributions from individuals in several counties around the world. Here is a link to save you from having to search for it:
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Please note that the NAWCC is experiencing some trouble with their new format. All the photos for this thread may not show up. This issue is being addressed and will be corrected.
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

More is on the way.............................