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Not stricktly a clock but Orrerys are certainly made by clockmakers as it is similar design and techniques. Hope this project is ok in here and please delete if not.

I've not done any big projects for a few years now due to moving house and getting my machines in shape. I've currently got a clock build on the go which I will go back and complete but I wanted a new project for the new workshop and something a little different. I came across the concept of James Ferguson's (1710-1776) mechanical paradox several years ago and it took my attention.  It is quite amazing to watch  - turn the thick wheel and one of the thin wheels goes forward, one backwards, and one goes no way at all!

Original plans:
[Image: ferg1.JPG]

The story is also nice as well... Quote from John Millburn

Quote:One evening Ferguson went to a weekly gathering (probably a dining or drinking club), where one of the other people present, a watchmaker, 'began to hold forth against a Trinity of persons in the God-head, wondering at the impudence of the person who broached such an absurd doctrine'. Ferguson, who was sitting just opposite to him, 'gave him a severe frowning look', whereupon the watchmaker asked his opinion concerning the Trinity. Ferguson suggested that they should talk about the watchmaker's business instead, and asked him whether he understood how one gear wheel turned another. 'I hope I do, said he'.
‘Then, said I, suppose you make one wheel as thick as other three, and cut teeth in them all, and then put the three thin wheels all loose on one axis, and set the thick wheel to them, so that its teeth may take into those of the three thin ones; now turn the thick wheel round: how must it turn the others? Says he, your question is almost an affront to common sense; for everyone who knows anything of the matter must know that, turn the thick wheel which way you will, all the other three must be turned the contrary way by it. Sir, said I, I believe you think so. Think! says he, it is beyond a thought - it is a demonstration that they must. Sir, said I, I would not have you be too sure, lest you possibly be mistaken; and now what would you say if I should say that, turn the thick wheel whichever way you will, it shall turn one of the thin wheels the same way, the other the contrary way, and the third no way at all. Says he, I would say there was never anything proposed that could be more absurd, as being not only above reason, but contrary thereto. Very well, says I. Now, Sir, is there anything in your ideas more absurd about the received doctrine of the Trinity than in this proposition of mine? There is not, said he; and if I could believe the one, I should believe the other too.’
Ferguson then said that he could make such a machine, and would bring it along to show to the assembled company the following week. He did so, and asked the watchmaker to explain it. The watchmaker turned it to and fro, took it to pieces and put it back together again, and confessed that he was thoroughly perplexed. 'The thing is not only above all reason, but it is even contrary to all mechanical principles'.
‘For shame, Sir, said I, ask me not how it is, for it is a simpler machine than any clock or watch that you ever made or mended; and if you may be so easily non-plused by so simple a thing in your own way of business, no wonder you should be so about the Trinity; but learn from this not for the future to reckon every thing absurd and impossible that you cannot comprehend.’

You can google the way it works, basically the three wheels on the same axis have different tooth counts to create the paradox. This also doubles as an orrery which is surprisingly accurate. The error for the precession of the nodes is about 40 days out of 6793 and the error of the period of the apogee is about 20 days out of 3233.

There are a few builds online. A few plans for wooden sets but nothing for metal though there are three builds I have seen which are reasonably well described. I do intend to make plans for this at the end if it works.

I have been hugely inspired by Clickspring over the last months and I have tried to improve my video shots and narration. It isn't even in the same league but I'm reasonably happy with some of the shots even if my narration isn't particularly good. I also appreciate I am not a trained machines or engineer in any form so if anyone can provide improvements or corrections to my methods, I'd be happy to hear.

Hope that wasn't too bad.
Have you seen these articles?

Digital Machinist ...

Ferguson’s Mechanical Paradox Orrery -- Part One James Donnelly Hobby DM Vol. 4 No. 3 Fall 2009
Ferguson’s Mechanical Paradox Orrery, Part Three" Chris Wood Hobby DM Vol. 4 No. 4 Winter 2009
Ferguson’s Mechanical Paradox Orrery, Part Two" James Donnelly Hobby DM Vol. 4 No. 4 Winter 2009
Ferguson’s Mechanical Paradox Orrery, Part Three" James Donnelly Hobby DM Vol. 5 No. 1 Spring 2010
No, I have seen the horological journal articles by James Donnelly which I guess are similar but I'd love to see the DM articles.
Part 2 - Wheel Collets

This looks like a great project for the coffee table. Keep posting, please! Thumbsup

Thanks for sharing the progress. That's an interesting concept of sharing three gears of different tooth counts with one pinion. I assume the variation in mesh is too small to matter? I suppose if it was, you could have beveled the gears slightly to accommodate it.

Is the gear tooth form cycloidal?

It's beyond comprehension! I better watch the vids.. Smile
Very nice Chris Thumbsup 
Great work on the gears Thumbsup 
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