About the Gears
Each gear is comprised of up to 30 individual pieces of quarter sawn cherry assembled in a unique pattern for maximum strength and stability. The core layer is an assembly of many wedge shaped pieces of wood, arranged in a circle. The result is a grain pattern that is radially oriented from the center, providing equal strength to each tooth. Our custom designed gear-cutting machinery puts the seams between the teeth making each tooth solid wood. Our gear design, in fact, is very similar to the one used by acclaimed clockmaker, John Harrison, in the mid 18th century. Many of his clocks are still running today with the original wooden gears he made more than 250 years ago!
The shapes and contours of our gear teeth are computer generated and theoretically correct epicycloids. Our specially modified, state of the art machinery generates smooth and accurate tooth profiles to one one-thousandth of an inch. This is a key element in the making of a truly high quality, smooth running, reliable clock.
Each gear is carefully balanced using a process similar to that used by manufacturers of high quality watches. They are then hand sanded and finished to a beautiful luster, accentuating the natural beauty of the wood.
About the Arbors and Bearings
The arbors, although hidden inside the wood, are made of steel and are machined to exacting standards. A variety of bearings are used including ball bearings, Teflon impregnated centered bronze bushings, brass bushings, and bearings made of lignum vitae. Lignum Vitae is the densest and hardest wood found anywhere in the world. It machines like aluminum and is naturally oily and waxy resulting in self-lubrication.
About the Designs
Our business is the design, engineering and manufacturing of wooden gear clocks. The gears are 100% solid wood, not plywood or laminates. It is our belief that this is a key element that awards our clocks their value and desirability. It is our dedication, skill and attention to history and science that enables our clocks to maintain an accuracy that is second to none.
There is wisdom behind the use of wood for gears of a complex mechanical device and a predictable reliability that results. History has proven wood to be a versatile and marvelous material. Eli Terry and others produced thousands of wooden gear clocks in the mid 1800’s that are still running today. Artist, designer and certified clockmaker, Mike Kuyt introduced his first wooden gear clock sculpture in 1978. It too is still running strong. The key is in the quality of the design and the care taken during construction.
Another major element that differentiates our clocks from others is their artistic design. Each clock is conceived from the ground up as a sculpture. All components, from the gears and frame to the dial and pendulum, are all seamless strokes of the same work of art. The movements are not designed apart from, but rather a part of the frame, making each an essential and integral part of the clock as a whole.
About the Designer
Michael Kuyt was born in British Columbia, to Dutch immigrants with an established engineering heritage. Mike is a certified clockmaker whose focus of study was on clock theory and design. He has been researching and fabricating wooden gear clocks since 1978. Mike is one of the regions leading antique clock restorers, a respected technical writer, an instructor to apprentice clockmakers and an artist.