About

About LEDA Clocks...

LEDA Clocks founder, Designer And Manufacturer Darren SimmonsHi, my name is Darren Simmons I am the owner and founder of LEDA Clocks.  Before launching LEDA Clocks, I worked for 28 years in an engineering environment with my main focus being on engineering design. I served a 4 year Mechanical Apprenticeship with Molins Tobacco Machinery in which time I obtained a City & Guilds and two HNC qualifications. I then went on to complete a 4 year degree course in London and graduated in 2001 obtaining a 1st Class BEng Honours in Mechanical Engineering.

 

Hi, my name is Debbie Simmons and my key role is to keep Darren under control, if he had his way we would only produce planes, trains and cars...  That's where I help with the more natural themes, coming up with alternative designs and concepts such as the Autumn Tree and Treble Clef clocks.  I also manage the marketing side of things so that Darren can focus on the detailed mechanical design and building.

 

How Darren Got Into Clocks...

Foster traction engine the inspiration for my first wooden mechanical pendulum clock

The first wooden mechanical clock I made was for my Dad as a Christmas present.  For all his life Dad has been passionate about steam engines and has spent many a summer day at local rallies and fetes giving rides to children and adults on his 1/3 scale Foster traction engine.  It was with this in mind I decided to create a wooden mechanical pendulum clock based on his Foster engine using the rear wheel as the clock face.  Come Christmas Day, Dad was amazed by his present.  At this point I had no intentions of starting a business however the seed was sown...

 

Moving forward...

After spending so much time building Dad's clock thoughts started to develop of how I could take the same concept as Dad's traction engine clock and apply that to other people's interests and passions and offer a truly unique product.  I knew from many internet searches that there were a few wooden mechanical pendulum clock plans and DIY kits, and that there were many mass production clocks based on themes with an AA battery operated movement, however no one to my knowledge has combined a wooden mechanical pendulum clock with a theme based frame.  I knew I had created something different so I set about creating new 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) models each one more refined than the previous one, until I had developed an engineering CAD model that met all my requirements in terms of both performance and production suited to laser cutting.
Once the fundamentals of my wooden mechanical pendulum clock were designed I started applying the mechanics to the various themes.  I already had a steam theme, now titled Days of Steam, but I wanted to do one for myself and there was only one thing for it, Iconic Aircraft...
At the time of writing this piece I am about to launch the site offering the two above mentioned themes and another called Just Nature.  It's my intention to keep developing new clocks in a variety of themes that appeal to many interests.

 

A Bit About My Studio...

 

my design studio showing wooden gear mechanical pendulum clocks

 

All clocks are designed, cut, hand finished and assembled at my home studio.  Below is a quick insight to the main areas, design, manufacture and testing.


Design:

Pro ENGINEER, the design package of choice for my mechanical geared clocks

For many years now I have been using a piece of 3D engineering design software called Pro ENGINEER.  This software allows you to build 3D models of each of the individual parts and assemble them to create virtual representations of the product that you are designing, in my case a mechanical pendulum clock.  Before parts can be manufactured 2D drawings of each part are created in Pro ENGINEER and exported to a piece of pre-production software called CorelDRAW.  This software is then used to create the engraving and cut paths for the next step, laser cutting.


Manufacture:

Trotec Speedy 400, my choice for cutting the pendulum clocks

All of the mechanical pendulum clock designs have been optimised for laser cutting as it provides an exceptionally high level of precision in both engraved and cut features whilst being a clean and relatively quiet process.  The laser cutting machine in my studio is manufactured by an Austrian company called Trotec and in my opinion is one of the best laser manufactures in the world.  I chose Trotec for the accuracy, edge cut quality and reliability, it really is an amazing machine.

Although the laser is used to engrave and cut, the clock parts are far from finished when they come off the machine. Wooden parts require sanding and finishing by hand, whilst almost all of the acrylic parts (hubs, collars, spacers etc) also require second operations such as reaming, drilling and tapping.


Testing:

Every mechanical pendulum clock made is thoroughly tested and adjusted before shipping.  This process of about one week allows enough time to ensure that your clock is delivered in perfect working order.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this About page.  I hope you found it interesting and informative, however if you have any questions or comments about the page or any aspect of the site or clocks, please do not hesitate to contact me.

One more thing... it might worth taking a look at my FAQs page, a growing page of common questions that people ask when viewing my mechanical wall clocks.  Keep those questions coming... Thanks Darren