High Quality Bearings...
The clock bearings are a key part of the clock and choosing the correct ones has been part of an evolution process over many prototype clocks and test rigs that I have worked on. When I look back at the first clock that I ever built for my Dad, everything about the clock bearing selection and mounting was wrong, but I guess I had to go through that pain to get to the design that I have today.
To ensure smooth and reliable transmission of power from the weight pulley, through the gear train, to the escapement shaft, high quality sealed ball bearing are used on the main gear shafts and perform exceptionally well.
What Is A Sealed Ball Bearing?
Sealed ball bearings consist of an inner ring (that does not rotate on the shaft), an outer ring (that does not rotate in the housing). Between these two rings are a number of balls which roll between the inner and outer rings. As the movement between the two rings is a rolling action, an extremely smooth rotating movement is achieved with almost no wear on the bearing and hence the long service life of ball bearings. As an option ball bearings can be fitted with two rubber seals each side of the balls and packed with grease giving maintenance free operation for the life of the bearing. All ball bearings used in my clocks are the grease filled sealed type so that the bearings are maintenance free and will never need lubricating.
Fun Fact About The Clock Bearings
A ball bearing running at its maximum speed for 1 hour is equivalent to 7 years of it running in the clock. With ball bearings designed to run for many thousands of hours, the chance of a bearing wearing out is slim!
In areas where the clock bearings do not lend themselves to the use of the ball type, simple plain bearings are used. For these areas I have chosen to use IGUS bearings. IGUS is a German bearing manufacture who produce low friction, maintenance free bearings using specially formulated plastics.
Thank you for taking the time to read this "High Quality Bearings" 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