Ball Clock II ~ Hour Lever – Phase I

by Jon Long Sr on March 13, 2016

Hour Lever


Now that I have balls accumulating in the Hour Striker Magazine, I can work to route them to a mechanism for the hour strike.

The challenge here was to get the maximum power from the lever to eventually operate a hammer for the large bell on top.  A little CAD work helped figure out how much room I had to work with and ratios of the gears involved.  I case you are wondering, I have not documented the whole clock with drawings.  Much of it is made up as I go.

Hour Lever AboveThe principle was to have one ball at a time come into a cup and the weight of the ball would make the lever rotate down while cocking the hammer.

A the bottom of travel the ball would then exit and the lever to spring back up allowing the hammer to hit the bell and accept another ball if needed.  That was the theory anyway.

IMG_4246The first step was to build the lever mechanism.  Using flat bar, it was mounted to the vertical columns.  The cup (tube) on the end would hold the ball through the cycle.

There was a side entrance to the cup which was slightly tilted to allow the ball to roll out at the end of the cycle.  The pivot shaft of the lever was then geared to another shaft closer to center of the frame.

IMG_4263The way the gearing was set up, this would allow the hammer to cock when the ball forced the lever down.

A section of track was made to feed the balls from the magazine into the cup.  As in the quarter strike mechanism, I used a small flat piece of brass to block additional balls while the lever was moving down. This also stopped them from spilling all over the place during the cycle.

Originally, I had planned to have the balls exit the cup toward the outside of the clock.   Then I realized that I still had to deal with the balls from the hour counter when they dumped after the 12 o’clock strike.  Once I made that track, it became obvious that I could also use it for the balls from the lever to exit as well.  The track for the 12 o’clock dump is shown in the photo to the right.

With the counter weight in place, the balls would cycle through the mechanism smoothly.

The movie is of the balls going through the lever mechanism.  I used a plastic lid to catch them because the receiving track wasn’t built yet.

The next step will be to harness this power and drive the hammer up by the bell on top.

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