Constant Force Springs

Hello.  I am very interested in your rolling ball clock.  
What is used as the drive spring?   Is it simply a normal clock winding spring?  All the clocks I have built so far are weight driven but this looks like nothing I have seen before.

Kind regards. 


Aloha Dean, you are quite correct.  As you look through my designs you will not see a single motor driven clock or sculpture.  I have always preferred gravity as my source of power.  I have eschewed both motors and springs until fairly recently.  

The reason is clock springs tend to be quite powerful when first wound, and then get progressively less and less powerful as they wind down.  Instead of using a fusee to regulate a spring's decreasing power, I've opted for rocks, and gravity to drive my mechanisms.

However, I have had wonderfully good luck with a new kind of spring called a "constant force" spring.  As its name implies, it gives a constant force throughout its entire length.  
Steampunk Impulse Engine

Many escapements are sensitive to changes in the force applied to them.  For example the verge and foliot escapement is intensely sensitive to changes in force applied, so I could not use a spring to run any such escapement.  The Wee Willie was the first clock to have a constant force spring as its power.  The Wee Willie has a verge and foliot escapement and would not work efficiently with a normal clock spring, but operates beautifully with a constant force spring.

Then I created the Epicyclic with a constant force spring, then a version of my HO design, and recently the rolling ball clock, "Celebration" and now the Steampunk Impulse Engine all run on various constant force springs. 

But actually my first constant force mechanism was my Zinnia kinetic sculpture.  I created that design about five years ago (but only recently released it to my site), and it has been running wonderfully all this time on my living room wall.

I have a few more designs, both clocks and kinetic sculpture, in progress right now that use these wonderful constant force springs.  The springs are easily available in a variety of foot pounds of force to power these mechanisms.

Maybe someday I will get around to using a motor in one of my designs, but for now gravity and these wonderful constant force springs seem the way to go.  

Enjoy!  Clayton


Steampunk Impulse Engine Kinetic Sculpture

Dr. Boyer's Singularly Glorious Steampunk Impulse Engine Kinetic Sculpture
Do you remember when you were a kid, and every year dreaming that you would find a steam engine under the Christmas tree...and the disappointment because it was never there?

Well, here you go! This Steampunk Impulse Engine is not really powered by steam, nor even those difficult-to-find dilithium crystals many of the newer impulse engines use in their plasma conduits. This engine is powered by a constant force spring and will give a glorious kinetic show for about twenty minutes on a wind.

Here it is in motion:

The Steampunk Impulse Engine is designed to look like an old-tyme industrial steam engine. This wonderful and easy to build kinetic sculpture is designed as a tabletop mechanism, but because it sits flush along the back, it can also be mounted on a shelf, or to the wall by using brackets.

Woodworking plans available in paper or dxf format at our website, www.lisaboyer.com



Celebration Rolling Ball Clock by Clayton Boyer
Definitely an extrovert.
A new plan is now available:  The Celebration Rolling Ball Clock.  It's a party in clock form!  See it in action here:


New! Zinnia Kinetic Sculpture Plans

New kinetic sculpture plans now available.   It runs about 40 minutes on one wind.  Mesmerizing!
At www.lisaboyer.com


Inclination by Ingi Guðjónsson of Iceland

Inclination by Ingi Guðjónsson

Hello, my father bought drawings from you some time ago, and he now finished his second clock, combining "segmented woodturning", woodcarving and clock making :)

he would like to thank you very much for the drawing, with best wishes

on behalf of Ingi Guðjónsson,

Guðjón Ingason :)
Inclination by Ingi Guðjónsson

Inclination by Ingi Guðjónsson

Inclination by Ingi Guðjónsson

Inclination by Ingi Guðjónsson

Inclination by Ingi Guðjónsson

Inclination by Ingi Guðjónsson
also one extra picture:
Wood Carving by Ingi Guðjónsson
Note from Lisa: Guðjón Ingason also sent this link to a must-see YouTube video of his father's work:
http://youtu.be/8bxBFzJ0nW8  Beautiful!  Thank you to Ingi Guðjónsson and his son, Guðjón Ingason, for sharing.


Leonard Cloninger's Simplicity

Simplicity by Leonard Cloninger
Hello Clayton,

Attached are some photos of the Simplicity that I completed. Was fun to build. I tell people that kids played college basketball on that clock. The gears are made from the gym floor from the University of Montana, Missoula. I salvaged the flooring from a renovation back in 2001.

Simplicity by Leonard Cloninger

The large gears have 36, 10 degree pie shaped segments in them and the smaller gears are laminated flooring ply.
Simplicity by Leonard Cloninger

The clock face is also flooring.
Simplicity by Leonard Cloninger

I hope you like my clock and I'll keep you posted on my further projects. Thank you,


Wow, Leonard.  That is one deliciously beautiful Simplicity.  You are obviously not a newbie to woodworking and design.  The evidence is clear throughout your wonderful interpretation of the Simplicity.
So excellent to see all of your personalizations, too.  Seeing the clock mounted to your frame design with the Roman numeral dial in its full glory is really cool, and the segmented, solid wood wheels makes it a spectacular art piece.

Well done, Leonard!  That is truly one of the most beautiful Simplicity's that I've seen, and certainly one to be extremely proud of.

Thanks so much for sending the pix of your excellent interpretation of the Simplicity...now if you can just keep the basketball players off of it.  Ha.  You sure picked perfect wood for this - it's all well seasoned hardwood that makes your Simplicity an eventual heirloom that will be handed down through the generations in your family.

So excellent.
Aloha.  Clayton

Note from Clayton:  the large Roman numeral dial for Simplicity is an option that because of its size, is only available in the dxf format of the Simplicity plan.


Number Six by Aleksandar Momcilovic

Number Six by Aleksandar Momcilovic
Aloha, Clayton
Here are a few pictures of my first ever wooden clock.

 It has been working for a 5 month and I am very pleased with his accuracy and overall performance.

 I used  padouk for frame, birch ply for gears, walnut for numbers, pear for pendulum rod and bob parts and ash for small detail and weight shell.
This is such amazing clock, it starts right away and keep ticking day after day.

Moving on to new challenges, I am interested in attempting a Solaris build so I will purchase plans.

I thank you for offering such amazing plans.

Greetings from Serbia,
Aleksandar Momcilovic

Aloha Aleksandar, that is truly an excellent build!  

Your padouk Number Six, with all your creative personalizations, is spectacular.  It is always so enjoyable for me to see the creative additions that builders put into these projects, and you have let your muse run free with this build!

With your excellent craftsmanship, evident in every part of your Number Six, she should be a powerful runner, singing her beautiful song, for decades to come.

My Number Six had her tenth anniversary last June ~ and is still as dependable today as she was a decade ago.

I think you have created an absolutely beautiful clock that will become a treasure in your family, to be passed down through the generations.

Congratulations on a spectacular build, and thank you for sharing your story and pictures of this beautiful clock.


Aloha.  Clayton