: Clock weights

03-12-06, 09:53 AM
Hey well this is certainly off the car scope, but still a fun engineering challenge. I like to fix old mechanical clock movements, and I've built a clock or two with them. I make my own weights by going to www.onlinemetals.com and getting bars of steel appropriately sized...and hooks out of screw-hooks that I just dremel the screw part off of.

Little problem is adhering the hooks to the bars of steel. There is not much surface area. I've got one set, been holding for a year or so with 5-minute epoxy (the hook set in a glob of it)...but I know if it gets any sideways force, it'll snap off. Even JB weld gave on one of my heavier weights. I can't use something without some viscosity, or I'll hold it there for a day, and even less surface area. Just wondering if anyone had ideas on a good way to adhere them without me having to shell out hundreds for a welder. I have a cheap ebay titanium drill bit set, but I'm not sure how confident I am of it's ability to go through solid steel...at least not more than a couple times (in order to drill a little hole for them to fit into).

03-12-06, 11:41 AM
Drill, tap & install a machine screw eye hook would be my choice.

03-12-06, 11:55 AM
How much is "Not much" surface area? I'd tend to go with dbdartmans idea.

03-12-06, 03:26 PM
Well without drilling in, the surface area is just the few mm of the end of the hook against the top of the weight. The reason the 5-minute epoxy worked as well as it has is because it was globbed on there so the hook was sort of swimming in it, and it gets a little more area on the top of the weight...except any sideload, and that thing would be falling off--BONG! I agree drilling into it would be ideal... I do have a set of titanium-coated drill bits, but they were 20-30 bucks off ebay...and I was just afraid, like I said, that they wouldn't be robust enough to go through solid steel...or would lose that coating after a few tries. You guys think my 6 amp drill and those bits is enough to do that job? I could afford a drill press better than a welder if need be...

Eric Kahn
03-12-06, 04:56 PM
you could switch to brass bar stock which would be easy to drill but would cost about 3 times as much

your titanium coated drill bits will have no problem going through mild steel, it is what they are designed for, just squirt some oil or wd 40 where you are going to drill

any cheap high speed twist drill will drill into mild steel, just figure out what size you need from the drill and tap chart and buy several of them, biggest trick will be holding them straight with the hadn drill motor, which your 6 amp unit has plenty of power for small holes in steel

I drilled about 70 3/8ths inch holes in quarter inch steel at work with a hand drill (ancient 20 pound milwaukee) and broke one of my 12 inch long bits and wore one out

03-13-06, 07:04 AM
Cool, thanks. Yeah, I'd love to use brass, but the shipping makes the steel bad enough when ordering several pounds of stuff. Besides, I'm not sure how dense it is, but I think steel is denser by enough to make brass a shady alternative...would have some long weights.

03-13-06, 09:40 AM
The steel should be easy enough to drill and tap. That's the way I'd do it too. If the steel is too hard then soften it up by heating it cherry red and letting it cool down slowly, that will remove any tempering strength it has but not affect the weight or mass.

03-15-06, 09:17 PM
I'd drill & tap it....

There are lots of lower priced drill presses out there that are actually fairly decent...

Since I bought mine, I use it for all kinds of stuff. Very handy to have around. Drill press is a good investment.