Category Archives: Making

Calculating a Clock’s Ideal Pendulum Period, the Sequel

In an earlier post I calculated the ideal pendulum period for the Korean clock by counting its wheels’ teeth (outer teeth) and pinions (inner teeth). This post is an update based on the errors I made while attempting to do the same for my second clock: the Ansonia kitchen clock.

What follows is a more detailed “how to” for calculating the pendulum period based on gear ratios.

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Loosening Antique Glue Using Heat

As I said in my previous post about the Ansonia Derby clock, it seems that long ago part of the upper gingerbread broke and the owner sawed off the rest, reducing the upper gingerbread to a simple arch. I’d like to create new gingerbread for this clock. To do that I need to unglue the original, cut remnant and glue my to-be-designed gingerbread in its place.

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Geometry, Gothic Architecture, Rose Windows, and Christmas Ornaments

(first published on Needhamia.com in 2007)

I find the rose windows of Gothic cathedrals awe-inspiring. From the rigid formalism of Chartres to the flamboyant explosion of Tours, their marriage of geometry, philosophy, and aesthetics with stone and glass is awesome. Built at a time when science and spirit weren’t as divided as today, each window is a statement of the beauty, order, and harmony in the world. Using only a pair of compasses (dividers) and a straight-edge (an unmarked ruler), the Gothic architects created myriad lace-like designs, making stone hang in the air and glass sing.

Geometry was my favorite math class in Jr. high school, and the Euclidean constructions that I drew with my compass and ruler I later applied in shop class and drafting class. Geometry was mathematics made beautiful, and I loved it.

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