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Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 08:01 PM
Could someone explain to me the limits of clockwork?

For example;

How fast can it go? What effects the speed? How large an object can it move/propel? Does it depend on the size of the mechanism?

I'm a noob when it comes to clockwork so I apologise is my quesitons come off as ill informed.

Haggis
08-09-2008, 08:33 PM
Could someone explain to me the limits of clockwork?

For example;

How fast can it go? What effects the speed? How large an object can it move/propel? Does it depend on the size of the mechanism?

I'm a noob when it comes to clockwork so I apologise is my quesitons come off as ill informed.

Clockwork (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=1326) is very limited. He talks funny too.

What?

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 09:00 PM
I would slay you for that terrible pun were it not for that creepy dog. *Shudder*

:D

hammerklavier
08-09-2008, 09:06 PM
Clockwork is just a bunch of gears driven by, in most cases, a spring or a weight which is gradually pulled down by gravity. The clockwork is regulated by mechanics, in a grandfather clock a pendulum regulates the speed. A very large spring or very heavy weight could increase the power (with larger gears to handle the increased forces), take away the regulator and you have much more power and speed. For example, a trebuchet (very large catapult) works on some of the same principles.

Wind or water powered mills, steam engines and modern car engines all work by similar processes, so the possiblities are seemingly endless.

Some of the drawbacks are 1) more power introduced into the system requires larger heavier gears made of tougher stuff 2) each gear adds friction and takes away power, so doing something very complex is difficult.

Ageless Stranger
08-09-2008, 09:08 PM
Clockwork is just a bunch of gears driven by, in most cases, a spring or a weight which is gradually pulled down by gravity. The clockwork is regulated by mechanics, in a grandfather clock a pendulum regulates the speed. A very large spring or very heavy weight could increase the power (with larger gears to handle the increased forces), take away the regulator and you have much more power and speed. For example, a trebuchet (very large catapult) works on some of the same principles.

Wind or water powered mills, steam engines and modern car engines all work by similar processes, so the possiblities are seemingly endless.

Some of the drawbacks are 1) more power introduced into the system requires larger heavier gears made of tougher stuff 2) each gear adds friction and takes away power, so doing something very complex is difficult.

So making a clock-work machine of any great power or speed would require a complex mechanism (in the sense that it have to be very well thought out in order to maximise power and limit the number of gears)?

Maryn
08-09-2008, 10:14 PM
...For example, a trebuchet (very large catapult)...Our son owns a very small trebuchet, FWIW. It's about twenty inches long, and flings its payload more than 100 feet. Cool!

We also see a larger trebuchet in operation most autumns, where a local pumpkin farm will fling the pumpkin of your choice across a field, aiming it at a junked car, for $5. If it hits, you get $20.

Maryn, returning us to our thread

MadScientistMatt
08-11-2008, 05:21 AM
While there are many types of clockwork - gravity driven, water clocks, modern electric-driven quartz clocks - a self-propelled "clockwork" device would run off energy stored in a spring. The spring turns a shaft that drives a geartrain. The biggest limit is the energy required to compress the spring to put energy into it. A miniature model train powered by clockwork is pretty easy to pull off. Storing enough energy to accelerate a one ton vehicle to 60 mph would take some pretty good metalurgy to keep the spring from breaking under its own load. (And a larger spring can store more energy in most cases.)

I'm not sure what you are planning, but a spring loaded clockwork device could be believable for something toy sized, while a clockwork locomotive is not. Even if a determined engineer did build a clockwork locomotive, you would need an energy source to wind up its mainspring - and chances are a clockwork mechanism of that size would need a steam engine to wind it.

Ageless Stranger
08-11-2008, 02:20 PM
Finding something to wind up the mainspring is no problem whatsoever. Thanks for the information!

Dot Hutchison
05-14-2010, 08:22 AM
I know this thread's been dead for a while, but does anyone have any further knowledge about clockwork and how it's made? It's startlingly hard to find useful information about it anywhere....

Anyway, I'd be very grateful for any and all information y'all can add.