Would you wear and use a vintage pocket watch?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

To See The Universe in a Tree - The Celestial Wooden Calendar and Orrery

Clayton Boyer's Celestial Mechanical Orrery
     Hobbyist woodworker Clayton Boyer from Kuaii, Hawaii, spends his free time creating wooden mechanical devices of all sorts; this one keeps track of the universe!
     When the lever is activated each day by hand, the 14 gears spring into action to update the month, day of the week, date, the solstice or equinox indicator, the zodiac sign of the sun, synodic rotations of and when Mercury Venus and Mars are in retrograde, and a "moon face ball" for the moon phase.  It can even account for months which do not have 31 days using a dedicated cam. 

Here is a video of the calendar in action:

     Amazingly, he says the device took just a couple of weeks to build, but the plans took four months.  How does one go about assembling something so magnificent?  Boyer says that "it's just step by step."  Isn't everything, though?

His clocks and other creations are just as beautiful.  The amazingly beautiful  "Torsion Tree Clock" was actually carved from part of a still-rooted tree.  The timer below is one of my favorites.

     Plans and instructions for almost all of his machines are available on his web site, and you will find many more videos of his creations on YouTube under the user name quilty1987.  If you would like to see how he makes the individual wooden gears that comprise his mechanisms, watch the video, "These Gears Really Work?" which shows many oddly shaped gears meshing and this video shows how to make them.  Enjoy keeping time with trees!


Have you created your own wooden clock or steampunk mechanism, and want to share? 
Post a comment and link on this blog!


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