Random Clock Talks Vol 6

Engaging Conversations About Time: Exploring Random Clock Talks Vol. 6

Welcome to the sixth volume of Random Clock Talks! In this post, we’ll continue our exploration of engaging conversations about time. We’ve curated some thought-provoking topics that will leave you rethinking the way you view time. From the impact of modern technology on our perception of time to the role of time management in our daily lives, we have something for everyone. So sit back, relax, and join us for another stimulating conversation about time. Let’s dive in!

Engaging Conversations About Time: Exploring Random Clock Talks Vol. 6


Clockmaking is an art that has been perfected over centuries. It requires an immense level of precision and patience to create a functioning timepiece. Over time, watchmakers have developed various techniques to craft high-quality gears and components. One of the most intriguing demonstrations of watchmaking is J.M. Huckabee’s Random Clock Talks from 1990 which showcases the process of wheel cutting using plastic and a Mosley watchmaker’s lathe. This article explores the highlights of this demonstration and delves into the importance of striving for excellence in clockmaking.

The Demonstration

During the talk, Mr. Huckabee walks the audience through the process of cutting four gears required for the AWI Certified Clockmaker Exam. He uses a dividing head to machine the blanks to the required size and then cuts the gears to specific sizes using a drill progression and backup plate. The objective of the talk was not to give perfect teaching, but to show the process and strive for excellence in clockmaking.

The Importance of Precision

Throughout the talk, Mr. Huckabee emphasizes the importance of precision in all the steps of the process. The gear must be cut to a specific diameter and addendum based on the module system, which measures the pitch line of the gear. For example, a 0.5 module gear equals a diameter of 0.5 millimeters. 64 teeth and 2 m4 modules equal a 1/2 millimeter gear. Calculation is used to determine the ultimate sizing of the gear. The attention needed in getting the measurements just right is critical, and making a mistake just once in the process can lead to needing to start over.

The Importance of Striving for Excellence

Even though Mr. Huckabee is highly proficient in watchmaking, mistakes and corrections are visible throughout the demonstration. For example, he accidentally cuts his finger while sawing and realizes he needs to reduce the speed on the lathe to better cut the gear blank. He does not shy away from revealing and correcting the mistakes which can happen in the process. The talk emphasizes that despite having years of experience in clockmaking, he still strives for excellence in his work and shows the audience the importance of paying attention to detail.


J.M. Huckabee’s Random Clock Talks from 1990 are an engaging demonstration of the process of wheel cutting using plastic and a Mosley watchmaker’s lathe. The talk shows the importance of precision and the need to strive for excellence, even for proficient watchmakers like Mr. Huckabee. The attention to detail required in the process is critical, and the audience can witness the mistakes and corrections made throughout the demonstration. The talk emphasizes the importance of continual improvement in clockmaking, which is an art that combines creativity, patience, and immaculate precision.


  1. What is the Mosley watchmaker’s lathe?
    The Mosley watchmaker’s lathe is a hand-operated device that is used to manufacture small components of watches and clocks. It is widely used in the watchmaking industry due to its high precision and accuracy.

  2. What is the AWI Certified Clockmaker Exam?
    The AWI Certified Clockmaker Exam is a certification designed for professional clockmakers. It requires candidates to demonstrate expertise in various aspects of clockmaking, including movement, escapements, and case construction.

  3. What is the module system?
    The module system is a method used to measure gears’ size based on the pitch line of the gear. It is typically used in metric systems where the gear’s diameter is expressed as a function of the module, which is the inverse of the diametrical pitch.

  4. Why is precision essential in clockmaking?
    Precision is essential in clockmaking because it impacts the clock’s accuracy and functionality. Small errors in the gear’s sizing or placement can cause the clock to malfunction or lose time.

  5. What is the importance of striving for excellence in clockmaking?
    Striving for excellence in clockmaking is crucial to ensure that the created timepiece is accurate and functions optimally. Creating a perfect timepiece requires a long and meticulous process where even minor mistakes can lead to significant errors. Hence it is essential to keep striving for perfection.

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