chainsaw

Clock or Spit Jack

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Joseph Moxon's "Mechanicks Exercises" has plans for a spit jack It was published in 1703 though a lot of the data is earlier.

Make sure you get the full book and not just the printing section that is commonly sold. I got a copy put out by Astragal Press.

Haven't tried his plan...yet.

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Excuse my ignorance, but what is the purpose of a spitjack / clockjack?

Looks like a shop winch, but there has to be more to it than that.

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Hello Chainsaw,

Hope you are still active and reading posts.

I am planning to make a 'Clock Jack' too, we call it a 'Spit Engine' here in the UK.

Did you have any luck getting plans and do you have any advice to pass on?

Thanks.

G.

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Hello Sam,

Thanks for the offer, but I have a copy of that excellent book (and reviewed it on the forum some time ago).

A scan of the plans and text in Moxon's book would be most welcome if you have a copy!

I have many, many illustrations and photo's of spit engines and some video of the mechanisms working - courtesy of another posting on IFI. But... I am very keen to find plans/blueprints from the correct period.

The reason for this is that I am pretty sure that there is a certain ratio that experience has proved to work best in the gearing; comments from local horologists give strength to this thought. It would be soul destroying to hand cut all the cogs etc. just to find I had discovered a poorly functioning ratio!

I have been in touch with Ivan Day (food historan), he built a copy of the spit engine in the kitchen at the castle museum in York. He is abroad for a couple of weeks but I'll have a chat with him on his return and will pass on any good advice to all who are interested.

Regards,

G.

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I saw a travel show yesterday that was touring Bath, England. They were visiting an 18th century kitchen that had a dog powered spit turner. You actually put a dog in a suspended "hamster wheel" looking thing and he would run/walk for a two hour shift and then you swap dogs. The wheel was shafted and geared to turn the spit over the cook fire.

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Hello all,

I have finally tracked down and bought a fairly ropey copy of Moxon's book (the prices most sellers were asking were crazy!).

The good news is that the title is well and truly out of copyright.

The book does indeed contain a basic plan and quite detailed instructions for the construction of a spit jack ('clock jack' to brother Jonathan). Given time - and some luck with my techno-skills - I shall add the scanned-in chapter.

Hope this will be of help to some.

Please keep me posted if you have a go at making this according to the instructions. Any tips learnt along the way will be most welcome.

G.

Edited by GNJC

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I am looking to make a miniature spit jack. I see GNJC posted some scans of Moxon'splans but I am having trouble downloading them. Can anyone help please.

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Clare, the post is nearly 8 years old. A lot of those pics from back then are not available any more ... unfortunately. Suggest you start a new topic xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx- someone may be able to help.

 

removed suggestion of starting new thread, there is no reasons to not keep it here

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or go to the source: "Mechanick Exercises or the Doctrine of Handy-Works" Joseph Moxon (Make sure you get a copy that has Section 1 on Blacksmithing, I've seen some reprints of just the printing section, Mine is a facsimile edition put out by Astragal Press)

As I recall it can also be downloaded from the Web

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Peter Ross, the retired master smith at Colonial Williamsburg, built several including the one on display in the Dewitt-Wallace Museum.   He is in North Carolina now.  You might try reaching out to him.  He's always been helpful for me.

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On 6/29/2017 at 1:27 AM, Clare said:

I am looking to make a miniature spit jack. I see GNJC posted some scans of Moxon'splans but I am having trouble downloading them. Can anyone help please.

Clare, did you get anywhere in finding plans, etc. ?

Dave

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Welcome aboard Clare, glad to have you. If you'll put your general location in the header you might be surprised how many of the gang live within visiting distance.

Sorry, I can't help with a reference, something else maybe.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Yes I suggest you read this thread in it's entirety as plans are discussed in it.

As you must be living in the Netherlands I would commend the spitjack on display at Muiderslot to you  as a nice example to copy. I was particularly enchanted by the method they used to have it start ringing a bell when it was time to wind it back up.

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2 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

ringing a bell when it was time to wind it back up.

A spit and tinkle Thomas? I'm speachless.

Welcome aboard Nick, glad to have you. Thomas is hinting in his charmingly curmudgeony manner that if you put your general location in the header you might discover IFI members living within visiting distance. A lot of info is region specific, hence his reference to the Nederlands. I Alaska we just hit the neighborhood rig joint for BBQ. :rolleyes: 

We'll be happy to help you, we just need a little more info to go on.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hey, if they won't hint where they are at; I'll put them somewhere where it might do them some good.

Scout Camps are all over; My Father went to a Jamboree in Europe a couple of years after WWII; traveled by ship and rail had a lot of stories about it and how rebuilding was still getting started good.

If you ever get out here to Philmont ask nicely if you can see the hand forged ironwork in the big house!

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