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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Don A   

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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GNJC   

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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GNJC   

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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Don A   

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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GNJC   

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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Clare   

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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ausfire   

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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Farmall   

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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Frosty   

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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