There are 54 gears on our average Inner Planet Orrery. They range from 10 teeth all the way up to 120 teeth. I would guess the average tooth count at around 45. That is 2430 teeth. Each tooth is cut by winding the milling table one way and then the other whilst indexing round the dividing head.
Engraving takes patience and concentration from set up to finish, one misstep and I lose hours of work.
There are many skills involved in orrery making but by far the most time consuming part of building an orrery is buffing and polishing the brass. It is definitely a skill that probably isn't considered a skill but like any other skill, you can only get really good and really efficient at it after thousands of hours of practice. For best results it can only be done by hand. 10 grades of abrasive paper rubbed back and forth over the surface hundreds of times.
When I have had camera crews and photographers in for various media things to capture me working this part never makes it into the final edit.
No mater how refined the design or how mesmerising the movement an orrery will only be as good as the finish on the brass.
What better way to show of my skills with emery paper than looking at the finish using my brand new Canon camera. I uploaded a new video to Youtube of a finished Inner Planet Orrery...
Making the base for this orrery is featured in an earlier blog post.
Some people ask me why I have no sound in my videos. The answer.. because I am always contending with noise from outsde the house, inside the house, kids, cat, dog, washing machine.
The orreries are quite anyway, only a slight jangling of gears which are pleasant to listen to but hardly audible without volume on max..
Inspired by our recent video by the Michelangelo Foundation I decided to pep this videos up and wow, what a transformation. Some dynamic shots, music and editing bring the video to life.
Prototype for a new orrery.
Psst! I am working on a protoype for a new model, something that I can make in small batches. It is early days but I will keep you posted.
Thank you for stopping by.