Kit 8: The Slow Clock


[Note: There is no review for kit 7 at this time. Kit 8 was originally written up as a simple post-construction comment, and was never given a full review.]

A long time ago, Edmund Scientific was the company to go to if you wanted to experiment with science or electronics. You could get just about any kit on the market, as well as lasers and splitter lenses for holographic photography.

America’s got nothing on Japan for teaching people science. Want a piece of gear to build your own telescope or whatever? Go to Akihabara. Want a DIY magazine to show you how to build your own class 1 laser or RC space shuttle? Go to any book store – it’ll be right there on the shelves. Want to do something a little simpler but still learn a lot? Go to Gakken.


(Slow clock. The barbell unit at the top is a pivoting pendulum. Adjusting the threaded ball weights lets you change the pivot speed, which in turn controls the advancement of the hour hand. Moving the weights closer to the center speeds up the clock, and farther away slows it down.)

Kit 8: The Slow Clock: This is a simple 1-hand clock that teaches how timepieces work. The pieces are mostly good-quality plastic (meaning that they won’t quickly break or deform) and the kit takes about 2 hours to assemble. The drive mechanism is a hanging weight, about 10 ounces (which is a 500 ml bottle filled with water). The clock measures in 1-hour increments, and the string is long enough to let the clock operate 5 hours without winding. There’s no housing, so the ticking is a bit loud. It’s not the greatest clock you could buy for the money, but that’s not the point. You build the clock to learn how clocks work. Afterward, the mook also shows you how to modify the clock to turn it into a chime.

(No review of the mook this time.)

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