Gurdy Hurdy

The brief for this one was simply 'Something impressive' so, I present the 'Gurdy Hurdy clock..

You can see on the side of the clock, 3 original tin and lead organ pipes, as salvaged from an old Welsh Chapel and then clamped to the clock chassis. The central item on top is a motor that is connected to a brass linkage / arrangement. On the hour the motor turns and pushes open a pair of bellows, against a piece of elastic on the rear of the clock. As soon as the motor passes centre, it is no longer pushing the bellows apart, and the elastic forces them shut rapidly. The airflow produced is then routed through to the organ pipes!

The clock is musically themed, Gurdy Hurdy being a play on 'Hurdy Gurdy' a medieval type of stringed instrument played by turning a little handle. Fitted with the lovely ZM1040 Nixie tubes. Some of the controls are taken from an old organ. The trumpet mouthpiece is now used as a temperature sensor as it makes an excellent thermal mass, to give a very stable temperature readout. The red light indicates that the clock is 'playing' Inside is a music box movement that is hooked up to a motor, so you don't need to wind it up by hand. Plays 'Tea for Two' if you're interested.

  • Themed musical clock, so I incoportated pipe organ / trumpet / music box into the design
  • Kinetic operaion, movement as well as sound
  • Can be annoying sounding the pipes on the hour, so thoughfully fitted a mute switch!