The Breakroom > The Water Cooler

What's the deal with Clockwork Square Dimples?

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S. Heslop:
I opened the cheap dial indicator since i'd foolishly left it next to the computer and it's inevitable curiosity would get the better of me. Thankfully it wasn't the kind of mechanism designed to explode. But inside I found The Squares again.

Alot of clockwork and clockwork related stuff (camera shutters, tape mechanisms, etc) is built from these plates with regular square dimples. Sometimes they're arranged specific to the part, away from holes and such, and sometimes it's like this where it was clearly in the plate before it was cut. But i've got no idea what their purpose is. Some kinda reenforcement? Equilizes stress? An old decorative 'symbol of quality' nobody dares drop? A hardness testing department that gets paid per reading? Extremely aggressive work-holding? Work hardens the material?

It's been bothering me for years but I was too embarrassed to ask since... it also looks like it should be obvious somehow, especially when it's so ubiquitous. I think at this point i'd be a little disappointed if the answer wasn't blindingly obvious..

I suppose if us amateur modders could buy it, assuming the dots are accurate, it would make layout easy.

But since those examples are almost certainly stamped, ive no idea either.
Unless they are an artefact of the press?

I have an idea that it might be to add stiffness to the plate. I seem to recall reading something to that effect many years ago. I could, of course, be talking complete bollocks  :D

I'd always though it was to restore flatness after previous manufacturing operations.

S. Heslop:

--- Quote from: awemawson on September 11, 2021, 01:15:11 PM ---I'd always though it was to restore flatness after previous manufacturing operations.

--- End quote ---

I took as close-up a photo as the phone could manage and...

It's hard to tell if stuff was dimpled before of after the stamping, for me at least. But there is some metal deformed out around that big hole, at about the 11 and 5 positions. So it does seem like it was dimpled after stamping, and that'd explain why.

Although now i'm wondering what you'd even call such a machine.


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