palmtree leaflet h.png
Galileo Project 2018

Galileo Project

Jan 20, 2018

A few of the SVW members have volunteered in the SCHS class rooms to teach some woodworking skills to the students. This Galileo Project was developed by me (Ray Hari) for the Santa Clara High School kids who were taking the Construction 1 class. This is about a month long project. It can extend to 6 weeks or more depending on the number of kids and the size of the woodshop you have. SCHS has a large enough wood shop with 2 table saws, 2 router tables, 2 miter saws, 2 drum sanders, 3 drill presses, 2 scroll saws and 3 bandsaws, a jointer and surface planer along with miscellaneous other hand tools.  A class of 30 students can finish this in a month. The kids usually do this project along with a couple of other projects in one semester. At the end of the semester each kid would have made their own pendulum clock all the way from start to finish just following the step by step instructions. This was repeated for 4 different sessions for a total of about 120 kids each year.  If you are a school teacher who wants to do a similar project please feel free to use this material. If you have any questions you can contact me at

How to use the material

I give a 45 minute powerpoint presentation about the project. It includes a history of the invention of the pendulum and some theory behind how it works. Then I explain how the project will progress and the grading scheme. Here is the pdf version of the powerpoint presentation I developed and use.

The kids are provided with some paper templates that they glue on to wood using glue sticks before cutting out the shapes on the bandsaw or scroll saw. Here is a pdf file with the templates to use with the project. Print them out on standard letter size printing paper with no margins. The templates have the corners marked with a X inside a square. The outside corners of those squares should match the corners of a 8.5"x11" paper.

The following images are posted on a poster board for the kids to follow while doing their project. It gives them step by step instruction on what to do. Here is a pdf version of the project building instructions if you need it.

Note: What is not shown here is the "Galileo Wheel Jig" that trims the teeth of the wheel to a precise distance from the center of  the wheel. What is also not shown is the wall mount where they will hang the finished project for testing and grading. The wall mount is just 2 screws spaced apart according to the mounting slots on the template (front plate).

~ Hari ~