Anyone else built their own Clock?

Discussion in 'Clock Construction' started by Ck, Nov 3, 2006.

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  1. tin-injun

    tin-injun Registered User

    Nov 10, 2002
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    Scottie,Thanks for the kind words.Sorry,I should have explained the clock a little better.Sounds like you all figured out the Teamster advertising,and yes,I am a Local 688 member,a business agent asked me to make this for a Christmas present for the "big guy" of our Teamsters local.If you noticed the signature at the bottom of the glass it is a copy of the "big guy's" and will most likely be put in his office. Kent
     
  2. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Hello! It took me AGES to find this old thread, but I really didn't want to start a new one. Here's a clock that I just finished assembling this afternoon. It is being displayed in our showroom (www.jdcustomfurniture.com).

    This one is a rather large clock. It's solid oak, and measures about 45 inches high, and at the very top, it's over 15 wide.

    It is a really easy/plain case and the movement is a cheapie 2-3$ Timesavers Quartz movement, and the pendulum is a 24" Hermle type, on the "heavy duty" pendulum swing unit that they sell. I was disappointed when I first ste up the pendulum on the swing unit, because the swing is about 11 inches wide! So I had to make the case wider to accomodate it, which is why the dial is in a 'broken arch' rather than in a plain arch.

    I'm actually very happy with this one. The dial looks really swish, but it's a cheapie aluminum dial (also from Timesavers), and it was only 5$.

    The colour on it only shows up well in the third photo. The case is stained a "maple" colour, and the pendulum stick was blackened with a dark brown stain, then a light coat of a semi transparent black, so the grain is still visible.

    It took about 1 1/2 days to make (but will take less time next time I make it), and it's selling for 449.00 CDN (just in case anyone is curious!)

    Comments are always appreciated!

    It was hard to get any decent shot of the clock because of either: glare from the lights, or poor lighting. As mentionned, the last photo shows the true colours the best.

    View attachment 3231

    View attachment 3232

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  3. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Sooth, looks like a very well put together clock. How difficult is the battery changing?
     
  4. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Aha! Battery changing is a breeze. The dial is on a thin sheet of wood (which is braced for stability), that is hinged at the top, and held in place by a cabinet door clip. You simply flip the dial up, switch the battery, and clip it back down in place.

    When you lift the dial, you also gain full access to the pendulum swing unit, which is an entirely seperate device. So if the battery in the clock dies first, you don't need to disturb the pendulum.
     
  5. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    They're not exactly "battery hogs" , but I'm certain the clock'll probably LONG outlast the swinger battery.
    Nice work SOO - the usual excellence - your trademark!
     
  6. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Thanks Scottie!

    I'd still preffer a weight driven vienna (or regulator) movement in there, but as I said earlier, this is made for lazy non-clock folk.
     
  7. W.R. WoodWorking

    W.R. WoodWorking Registered User

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    Here is one that I built. I have the movement out of it at the moment. This one may be going to Chattanooga for the Nathionals competion. Im building a few more at the moment but cant photo them yet.
    Sorry Missy this is the clock that you wanted to see and Im just now posting a photo......WR 1420.jpg 1421.jpg 1422.jpg
     
  8. Missy

    Missy Registered User
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    Very nice W.R. :clap: I like the contrast of the white against the black. I see you found a nice original Ingraham dial. A very striking clock. :thumb:

    All the others posted are amazing as well. What a group of talented people.

    Missy
     
  9. glr1109

    glr1109 Registered User

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    The first caseI made. Each piece of the carvings are made from individual/different species of wood, the movement is a Hermle westminster:

    http://links.pictures.aol.com/pic?id=c790vWhtskK5E99NOza1XDIc0FXXhhwq4W0f&size=l

    The second case I made, I had to learn how to bend metel and weld. It was a custom design based on an industrial clothes washer for a retirement gift. The door actually opens for battery replacement:

    http://links.pictures.aol.com/pic?id=c790vWhtskK5E99NOza1XDIc0GOrwoogEtjZ&size=l
     
  10. W.R. WoodWorking

    W.R. WoodWorking Registered User

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    Thanks Missy. It has an original 1929 dail and 1929 Ingraham movement.
    It's supose to be a 1929 reproduction but I cant find any original ad pictures for it. I have to have one to enter it in the repro class at the nationals. I began the construction of this clock by memory from a clock I had seen but hoping I didnt make a mistake and it being another year model or something.:?| if so I will have to remove the dail and movement and put a black mantel syle dail in it and a hermle and call it a replica.:bang: theres a 1925 I know that is built just like it but has 4 fluted colums instead of 6 smooth like I have on this clock.....WR
     
  11. Paul Arsenault

    Paul Arsenault Registered User
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    This a picture of a Vienna Regulator I built from plans and movement from Mason & Sullivan about 20+ years ago. It's made from cherry wood. This was a very satisfying project....Paul 1462.jpg
     
  12. Scottie-TX

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    . . . . . . .and a MAGNIFICENT job you did.
     
  13. glr1109

    glr1109 Registered User

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    Paul...very nice! I really like these "Vienna Regulator" style clocks.

    My brother is recently retired. He was always a good artist, but he doesn't think he can build a case. My advice is: start with the movement! Then just remember that its just a box...whether its round, square or rectangle and no matter what the composition of the material...then be creative with the molding and trim, but, he can't quite get the concept. I think he's afraid of the movements. Which with me is quite the other way around.

    There are some beautiful clocks on this thread. Maybe, he can view it and see what I mean.

    greg

    ps: Please don't think I'm minimalizing the work involved or the beauty.
     
  14. stank2

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    Here's a clock I put together in 1979 that I'd like to share with everyone. The door was a New Hampshire mirror that I picked up at a flea market and which gave me the inspiration to make a clock. I made the case from an old OG case I had. The dial was painted by Mrs. Smallwood of Dallas, Georgia while the glass was painted by Lee Davis of York, Pa. The movement is a lyre banjo size movement made by Kilbourn and Proctor of Scituate, Mass. The clock is somewhat smaller than a real New Hampshire mirror clock (the size being determined by the mirror). 1486.jpg 1487.jpg 1488.jpg
     
  15. Great clock.

    Nice job stank2

    It can hang in my collection anytime.
     
  16. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Wow. Nice job!
     
  17. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    This is a new clock I just recently finished.

    I bought a book called "Woden Clock Cases" by David Bryant, and in it, he has scale drawings of period originals. All the clocks are illustrated with all the information needed to build them.

    In that book, I saw a really nice clock that was a 1760's Black Dial clock. This clock that I made is a slightly modified version of the same clock. The dial is identical, but a bit smaller (the dial is 14 inches wide with a 9 3/8 chapter ring, the original dial was almost 17 inches wide). The case is entirely different. The original clock uses a short pendulum time only fusee clock, but instead, I had an old Korean long shaft movement that was in running order, so I made the case to fit it.

    So the case is made in the style of an 1860's English Drop Dial clock. So it's a mix of the two. I did, however, keep the oak case the same colour as the original black dial's case.

    This clock literally cost me under 15-20$ to make. The movement was a crappy "spare" from a horrible clock, the wood cost me about 10$ from work, and the rest is all labour. The most time consuming part was to turn the dial on the lathe, then sand it smooth. Getting that centre section "flat" is much harder than it looks.

    The dial was entirely handpainted by myself using just some gold paint, rulers, and an inking compass (I don't know the proper term for this tool). The hands were also hand cut with a jeweler's saw, then filed, polished, and lacquered.

    https://mb.nawcc.org/

    View attachment 3234
     
  18. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    PS: I will have to get a few more detailed shots of the clock. You can't tell from the photos, but the dial is quite intricate, and thick. It has a deep curved edge with a small gold bead, and then another raised bead closer to the centre.

    There's also a small door on the left of the case to access the strike lever. There's a second door on the bottom to regulate the pendulum. All the hardware is old brass hardware that I had lying around.
     
  19. glr1109

    glr1109 Registered User

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    Very nice!! Great work! Looks very contemporary, I like it. :thumb:

    I cant' even draw a crooked line well alone straight lines:%

    greg
     
  20. Sooth,

    Beautiful... U R indeed a craftmen.
     
  21. stank2

    stank2 Registered User
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    Beautiful piece of work, Sooth. I especially like those hands. Those must have taken some effort.

    I have one question- how do you wind the clock? I don't see any winding holes.
     
  22. shutterbug

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    As an extension to this post, has anyone made their own movements? I did note the skeleton in an earlier post - very cool. Any others??
     
  23. Sooth

    Sooth Registered User
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    Thanks for the compliments everyone.

    Stank, the clock winds from the front. The holes are simply drilled in the face, but since they are painted black, and have no gromets, they are not very noticable. They are pretty much invisible in those photos. As I said, I will get a few more pics when I get the chance.

    The hands were only a bit of a challenge because of my problems with my jeweler's saw, which is only 2 1/4 inches deep (to the back of it). I had to angle the saw, and cut-in from both sides. Otherwise, cutting the hands was rather easy. I just glued my pattern on the brass sheet, and started cutting.

    https://mb.nawcc.org/
     
  24. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    To us Brits, that is "making a clock". The posts here are "making cases", excellent as they are.

    This one do? Circa 1990.

    There are a few others, but I have not taken pics yet. I made a Synchronome in 1983, but it is dismantled for servicing at the moment. 2313.jpg 2314.jpg 2315.jpg
     
  25. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    And finally, all of it:
    Note to Brassophobes - cleaned when I made it, and no lacquer! Final polish with chalk. 2316.jpg
     
  26. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Your the man Mike. No doubt! Did you make/mill all the parts?

    RJ
     
  27. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    RJ
    Thanks. Yes - the only things that were not made from raw materials were the glass dome and the chapter ring (which I am not 100% happy with).

    Everything else was just (leaded) brass and steel stock; soft iron for the magnet poles and armature. The base was from some mahogany offcuts from a shopfitter pal, glued and turned.
    Balance rim is an offcut of steel pipe.
    Contact points are from scrap car relay, ballraces from scrap video for balance staff and impulse roller.
    It uses 3 D-cells that need replacing every 18 months or so.

    Long live the junkbox! :clap:

    Current "clock" project is a mainspring winder. :thumb: Watch this space.
     
  28. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    My Grand dad use to have the "tool shed". The place was absolutley amazing. I would go in on some request for some item, and just get lost in fantacy from seeing so many different tools/junk/scrap/things it would just boggle the mind. Sometimes for hours. Thinking of different projects I could start.

    Too bad back then they didn't have ebay. I could of made a killin. I remember him and Grandma use to have arguments, she didn't see so much value in the junk he collected. (In ways maybe she was correct), but he would argue to anyone over things they threw away.

    They lived at that house for better than 60 years, so you can't even begin to imagine the stuff that was in the shed. It was a fairly large shed. I have seen apartment complexes smaller.

    It took several years after Grandma's death which was much later than his to where the shed finally got emptied out. No joke..!

    So, I do know what you mean when you say, long live the junk box. (I think :) )
    RJ
     
  29. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Mike - wow! VERY cool! :)
     
  30. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Hey, RJ, my dad had a toolshed, too. When I was a kid, I sure didn't want an invite back there:eek:
     
  31. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    LOL! NO, that was the back of the tool shed. I remember them days well!

    RJ
     
  32. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    I have mentioned this before, but if I scrap anything mechanical or electrical (and that is not that often!) then it donates many of its organs to the aforementioned junkbox.
    Even screws, nuts, bolts, washers and springs can be recycled.
    PCBs have useful bits on them for me as well.

    It is sad that the things that are scrapped are generally fairly new; older things can be fixed.
    That's progress for you. Heigh ho. :?|
     
  33. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
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    I just finished a four - five month project... My clock repairman / very good friend brought a 5 tubular chime (Westminster chime only) Urgos movement to me in December and asked me to "Make a Grandfather clock ... Doesn't matter what it looks like, just make a case to fit the movement". I guess he had just won the movement on Ebay...

    I sent away for plans, but they didn't appeal to me at all. The movement has one of those pendulums that are about 12" accross. It has a "lyre" above the pendulum ball, and a simulated gridiron pendulum rod... Most Granfather clocks with these movements are the "straight no-waist" type GF clocks put out by Howard Miller, etc., and that's what the plans that I ordered looked like...

    Well, I trashed the plans. ($29.95 down the drain ! ) I like the "thin waist look" of a Tall case clock... and, since I had alot of leeway with what I needed to make, I went with (as much as I could) a thin waist case. I decided to work with cherry since I had never worked with it before. I decided not to go by any plans for this clock, Just pictures from books, the Internet, and "what was in my head. :) The only clocks that I make from "plans" are Banjo Clocks. I saw pictures of older Walthams and Walter Durfee tall clocks, and this is what I tried to "simulate". I don't know how successful I was, but it I think it came out OK...

    View attachment 3235

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  34. leeinv66

    leeinv66 Moderator
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    Very nice Joe! I would be happy to have it in my home. Yea, the "thin waist look", looks great!

    Cheers
    Peter
     
  35. harold bain

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    Nice work, Joe. A clock to be proud of:thumb:
     
  36. Joe Hollen

    Joe Hollen Registered User
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    Peter / Harold:

    Thank You very much for your kind comments ! In hindsight, it was a lot bigger project than I thought when I first started it. If I could have worked three to four weeks straight on in, 8 to 10 hours a day, I would have finished it in a month... But, the job, and other family projects and duties all seemed to get in the way...

    I learned a lot doing this too. It's the first Tall Clock that I've ever built, and the first time I used Cherry in the construction of any clock. If you've ever built anything with Cherry before, I'm sure you'll agree that it's a very interesting wood to work with. It smells great when you saw or sand it ! :) By the time I fitted the dial door, you could see how much all the other finished parts of the clock had "darkened" over time ... a "neat" characteristic of Cherry. I used amber shellac for the first coat, followed by a good going over with 00 steel wool. This basically "sealed" the wood fairly well, which was intended to prevent "blotching". I then vacuumed it, and coated it with cherry stain. The stain did not soak in. It just "slightly darkened" the amber color of the shellac. After the stain was dry I rubbed it in, then started applying "wipe-on-poly" followed by finer steel wool / vacuuming... When the surface started to look like a mirror, I stopped... It came out with a nice "butternut" color that I'm sure will darken more over time...

    Thanks again for your compliments !

    Joe
     
  37. jazzy454

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    Very nicely done Joe, quite impressive.
     
  38. Joe Hollen

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    #88 Joe Hollen, Mar 17, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2009
    ...
     
  39. Joe Hollen

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    Well, this thread hasn't been active for quite some time... So...

    I just finished this clock after working on it for about 4 months off and on... And, I learned one BIG lesson... Traditional Girandole clocks are very hard to make !!! Making one with just finished mahogany frames is *fun*, but this one took the fun right out of it ! This is the first time that I've tried my hand a "gilding". I had heard that "Dutch Gold" was much easier (as well as MUCH less expensive) than true gold leaf. I thought the shine of it was very nice when finished. The only drawback is that you have to seal it with dutch metal sealer, or it will tarnish (Dutch leaf is actually "brass")... I did the tablets myself also... I had a quote of close to 4 figures for the tablets from a highly recognized reverse glass painter...so, I figured I'd do them myself... Not absolutely professional, but "worth the cost" ... :)

    I'm glad it's over :) ...

    Joe

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  40. Dave B

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    My avatar is my first attempt at constructing a clock from scratch. The movement is a quartz watch. That huge machine in the background is an 8mm Boley Geneva style lathe. Take a look at my thread in Horological Misc.
     
  41. harold bain

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    Joe, thanks for sharing. Beautiful clock:thumb::thumb::thumb:
     
  42. Jeff Salmon

    Jeff Salmon Registered User
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    Some of you may remember this clock from another thread.

    This is a wall regulator that I designed and built, after about 15 years. It's an antique already! I bought the movement all those years ago and always wanted something like this style. The movement is French with a GIANT dial, 9 1/2" bezel. The movement is typical French, but the plates are square and about 6" square. The springs are 1" wide and the clock runs about 2 weeks. It is accurate to less than a minute in that time. The bezel is very heavy and the beveled glass is about 3/8" thick. The pendulum is from another clock, and altered to fit the movement, and shortened. The star is original. The case about 32" tall by 12 1/2" wide. The sides are laminated and formed to make the gothic top. The bottom is actually a small wall shelf I found at a store, and saved it for years, just for this project. Proportions were very important to make the clock look right. The case is black with the window moulding painted with brass colored paint. 30268.jpg 30269.jpg 30271.jpg
     
  43. Paul Regan

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    Joe, nice accomplishment on your Girondole!!! I have used that method of guilding before and found the same issues. Paul
     
  44. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    I really must get around to making a clock, now I'm retired.

    That is, making a clock in the UK sense, not making a clock case. ;)

    I have a pile of brass and steel for Philip Woodward's design - we'll see what happens!
     
  45. paradise

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    This is a clock I made some years ago. I got the dial at the Cleveland National from someone named Darrow if I remember right. It is 17 inches in dia and has some excellent engraving in the center so I used an IBM mechanism to avoid making holes in the dial. The overall clock is over 7 feet tall and hangs on the wall.
    Tha pillars are from a fireplace mantle of a friends house who was removing it. I put all this stuff on the shelf along with other items against the day I would use it in making a clock. Well the day finally came. What I discovered was NOTHING goes as quickly or as smoothly as planned. This clock took me on and off, mostly off, over a year to complete. 40770.jpg
     
  46. paradise

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    I have always admired the high end, London, pagoda style clock but could never afford one. What I could afford was some wood. This one is nice mahogany with some flame in the door which is hard to see in the pic. I got the dial parts over time and put them together. Usually I would like to have a dial and works before making a clock because I need it to use as a guide to figure out my proportions which are so important to the appearance of a clock or actually any piece of furniture. I will usually take several weeks and dozens of drawings to plan a clock.
    This one went a little quicker than others because I happened to get a little vacation time to concentrate on it but even at that it took several months; but not in a row as comedian Steven Wright said.
    As in so many high end London grandfathers a touch of brass against the beautiful color of the mahogany is a great addition and adds so much. The wire rods on the pillars of the bonnet are brazing rod from a welder supply house, and the other brass pieces are available at any of several clock supply houses. I had to modify the hinges to make them work but it wasnt very hard. Some of the wood panels I got at a local auction house. I would have them save broken furniture items for me occasionally and would buy them for very little but the wood was very nice and being old was very stable ane usually had some great looking grain.
    Every time I look at it I get the slightest little uncomfortable feeling. I just feel that the base is just the slightest bit off. It is overall just under 8 feet tall. 40771.jpg
     
  47. paradise

    paradise Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    90
    2
    8
    I got a hold of a Herschede nine tube movement and wanted to make a really big really nice Herschede style clock. I had to make it in 3 pieces and it ended up being 8 foot 10 inches tall and just looks massive because it is an archetectual style hood with no finials, nothing open just lots of wood. I like it a lot. I dont have a picture of the whole thing but I do have a pic of the bonnet to give an idea of its style. It is a waisted clock with the trunk section being 3 beveled glass panels [ door and 2 sides ]. The front of the base has a carved panel which I got from an auction house. It was the back of a chair. Its a very well done carving of the north wind and looks great down there and just fits perfectly. It is mostly mahogany but I ran into a great cache of black walnut so I used some here. I also stumbled on a nice upright piano someone was throwing out so I salvaged some panels from it but it ends up that piano panels are a little too thick to use redily and too much trouble to plane down for the most part so I actually had very limited use of them. I still have some and hope to use them someday, they are a beautiful old [ 1860's ] rosewood veneer on oak. Ive had them for years just waiting for the right project to come along. 40772.jpg
     
  48. paradise

    paradise Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    90
    2
    8
    This is the only clock I have made for someone. It was in exchange for a few hundred feet of walnut. It came from his farm and he was a good friend so I agreed to the deal. I had to sit down with him several times to design a clock which he wanted and we made several plans before settleing on a final design. Another thing he wanted was a pictorial record of the making, something I didnt do with other clocks but have started doing now, so I have almost 200 pics of all phases of making this clock. Heres the kicker: he had some beautiful walnut aged for over 20 years in his barn but he wanted a mahogany clock. Well he bought me the wood but paid me so to speak with mahogany otherwise I would have just made it for himbecause he was a good friend. Im going to try to include a few interesting pics of this one since I have a large photographic record. I didnt show the dial here but it is a typical French porcelain dial for a pinwheel movement. The panel above the dial is reversable. One side is birds eye and the other is a flame mahogany. I guess you can show your mood. It was his idea but I like the flame myself.
    The brass in the door is a 1/4 X 1/4 rod all the way around used to hold in the front glass which is a beveled pane. One of the pictures shows 1/2 inch brass brass brackets I made to mount the movement. They can be seen by looking through the side panels. Notice they are opposite so that when you look at each side it is seen in the proper direction for reading the owners inital " G ". The drawing was a final sketch but as would happen there were some changes made along the way. 40773.jpg 40774.jpg 40775.jpg
     
  49. paradise

    paradise Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    90
    2
    8
    I wanted to make a few clocks that didnt take a year or more so I could get them done before I became senile.
    The balloon is ripple maple with rosewood border and an ebony strip between them. The brass figure on the front is from a wall sconce I got at an antique shop for 20 dollars. The clock stands about 17 inches tall with a 7 inch dial on a nice French open scape mechanism.
    The bracket clock is mahogany and mahogany veneers and weighs a lot. It is about 25 inches tall and has the rest of the wall sconce. The brass surround of the dial and border at the base is from the same wall sconce. It has a trip fusee movement with a rack of 8 bells and cathedral gongs for westminster. I got the side panels from an old gentlaman at a NAWCC meeting for too much money. 40778.jpg 40779.jpg
     
  50. paradise

    paradise Registered User
    NAWCC Member

    Jun 24, 2007
    90
    2
    8
    Something a little more current. I am currently working on these two clocks. They are very large wall hanging regulators loosley based on two models I like by American makers. The walnut one will have a pinwheel movement with a dial I made which is shown. The ripples in the dial are a reflection of the ceiling so try to look beyond them. The mahogany one will have an astro mechanism I got at a meeting in Orlando several years ago. I dont have a dial for ita and will try to make one and hop0e I can do it well because if it doesnt look right it will detract from the clock. They are both far from being done as each will have several little attachments which take a lot of time to make but are the type of thing that end up making the clock.
    Try NOT to see the mess in the garage when you look at the pics. I am very cramped for room so many things are on top of each other. Often when I work it takes me 15 mins just to get access to the item Im working on. Man a nice workshop is wealth. I know: I dont have either. 40780.jpg 40781.jpg 40782.jpg 40783.jpg
     

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