clock case building

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by mikeald, Nov 26, 2010.

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  1. mikeald

    mikeald Registered User

    Mar 4, 2010
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    Hi guys,

    I have been browsing the net for some information on building wall clock/grandfather clock cases.

    I am a reasonably good chippie, and have been thinking of building a basic model. (Just for my own pleasure to be honest).

    I was wondering if anyone on here as actually built a case from scratch? And how they found it?

    And any idea please where I could get hold of some plans to have a look at?

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  2. RJSoftware

    RJSoftware Registered User

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    Ok, I gotta ask,

    what exactly is a chippie..?

    I could deduce that reffers to a person who 'cuts' wood, but maybe there is something more elaborate pondism.

    RJ
     
  3. mikeald

    mikeald Registered User

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    apologies,

    A Chippie, is a slang word for a carpenter.

    Just like we refer to an electrician as a 'sparky'.

    I assumed these were global expressions, sorry :D

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  4. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

    Feb 9, 2008
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    Mark,

    There are many out there but if you want something really nice, and usually no harder to build, I would suggest that you copy an antique clock. Many of them are very simple to build and much more attractive than a 'plan' clock.

    Be sure to have the movement you plan to use in hand before you cut any wood. Trying to find a movement that will fit an existing case is not something you want to do.

    Willie X
     
  5. Tony10Clocks

    Tony10Clocks Registered User

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    Hello Mike here's a link to a web site that has plans for clock cases HERE
    HTH and good luck
    Tony
     
  6. charlie44gs

    charlie44gs Registered User

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    #6 charlie44gs, Nov 26, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2018
    Mike,
    I have built two cases that are copies of a 19th century British case we had in our shop -- Classic Clocks, Atlanta. I had build a movement with a round dial and the "drumhead" style of the British clock seemed to fit it. The dial is not in the attached pix. I laminated veneer over plywood or white wood to make the base and waist. The hood "skin" is several layers of veneer stretched over a round frame. The hood door is solid mahogany. Since I had a model from which to take measurements designing the new case was fairly easy. I'll attach a few pix if I can figure out how. Good luck with your project.
    Charlie
    http://file:///Users/charliebrooks/Desktop/IMG_1097.JPG
    77210.jpg 77211.jpg 77212.jpg
     
  7. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    I've never built a clock case but if I did, would also copy one I like.
    Today, a keyhole shaped miniature vienna would be my choice.
     
  8. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    Yes - chippie is a carpenter, as opposed to a chippy!

    For our USA friends, that's a chip shop - a shop selling fish and chips, you over there call them fries.

    Back on topic, there's a good book on the subject that I have read - cannot recall it, but written by two authors - Amazon or Abebooks might be worth a Google.

    Wish you were nearer, Mike, as I have to make a mantel and wall clock case soon!

    Keep us posted.
     
  9. mikeald

    mikeald Registered User

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    Yes I have read that getting the movement first is the sensible thing to do.

    Nice clock Charlie...

    Thanks for the link Tony.

    I would like to replicate an antique clock if possible.

    I will probably attempt a build on a nice two train weight driven vienna clock if possible.

    As I say, I have reasonable carpentry skills, I am no expert, so a nice simple clock will do nicely :D.

    Mike - Yes it is a shame you are so far away, although perhaps next year I can convince the missus for a yorkshire holiday!!!!!

    I probably wont even start this project until next April, when it gets warmer!!!

    At the moment I have 3 inches of snow on my doorstep :eek:.

    I will keep you all informed of any progress I have into this...

    In the meantime I will search around for an antique wall clock plan...

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  10. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    #10 Vernon, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  11. mikeald

    mikeald Registered User

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    #11 mikeald, Nov 27, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  12. Oldfathertime

    Oldfathertime Registered User

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    This is an interesting topic. I have just bought a Hermle Vienna style complete movement consisting of the complete movement and dial with all the mounting brackets and winding key, coil gong strike and 3 rod type pendulum. It is a brand new unit, in as much as it's never been fitted in a case, dated 1979, it's a 147-071 movement with a 32cm pendulum 122.85 beats per minute. I intend to build a case for it in the near future keeping it very simple.
     
  13. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
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    Hi,
    Here are some pics of some of the clocks I have built. I have a couple that I built 30 years ago but they are not worthy of publication.
    tom 77248.jpg 77249.jpg 77250.jpg 77251.jpg 77252.jpg 77253.jpg 77254.jpg
     
  14. mikeald

    mikeald Registered User

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    these clocks are just amazing.

    I think I will perhaps work my way up to something like that!

    I will look around for some basic bracket clock plans I think.

    However, my intention is to eventually make a nice vienna case to suit a weight driven movement.

    Mike
     
  15. Dave B

    Dave B Banned

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    Over here, a "chippie" is often a lady of ill repute, and is likely to be found working the streets, looking for.....um......trade. ;)

    The only case I have ever attempted is the one in my avatar - a 1:12 scale model of a Western Massachusetts case made in 1805 amd containing a thirty hour Connecticut movement.
     
  16. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    If I were to build a Vienna, I'd choose the very earliest Biedermeier style. First, because I prefer that style but more relevantly, perhaps the easiest style Vienna to replicate as they are very simple in design and have minimal ornamentations.
     
  17. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Tom you did a awesome job on those clocks.Really like the schoolhouse clock.
     
  18. Bill Ward

    Bill Ward Registered User
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    Nice, Tom! The first one is very similar to the only clock I have from my family, an Ingraham. Is that what you modeled it after?
    Mike, you not only need the movement in hand, but also the dial. I suspect that a tallcase wouldn't be much harder than a bracket clock, especially if it wasn't veneered. Bracket clocks are like jewel boxes, and are subject to very close inspection, so the slightest flaw will be apparent. Many antique tallcases are really rather crude, or at least have obvious flaws, but they're usually seen from across the room. An American Craftsman style tallcase can be made by just tacking a few strips of oak together.
    For my part, I'd like to build a few cases for clocks I can't afford, such as a lanterndluhr. I'd use a real antique movement, as they're hardly more expensive than a modern one.
     
  19. Vernon

    Vernon Registered User
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    Well said Bill,
    In addition, you'll have about the same number of boards or cuts to make. Really the only difference is more lumber to buy! :rolleyes:
     
  20. mikeald

    mikeald Registered User

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  21. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
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    Hi all,
    First,thank you all for the compliments. Some of the clocks I build are loosely patterned after originals and some are dimensionally duplicates(only the wood has been changed to protect the innocent!)I will never produce an exact copy because that I believe is a sign of disrespect to the master who produced the original.I believe that as a cabinetmaker I have to leave part of myself if it is to be considered my work.
    Second,Bill for you to make a blanket statement that most tall clocks are shabbily built demonstrates an enormous lack of knowledge about tall case clocks. The quality and attention to detail in many clocks produced from the early 1700's up to the early 1900's rivals any(and I mean ANY) piece of furniture ever produced. You need to study some of the English veneered cases of the Tompion era,French cases utilizing Bulle work,Italian and German cases using marquetry,and even some of the carved American cases produced by Durfey in the early 1900's before you make such a statement.
    I have built and repaired many tall case clocks. What I can say is that many examples of provincial(country) cases exist.There the techniques of construction are not the best because they were not built by "cabinetmakers",but they were locally produced. These are generally a utilitarian case meant to serve a single purpose. If you care to investigate American cabinetmakers who produced clock cases check out the brothers Seymore or Stephen Badlam,these men worked in the Boston area late 1700's and early 1800's.
    tom
     
  22. Willie X

    Willie X Registered User

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    I would add, I have seen many high dollar clock cases from Europe and US made in the last 100 years that aint so shabby either.

    Willie X
     
  23. Scottie-TX

    Scottie-TX Registered User
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    I'm not BILL's spokesman, TOM, but candidly I don't read that he thinks most are shabby. He did write, "many" but then he qualified his opinion with a specific type he called, "craftsman" and to some extent I think others may agree.
     
  24. shagslayer

    shagslayer Registered User

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    well i'm a master carpenter, millwright, and pile driver. witch means i can fabricate or build anything with wood. my father built some grandfather clocks out of wood, he just used cheep wood and put bevils on it and then took a torch and blackend the wood to give it an older look. and you can buy any old clock thing at a hardware shop. this can be done very easily, and whatever your building project i'd be happy to assist you with advice.
     
  25. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    #25 Ralph, Nov 30, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
    George Bruno has created some wonderful plans/blueprints of various movements, brass and wood, and cases.

    Here's a link to his son's site, where you can inquire about the plans.

    http://www.torringtonclockco.com/

    ..and here are some images of some of the plans and their content.

    http://astro5.com/Temp/GBruno/

    Here's another link to a company in the UK. They use to give out come free CD's and plans, but I think everything is fee now.

    http://www.riversdaleclocks.com/

    .
    .
    . oops, just checked the site abve and it is gone:???:

    Thanks to Youtube, some of their efforts are there..

    http://www.google.com/search?q=riversdale+clocks&hl=en&prmd=v&source=univ&tbs=vid:1&tbo=u&ei=Moj0TIKgNI2Snwf8goi5Cg&sa=X&oi=video_result_group&ct=title&resnum=5&ved=0CDIQqwQwBA

    Ralph
     
  26. mikeald

    mikeald Registered User

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    excellent,

    Thank you all for your help :D

    Mike
     
  27. daveR

    daveR Registered User
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    If you want to go down the book path, David Bryant produced a book in 1994 with plans and a parts list for a variety of clocks. Vienna regulator, Balloon, dial clock and bracket clock to name a few. Well produced with dimensions detailed for bits like mouldings and such. May be a bit hard to find now. Try second hand?

    Wooden clock cases
    David Bryant
    1994
    isbn 071346822 x

    david
     
  28. Jeff Salmon

    Jeff Salmon Registered User
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    Here are a couple of pictures of a regulator style clock I designed. I have very little woodworking experience and I made a set of drawings.
    I used a giant French movement with a 9 1/4" dial that I acquired many years before I actually got around to building the case. I laminated and bent the sides of the case. The pendulum I modified to fit the clock (I shortened it). The clock runs about 15 days and keeps excellent time. I am getting ready to make a table regulator case for a 7" dial French clock. 77533.jpg 77534.jpg 77535.jpg
     
  29. Mike Phelan

    Mike Phelan Registered User

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    Your clock cases ara amazing, Tom!
    I agree with your comments on some of the cases around 1700; woods there were local, and fruitwoods - apple, pear and cherry were favourite for marquetry.
    Christopher Gould made some great longcase clocks. Like this one.

    BTW, it's Boulle - Bulle was the electric clock designer in the 20th C.
     
  30. tom427cid

    tom427cid Registered User
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    Jeff,
    Very nice,an elegant clock. Your design really showcases the VE and pendulum.
    Mike,thankyou for the kind words.
    tom
     

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