The Puyallup Fair #1: Gearing up

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Blog entry by GodofBiscuits posted 08-13-2011 12:50 AM 1798 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The Puyallup Fair series Part 2: No wait... scratch that! »

As some here know, I enjoy entering my woodworking projects in the local Fair Competitions. This year is no exception. Last year I entered a Wooden geared clock at the Orange County Fair in Southern California. This year I will be entering the same clock in the Puyallup Fair in Western Washington (My new home). I learned a lot at the OC Fair about displaying my clocks and how the way it is judged makes a huge difference in how it is awarded. The clock was delivered to the OC Fair in pieces, since transporting it all in one piece is not possible. When I arrived at the drop off, I was told to set it on a table and it would be displayed AFTER judging. Well, this posed a serious problem as in it’s sitting on a table state, it is not nearly as spectacular as if it were mounted to a wall with the weights and pendulum hanging in proper form. As it turned out, when the fair opened, I was amazed to see the clock mounted with weights and pendulum not installed correctly and a couple pieces had been knocked off and were no where to be found. After fixing the weights and getting the clock operating again, I went home to make new pieces to replace those missing. The clock had been rewarded a second place in class, which really, I was super happy to receive, but was later told that had the clock been displayed and running would have easily gotten first place. I was later awarded two industry awards and a second in peoples choice which were all judged during the duration of the fair, so were judged while the clock was displayed and running. That on top of the second place made for one extremely happy me! :o)

On to this year. I have had little luck in contacting the Puyallup Fair coordinator in an effort to find out if the clock could be installed before judging, and if there is even a place to install the clock at all. I’ve decided to go ahead and remove this entire question from the equation, and am going to build a wall to mount it to. Build a wall you say? yeah, build a wall. Since the clock is meant to be installed permanently to a wall, why not MAKE a wall for it to be displayed on! that way it can be easily moved and will take any and all chance of the clock being installed incorrectly, out of the whole equation right from the get go. So off to the home center I went…

Lets see… a few 2×4s a 2×6, a bunch of nails, that takes care of the frame. Now to cover it. Drywall or Blond wood plywood? hmmm? Since the clock is kind of light, being that it is primarily built from Baltic Birch and Tiger Maple, a Blond wood background would just cause the clock to blend into the background and not really pop. I could paint it! Yeah, but then whats the point of spending four times the amount of sheetrock, when its just to be painted? So sheetrock it is! I’m going to make this so that I can use it for future clock displays as well, so the better it looks and the more it resembles it’s intended space, the better it will look in the end, right? I’m thinking a blood red color for the entire display since the first time I ever installed the clock, it was on an accent wall in a living room that was painted a deep blood red color that made the clock jump out at you with far more depth and detail than on a standard white or eggshell paint.

Now to the design the thing! Yeah, I know, I bought materials before actually having a design laid out on paper, butut really, I can always use construction materials, so if I end up with more than I need, I can always use something on the next project. yeah, that’s it, uh huh.

Measuring the clock I came up with an initial design measurment of 2 feet wide, by 2 feet deep for the base made from 2×6 lumber and about 6 feet 6 inches tall made from 2×4 material. This would put the clock at eye level of the majority of people which is exactly where it should be. It also give the pendulum plenty of space to swing and will leave a little space above the large gear so it’s no poking above the wall. To strengthen the entire structure, I bought some Simpson tees and a couple corner brackets so the entire structure will stay square as well as add strength. It’s a little over kill, but better safe than sorry when it comes to a piece of art. The bottom will be a box that will have a piece of concrete stuck in it to hold the entire structure upright and not allow it to tip, Since the clock with weights and all weighs just over 40 pounds.

Now to get hammerin!!!

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?

6 comments so far

View Bothus's profile


442 posts in 3657 days

#1 posted 08-13-2011 01:41 AM

Pictures man! We need pictures!

Seriously though I can’t wait to see it.

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View WoodArtbyJR's profile


428 posts in 3445 days

#2 posted 08-13-2011 04:10 PM

Jeffery, my son-in-laws sister works for the fair (management offices). Would you like a little assistance in getting in touch with folks and getting your questions answered? Not sure if you’re aware but the Puyallup is in the top ten in the nation for size and attracts over a million people each year. GREAT display venue. I will look for your clock when I go.


-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View WoodArtbyJR's profile


428 posts in 3445 days

#3 posted 08-13-2011 04:13 PM

Bothus, Jeffery’s clock has been posed before, here is a link.


-- Jim Roberts, Port Orchard Washington

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4578 days

#4 posted 08-13-2011 04:16 PM

Autumn – pee-yall-up (Californian here….) : ^ )

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Derek Lyons's profile

Derek Lyons

584 posts in 4049 days

#5 posted 08-13-2011 05:09 PM

I’d have gone with plywood myself… it’s much, much less fragile than drywall. Also, a plywood skin can be used to stiffen the frame (I.E. turning the upright frame into a torsion box), making the whole affair lighter.

-- Derek, Bremerton WA --

View GodofBiscuits's profile


97 posts in 3556 days

#6 posted 08-13-2011 05:20 PM

WayneC, so close, it’s actually Pew-All-Up, also heard Pew-Al-Up but that was mostly buckley/enumclaw peeps. Lol.

Jim, that’d actually be great! I’m still going to build the display but it’d be nice to be able to actually speak with someone about it regardless. I work today but am free tomorrow.

Derreck, I’m still considereing a ply skin as moving it with the Sheetrock is gonna be tricky. If I can get some quarter inch I just might do so. I can still paint it and it’ll hold up a bit more and dent a whole lot less easily. I’ll have to prime the edges to hide the plies but a small price to pay for durability.

-- Are you going to use that piece of scrap?

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