Skills Building #2: Clock Project - Mortise & Tenons galore

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Blog entry by NewPickeringWdWrkr posted 04-19-2010 08:59 PM 1791 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: First Hand Cut Dovetails Part 2 of Skills Building series Part 3: Clock Project - Resawing, Bookmatching Panels »

They say that there’s nothing like practise to make you better at a skill.

My cousin’s wedding is in June, and I decided in my new wood working glory to make a wedding present for them. After consulting my wife, we decided that building a clock would be a nice gift. So I spent some time searching the project archive here on LJ’s, and around the web. Saving pictures to the hard drive so that I could go back and forth to choose without having to bookmark the various pages that I liked.

I saw the design for the Slat Clock on Klockit, but wasn’t interested in paying for it. So, I got to drawing it up in Sketchup. Here’s what I came up with:
Sketchup of Slatclock

The slats will be made of purpleheart and the top/bottom borders plust the face will be maple. The slats will be joined to the top/bottom and to the rear part of the face by mortise & tenon. That’s 20 mortise & tenons! I did make some on my shaker table, but these are going to need to be a little more clean as the eye will be drawn to them by virtue of the change in species of wood at the joints.

Here’s the slats. I’ve milled them down to the same thickness, paid attention to grain patterns and clamped them together when cutting the length. I also have used my Veritas wheel marking gauge to ensure that the tenon length is the same on all pieces.

I’m using the table saw to cut my tenons and then I will make the mortises by hogging out the material with a forstner bit and fine tuning the fit by chisel.

Wish me luck! Oh, if anyone’s interested in the plans, I’m happy to email them to you.

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

3 comments so far

View zer0bot's profile


9 posts in 3451 days

#1 posted 04-19-2010 11:01 PM

I like the design.
Keep us posted and good luck!

View JohnnyW's profile


83 posts in 3481 days

#2 posted 04-19-2010 11:53 PM

It will certainly look better with the contrasting woods. At least all of the M&T’s are the same size – that’s a good way to get some repetition and improve your technique. I look forward to seeing the finished project.

-- John

View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


338 posts in 3464 days

#3 posted 04-20-2010 02:41 PM

Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve cut the tenons on the TS and managed to get it to the line without skewing. I think it came out pretty clean.

The mortises were a bit trickier. I could carve the lines in the maple with my marking gauge along the long edges, but the short edges I had to be satisfied with pencil which sneaking up on with a forstner bit is no easy task to do. Have to ponder that one for the next time. Oh well, lots of chisel work for me!

-- Mike - Antero's Urban Wood Designs

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