Mission all-wooden gears clock

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Project by Charles Maxwell posted 02-26-2015 10:18 PM 5520 views 16 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Good news . . . this clock just made Reader’s Gallery Fine Woodworking Magazine. Don’t know which month yet.

This is my tenth clock. I started building all-wooden gears clocks after retiring from 25 years of service in the US Navy (retired in Dec 2006). The first wooden clock was inspired by a similar all-wooden gears clock that I witnessed in a Cape Cod Arts Museum while on honeymoon in November 1982. I told my wife then, “Someday I will build you one of these beautiful clocks.” She chuckled at the thought. Twenty-five years later and a wake-up call I made good on my promise. That promised clock is labeled M-3 on my website . This current clock (M10) fulfills my second promise which is to build one for each of my adult children upon their marriage. This clock is for my daughter Patti Rose who married in October 2014. My choice of Mission styling comes from the many requests I get for a clock of this type. The stained glass inserts on the support bench were acquired while on active duty and assigned to COMNAVEUR, London, UK. Adding these 1920’s stained glass pieces to the bench was the perfect use for them. The leaded crystal in the pendulum bob was found and purchased at an art museum in Richmond, Virginia. The bob itself is fashioned in a circle to honor the unconditional love in marriage. An inscription under the bench top reads, “Above all, always cherish each other.” Predominantly constructed from quarter-sawn white oak with mahogany gears. Finished with hand rubbed tung oil followed by carnuba wax.

-- Max the "night janitor" at

24 comments so far

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2216 days

#1 posted 02-26-2015 10:41 PM

just one word…beautiful

-- bambi

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4549 days

#2 posted 02-26-2015 10:56 PM

Awesome work. A real treat to see. Great shapes and balance. One of my favorites.


This project made me imagine another similar piece that could be electrified.
Battery operated clock with a small, separate , belt drive motor to make the gears spin. Sort of a whimsical idea, but might really get someones attention with gears turning around and around. Simple on and off toggle switch for the motor.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4546 days

#3 posted 02-26-2015 11:03 PM

Spectacular is the word I would use!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3869 days

#4 posted 02-26-2015 11:19 PM

wow charles, this goes beyond exceptional, with the symbolism and all the extra touches , to me these clocks are almost priceless….i would like to know how many hours you have in this clock, i dont know if you even took count but …gee…your family is so blessed to have these, these will go on for years and years and only you know just how much of you are in these…fantastic sir are a master clockmaker…thank you for sharing….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2800 posts in 4158 days

#5 posted 02-26-2015 11:53 PM

Another masterpiece!! Beautiful design and craftsmanship, Charles.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Mark's profile


1021 posts in 2541 days

#6 posted 02-27-2015 12:19 AM

Holy crap! That is so awesome.

-- Mark

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6977 posts in 3919 days

#7 posted 02-27-2015 12:43 AM

I don’t know much about clocks but I do know when I see some really fine woodworking.
This is some really nice work! Congratulations! It’s a beautiful time piece!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Mean_Dean's profile


7010 posts in 3713 days

#8 posted 02-27-2015 12:58 AM

This might be the most amazing clock I’ve ever seen! Just beautiful!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View hunter71's profile


3469 posts in 3753 days

#9 posted 02-27-2015 01:44 AM

Simply magnificent!

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Woodbridge's profile


3692 posts in 2984 days

#10 posted 02-27-2015 04:18 AM

superb! It is an amazing work of art, engineering, craftsmanship…. I love the details. the beautiful face, the glass, crystal pendant and I’m sure much more.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View NormG's profile


6496 posts in 3570 days

#11 posted 02-27-2015 04:52 AM

Very nice clock, thank you for sharing, you have a wonderful gift

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2858 days

#12 posted 02-27-2015 05:00 AM

Exquisite! It’s the only adjective I could come up with that has not been used. ;-)

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Alongiron's profile


654 posts in 3259 days

#13 posted 02-27-2015 12:33 PM

All I can say is WOW! and How? How did you get started and how could you help myself to get started?

Beautiful…simply beautiful !!

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View Ron Smith's profile

Ron Smith

196 posts in 4279 days

#14 posted 02-27-2015 03:25 PM

absolutely beautiful.

-- Thank God for sawdust... Ron. TX resident...

View DanielS's profile


123 posts in 2503 days

#15 posted 02-27-2015 03:54 PM

That is some inspiring work. Thanks for sharing.

-- Daniel S

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

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