Peg Clock

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Project by BullHammer posted 06-16-2016 04:15 AM 1302 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

This was another great learning experience! My wife was having a major birthday a few days a major change in jobs, so I wanted to mark the occasion with a handmade mantle clock for her new office. I started the project about a month before the date, but finished a few weeks late. I ran into a few hurdles and made a few mistakes; like I said a learning project.

I knew I wanted to use figured wood, in part because I wanted it to stand out, but also because I had never worked with any before. I found a great sawyer near my home. He knew he could charge more for what he had, but said “why would I, I make a good living”. It was rough cut, so I had to mill it down, which had it’s own learning moments.

I had never really worked too much with chisels so trying to square off the hole for the pegs was a challenge. I messed it up the first try (I took a chunk out of the front of the face), and had to start the face again. About half way through the second face, I realized I could use a file and small rasp to help with getting the holes just right. Then I realized that I could use the same rasp and file combo on the pegs themselves.

Then…I drilled the hole for the clock to fit in. It was a 3-1/2” clock, so I made the hole 3-1/2”. Well, that’s the size of the clock face. The back of the clock was 3”. Needless to say, this was one of the moments that caused the build to be delayed. I couldn’t stop kicking myself for not measuring the back of the clock…or for not reading the instructions!

I ordered a new clock which was larger, so I could hide the edge of the too large hole. When the clock arrived it was still too small, which I knew.

I just thought I would wrap some electrical tape around the clock to make it fit. That’s what I did, but it was so much tape and the back of the clock was not wide enough so the tape (after sitting for a few hours) slid. This was another delay, because I had no idea how to bridge the gap.

Then the other day, while working on another project, the solution dawned on me: pictures 2 & 3. I cut a bunch of pieces of 1/4’ plywood and (after making sure they were small enough to fit into the curve) I used CA glue to attach them. I had to do a bit of sanding so the clock would fit, but it works great!

Another learning moment for me was the finish. I used the technique the Wood Whisper teaches in the guild. The 30 min video was about $30 and it was WELL WORTH the money! The finish took time, but now that I know what I’m doing, it was an extension of the build and not a necessary evil. I really enjoyed the finishing process.

Along with using chisels to carve out the peg openings (a first for me) I had a number of other firsts and learning moments: I had used a chamfer bit for the first time (and had to leave a lower lip of a 1/16”), used a circle cutting bit (which got smoking hot on the maple and using it for the first time, I was afraid it would spin off the drill press), and a so many other firsts/learning moments that I can’t remember them all.

I found the plans online: PEG CLOCK and ordered the insert clock(s) from

KlockKit is a great company to work with. The first clock I ordered had a scratch on the lens and after emailing the company, they sent a new ine.

1 comment so far

View EarlS's profile


4818 posts in 3636 days

#1 posted 06-17-2016 12:45 AM

I like the maple and the natural finish. The overall look is simple and clean, not cluttered up with a lot of bits and pieces of trim and such. Nice job.

Woodworking is always a learning process, you keep working on more challenging projects as your skills improve.

I will have to keep this in mind as I have several of the same kind of clock works you used and I haven’t figured out what to do with them. I can see clocks similar to this in several different species and they would make great gifts.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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