"Cuzns" making Clocks

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Project by Karson posted 07-15-2019 10:10 PM 1265 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As usually happens at our home, when school vacations come around then the children are sent to the grandparents home for a time so that the parents can unwind. This week my eldest daughter’s twins came to spend 2 weeks with us and another daughter’s children. My three daughters were all pregnant at the same time so the “cuzns” are close to the same age. They spend the night at one of the daughters farm home and then the grandmother gets to figure out what they do during the day.

I see the four of them lounging in front of the television or reading a book or playing the video games. My veneering setup was scattered around the basement and I suggested that they might want to make a clock to hang in their room, Three of them were all in, the fourth agreed reluctantly. I had a box of cutoff veneers that I had purchased about 15 years ago that I had found a few weeks ago so they started going through the box to select the veneer for the face of the clock. One selected Birdseye Maple, another very striking Zebrawood, one a green dyed Maple or Popular. The forth is an unknown veneer but a very beautiful medium to dark brown with an iridescent glow but not chatoyance by grain movement.

Three of the selections needed to be taped together to get the required size. So they got to see how to bookmatch veneers and to tape them together. I used a 2’ X 4’ sheet of 1/4” plywood from the bigbox lumber store for the substrate for the clock. The back was Elm veneer that needed to be cut to length and book matched. I set up a 3’ X 5’ veneer bag on the end of a bumper pool table and another piece of ¾ plywood to be a taping and gluing station. So one child would tape and then glue the face veneer on their substrate and put it in the veneer bag. We would then turn on the veneer pump to help hold the veneered panel stationary while the second child did the taping and gluing. Then child three and four. Then it was back to the television for a couple of hours. I spent the time get the backing cut to size.

After 2 hours the veneer pieces came out of the bag to have the backs taped, glued in place and back into the bag. The children then went back to my daughter’s for the night. After 4 hours being pressed in the bag I took the veneered pieces out I took some random orbital sandpaper (220 grit) and a sander and some disks made from a 1/2” and 3/4” dowel for the number placement on the clock face. I went to my daughters with some homework for the kids. They then sanded their clock faces and painted the dowel disks for the clock face.

I went to the shop to select some wood for the face frames for the clock. I found a nice piece of Granadillo 7/8” thick and about 5” wide. I cut 5/8” slices and got 8 slices out of the piece. They were about 30 inches long. I then cut an approx 5/16” rabbet the full length of each piece for the clock face to fit into.

Next day we trimmed all of the glued panels to make them square or rectangle ready to be placed into their frame. They ran the miter fence for square edge and fence alignment for parallel edges. They pushed the veneered panels through the saw. After a day at the movies they show back up to my place to eat and sit in front of the tv again.

I set up the chop saw to cut the shadow box frames. I held and moved the wood while they ran the chop saw. They glued them up and glued in the clock faces. After drying they sanded the frames and filled in any gaps at the joints.

Installed the clock motors and the hands of their choice, White, Black or Gold. They then took them back to my daughters and glued on the hour identifiers.

They were all pleased with the results. And so were the families.

The second set of grand-kids is here.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4823 days

#1 posted 07-15-2019 10:40 PM

That’s a great story Karson nothing more fun than time in the shop with the grandkids, Two of my granddaughters visited a few days ago and we had fun in the shop making spoons, loved that time with them and I think they enjoyed it too. Great choice of projects they all did a great job.


View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5298 days

#2 posted 07-15-2019 11:20 PM

Somebody had some GREAT FUN making clocks!

Beautiful clocks!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 4280 days

#3 posted 07-15-2019 11:28 PM

That is wonderful!

-- ~Julie~

View pottz's profile


20707 posts in 2230 days

#4 posted 07-15-2019 11:40 PM

very cool project karson but who really had the most fun,you or them-lol.that will be one of those lifetime memories,spending time in grandpas shop.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Gary's profile (online now)


1512 posts in 5570 days

#5 posted 07-16-2019 12:05 AM

Great works and fun time for all.

-- Gary, Florida

View lew's profile


13428 posts in 5001 days

#6 posted 07-16-2019 12:24 AM

Way to go, Grandpa!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Vicki's profile


1178 posts in 4590 days

#7 posted 07-16-2019 12:24 AM

That is so cool. Great story and handsome clocks.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4822 days

#8 posted 07-16-2019 04:52 AM

You are a good grandpa Karson.

View recycle1943's profile (online now)


5860 posts in 2868 days

#9 posted 07-16-2019 10:51 AM

what a great way to inspire – I’m sure they will remember this summer visit

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5646 days

#10 posted 07-16-2019 12:53 PM

I thank and appreciate all the comments on the Cuzns clocks. They were always willing to help each other. When we were doing the sanding of any glue bleadthru, I sat down and asked if any of them wanted to show the 4th child how to do the sanding. (No sand thrus, sand the corners and the edges to match the smoothness of the middle) and one child said “I’ll will”

They were ready to pass on the skills they just learned 5 minutes before.

Isn’t that the way we all learned our “Woodworking Skills” and you reinforce it by showing others.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View ClaudeF's profile


1383 posts in 2953 days

#11 posted 07-16-2019 03:36 PM

Well done, Grampa!



View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4721 days

#12 posted 07-16-2019 03:36 PM

So well done. Forever memories were made. Your story reminded me of the Mason Dixon workshops you mentored with attention to education coupled with skill building.

Take pride in your accomplishment.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View ohwoodeye's profile


2691 posts in 4399 days

#13 posted 07-16-2019 06:41 PM

What???? didn’t let them sit in front of a television until their brains melted…......what a mean Grandpa you are!!!
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5097 days

#14 posted 07-17-2019 01:03 AM

That’s a great achievement Karson. From TV to clock making.
Well done buddy & well done to your grand kids.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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