Texas Mesquite and Maple Galileo Thermometer

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Project by wbrisett posted 07-07-2013 12:41 AM 1351 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Texas Mesquite and Maple Galileo Thermometer
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Not sure why, but recently an older project here on Lumberjocks popped up to the front page. It was a Galileo Thermometer … ... It gave me an idea for a gift for my wife’s mom’s husband. His birthday was coming up, so I had to think of something. I actually wanted something a bit more playful than the projects I had seen, so once I located the gauges and thermometer (klockit), I started thinking of what to do with the parts…

I knew I would use mesquite since I have a whole yard full of Texas mesquite that I acquired from a mill. The last time I was at the mill, he tossed in a couple of maple boards that were twisted. It was perfect for the project. Next I had to figure out what to do with the design. I had about six different ideas floating around, One of them that kept coming to the forefront was the idea of having some type of weather images cut into the wood via my scroll saw.

I’ve always loved those wavy clocks, and while I sat down at my computer and started designing something, the thermometer kept getting in the way and I still needed to figure out where to put the gauges. In the end, I took a sun and moon that was originally designed as a child’s mobile in an older issue of Wood Magazine, scaled them so they fit my project and went from there.

I glued up some maple and mesquite wood for the base and top. Next, I milled the wood to 3/4 inches. Due to the curves, I ended up using the scroll saw to cut out the entire gauge panels (except the circles for the gauges which I used a circle cutting tool on my drill press since I didn’t have the right size forstner bit). The top and base were cut on the table saw.

Once I assembled everything, I sprayed the project with a water-based varnish. I was a bit under the gun for this project, and didn’t take nearly the photos I should have taken. But I got it done in time for the birthday party.

Result: He loved it. :)

Things I would redo: I measured the gauge pieces and initially was going cut out a template and route places in the top and bases for the gauge panels. In the end I ran out of time. Since I didn’t rout the holes, the panels were a bit too tall. However, it was too late to put them back on the table saw to get them to the right dimensions. Since I had no good way to dimension the parts again, I simply used the scroll saw to cut the two panels. This created some slight gaps on the top and bottom of the panel and the top and base. I sanded them the best I could do and they are better, but in the future I need to think more about what I can and can’t do in the allotted time and make my design based on that.

Overall I’m happy with it, and it made a great gift.

4 comments so far

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4575 days

#1 posted 07-07-2013 04:15 AM

Very unique piece ! I like the scrollwork as well : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View wbrisett's profile


205 posts in 3235 days

#2 posted 07-07-2013 11:34 AM

Thanks Dusty. I wasn’t exactly sure what I would end up with since I was making it up as I went along. Dimensioning the twisted maple turned out to be much harder than I expected. But in the end I was happen with the contrast of the mesquite and the maple.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3062 days

#3 posted 07-10-2013 01:27 PM

Wonderful project! Great choice of contrasting woods, representing day and night. Unique and creative design. It’s indeed a great gift. Great job!

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4481 days

#4 posted 07-10-2013 06:25 PM

Great design

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

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