Clocks for Christmas

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Project by Karson posted 01-06-2014 11:57 PM 3521 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Our Mason Dixon Woodworkers Club had a workshop 2 months ago to make a mantle clock. The wood that was supplied was cherry wood but I opted to bring my own, so I brought some Maple Burl that I had.

The clock is made mostly with 1/2” wood and 2 pieces about 3 7/8 X 9 3/4 of 3/4” wood. That piece has an Ogee cut on 3 sides and it goes above and below the sides.

I resawed my own lumber and took the piece after the 9/16” surfaced to 1/2” to get some pieces of 1/4” that I used for the drawer sides, back and bottom.

Since I was an instructor for the class, I only did the cutting to size of my pieces but didn’t assemble anything until later at home.

We are trying to schedule some workshop’s that would allow the students to make some additional items for Christmas etc.

When I got home I proceeded to cut up wood for 8 additional clocks. 2 mahogany, 2 Cherry, 2 Red Aromatic Cedar, 1 Tiger Maple and 1 Sapele.

The clocks were made and I let the 6 of my children select (oldest first), My wife got the one that was made with the Maple Burl. ( I know how to smooth over some hard spots She also wanted to get the Sapele one.).

The picture has the Maple burl on top left and also center in picture 3. To the right is a cherry version. Both of the cherry clocks has some crotch figure in the drawer front. Bottom left is a Red Cedar version. It has no finish so you can smell the cedar odor. and bottom right is Mahogany, it also had some figure in the drawer front.

The Sapele one (not shown was ribbon stripe grain and the Tiger Maple had some nice grain patters on all surfaces. (Those clocks have gone home) I let them choose if they wanted Roman or Arabic dials and 2 were changed that was the Sapele and Tiger Maple. They just swapped clock faces.

The clock is 10” X 13” approx. The inside measurement for the clock face is 7 1/2 X 7 1/2 The frame for the glass covered 7/8” on each side so the clock dial was shown to support a 5 1/2” dial ring. The problem that most dial rings that are 7 1/2” have a 6 1/2” dial ring and if you used that then the side of the dial ring was hidden at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock position.

I found a company that had paper dials that were 5 1/2” but the clock face was not centered because it was assumed that you would cut a circle dial for a circle clock.

So I scanned in a Roman and an Arabic clock face and printed it on 110 lb card stock that was Ivory at 156% and I got a 5 1/2” dial. It was printed in the middle of an 8 X 11 paper so I trimmed it to the correct size. I used a leather or gasket punch to make the 5/16” home in the center. Good old Harbor Freight tools.

The clock dial is 1/4” plywood with the paper just sitting on top and held with the clock motor washer and the outer frame for the clock motor support.

I made a glass cutting jig that allowed me to cut the necessary 6 1/8” square glass pieces with accuracy. I’ve not had good luck with Lowes glass cutting personnel. They’ve cut anywhere from 1/8 too small to 1/8 too big. Not what you need. I wanted precision.

The plans didn’t show any way to attach the glass frame. They assumed that you’d sand it perfectly and friction would hold it in place. I wanted something better so I drilled a small hole in upper left and lower right in the support bracket for the glass frame. I used a phillips screwdriver tip in a drill to make the countersink hole for the #4 5/8” screw. The glass is held perfectly safe. The glass stops are 1/4” quarter round cut from the same wood that the clock was made from. I used a portable mini router with a quarterround bit and rounder over both sides of both surfaces so I had 4 pieces done. Then a cut a 1/4” cut on the table saw, 3/8” deep first on the edge of both sides of the edge and then layed the board flat and then cut the 1/4” roundover clear. I used a push block to keep the cut out 1/4 round from flying our as it was trapped between the blade and the fence.

The finish on all of the clock with the exception of the cedar was Penofin oil for hardwood. Two coats wiped on and wiped off. Penofin oil is made from the nuts of the Brazilian Rosewood Tree, in the hopes of keeping the local natives from cutting down those trees. It is similar to Tung oil in use.

The bottom of the clock has had a piece of PSA cork applied to make it somewhat less slippery.

They were well received and everyone seemed to be happy with the ones that were left when time came for them to select.

The plans for the clock are in Woodsmith issue 108 December 1996.

-- 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]

16 comments so far

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5314 days

#1 posted 01-07-2014 12:17 AM

Great looking batch of clocks. I really like building clocks, I haven’t done it in awhile, but I’m going to get back to it once it warms up a bit out in the shop.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5130 days

#2 posted 01-07-2014 12:17 AM

Wow. What a sweet gift.
It was nice reading all the tribulations along the way.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Max's profile


55999 posts in 5521 days

#3 posted 01-07-2014 12:28 AM


Great clocks. Love the maple burl one…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4052 days

#4 posted 01-07-2014 12:32 AM

These are fantastic Karson. Really nice builds.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4723 days

#5 posted 01-07-2014 12:39 AM

Well, I have the parts from that workshop but have yet to assemble. Got tied up with other isles. But you have encouraged me to get reorganized. Now I need to also try the curly maple.

well done Karson, as usual. And the workshop was well conducted. Great advantage with our Mason Dixon woodworkers.

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

View shipwright's profile


8752 posts in 4046 days

#6 posted 01-07-2014 12:54 AM

I like them all Karson, but the. Maple burl is lovely.


-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View lew's profile


13430 posts in 5003 days

#7 posted 01-07-2014 01:41 AM

Beauties, Karson!
Love that Maple Burl!!

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

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5099 days

#8 posted 01-07-2014 02:13 AM

Great team work Karson with excellent results.

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

View a1Jim's profile


118263 posts in 4825 days

#9 posted 01-07-2014 02:37 AM

Really nice work,cool looking clocks.


View jeff's profile


1386 posts in 4713 days

#10 posted 01-07-2014 03:14 AM

really nice…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5183 days

#11 posted 01-07-2014 03:36 AM

Great looking selection Karson. Hope your holidays were good.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5300 days

#12 posted 01-07-2014 03:56 PM

Nice bunch of COOL Clocks!

They will all be loved!

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

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3540 days

#13 posted 01-07-2014 05:20 PM

Very attractive clocks—nicely done.

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

View littlecope's profile


3132 posts in 4750 days

#14 posted 01-07-2014 06:46 PM

Timely Gifts Karson, Great Job on all of them!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5325 days

#15 posted 01-12-2014 02:06 AM

they are all great——but that maple burl is something really special!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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