Introduction: Friendship Clock Build

A friend of over 30 years decide he wanted to build mantle clocks for Christmas presents. He had 15 nieces and nephews, the plan was to build a clock for each one. This friend liked to build Craftsman furniture (also called mission style). Woodsmith magazine had an article on building a Craftsman style and the plans are available.

My friend wanted to personalize the clocks and asked me to make some of the parts since he did not have the appropriate equipment. He chose the material, oak, maple, and walnut. The material was rough sawn lumber and needed preparation. While working on the preparation he had health issues (unrelated to woodworking) and was hospitalized. After he returned home he asked me to assist since he could only work a few hours a week on this project. I built some fixtures to assist in the cutting of the parts. A couple of months later he returned to the hospital for a few days and was not able to work on this project for over six weeks. Again I pickup the slack and continued to work on the clocks. He was able to work only a few hours a week and was in and out of the hospital three more times. Then he was hospitalized and was not going home again. I went to his shop and found the rough cut pieces and continued working on the clocks at my shop. I was able to show him a finished walnut clock before he passed on. His family asked me if I would finish the clocks for Christmas. They were finished early December.

Step 1: Replacing the Ceramic Tile With a Wooden Inital

My friend wanted to replace the ceramic tile (called out in the plans) with a wooden initial for the relatives last name. Since he did not have a cnc router he asked me if I would carve the 15 initials. He wanted 5 cut in oak and 10 cut in walnut. The walnut ones were sprayed with silver paint for accent and the oak was sprayed with gloss black paint. Before the accent was painted a coat of clear lacquer was applied to prevent the accent color from bleeding into the grain of the wood.

Step 2: Stock Preparation

The oak was 2" material and had to be re-sawed to size. I do not have photos of the maple or walnut since the material was back and forth between my shop and his shop.

Step 3: Fixture for Cutting the Corner Columns

I made a fixture for cutting the tapered corner columns. All the corners were cut with this fixture.

Step 4: Fitting the Front Panel

The front panels were fitted and matching parts were marked for ease of assembly when gluing the parts together.

Step 5: Top Fixture and Tapering the Top

A fixture was build to taper the edges of the top. These parts were cut, filled, and sanded.

Step 6: Dry Fitting Before Glue

The parts were dry fitted and marked before gluing.

Step 7: Plywood Was Cut for the Back

1/8" plywood was cut for the backs. The back is attached with screws so the clock mechanism can be maintained and the battery can be changed.

The movements and hands were purchased from Klockkit.

Step 8: Fifteen Finished Clocks

The clocks were finished with a coat of boiled linseed oil, turpentine, and spar varnish. When it was cured two coats of spray lacquer were applied. When this was cured the clock was sanded with 1000 grit sandpaper and then a coat of paste wax was applied and buffed.

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