Introduction: Mission Style Clock Meets Stained Shou Sugi Ban

I like the look of the Mission Style Wall Clocks circa 1900. Some of them have different clock face shapes and different lattices but all of the ones I've seen are stained brown. I thought I'd try making one with a different look by using the Shou Sugi Ban method of burning the wood to a char. You can stop there and put a finish over the alligator looking burnt finish. But I've seen youtube videos of people removing the charring and then staining the wood. Here's my version.

I watched a lot of videos about this. But my favorite ones are from the " Inspire Woodcraft " channel.

Step 1: Materials Used

  1. Scrap wood and cutoffs from previous projects
  2. Polyurethane
  3. Screws
  4. Wood Glue
  5. Sandpaper
  6. Steel wool
  7. Clock Mechanism Battery Clock Mech.
  8. Brass Drawer Knob
  9. Wood Numbers Wood Numbers

Step 2: Tools

  • Miter Saw
  • Japanese Pull Saw
  • Cordless Drill
  • Burnzomatic Propane Torch
  • Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and Kreg Screws
  • Awl
  • Hammer
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Wire Brush

  • Wire Wheel
  • Cordless Brad Nailer

Step 3: Joining the Boards and Cutting the Edges

The boards weren't planed or edged because of the rustic look of Shou Sugi Ban. I made sure the two boards were straight enough to be used together with out any noticeable gap.

They were then glued and clamped and left to dry for a few hours.

I also cut each corner off with the pull saw by measuring up 2" away from each side of the corners and drawing a line to each other.

These board are 1x6s, and the clock face width is 11", the length is 12", the thickness is 3/4".

Step 4: Building the Enclosure for the Clock Mechanism

All the cuts were made at 45 degrees. The corners were glued and then held in place by a corner clamp so I could brad nail each joint.

This piece of scrap wood was cut to 8 1/2" for all four sides and is 5/8" thick.

Step 5: Making Room for the Clock

The center of the board was measured and marked so it could be drilled for the shaft of the clock.

The 3/4" boards used for the clock face were too thick for the length of the clock shaft to come the other side . I
used a 9mm forstner bit to remove enough wood to allow the shaft the protrude enough for the nut to screw on. This was accomplished by drilling a series of holes 10mm deep for the necessary clearance. A single bit large enough for this task is on my wish list. The cavity was cleaned up using wood chisels and sandpaper.

Step 6: Cleaning Up the Scrap Wood

I had to clean some old stains from the clock face boards. I wasn't sure if it would affect the burning process outcome. A card scraper and 200 grit sandpaper mad short work of those stains.

Step 7: Burning !

Obviously heat and skin don't play well together. I was very careful to keep the two apart from each other. I used work gloves and eye protection while handling the torch and the boards.

A hand held Bernzomatic Propane torch used used.

I used two boards as clamps to support the glued joint of the clock face. I'm really not sure it needed it or not. This allowed me to burn to only one half of the face at a time. This clamp was then applied to the other half to finish burning the rest of the board.

I did a full burn on the face of the clock. This creates a alligator scale look. The back was only lightly burnt, no charring.

Step 8: Removing the Char and Staining

Using a wire brush removes almost all of the char. But a wire wheel in a drill actually removes more of the wood from between the ridges. This allows the stain to stay in the valley while the top of the ridge is wiped off exposing the black. Once dried you can enhance this by using 0000 steel wool to remove more of the white stain if needed. The white stain became grey after applying it to the brown colored charred wood.

Step 9: Attaching the Enclosure

Wood glue was applied to the bottom of the clock enclosure, then using a Kreg drill jig with two Kreg screws per side, the enclosure was attached to the back of the clock face. Clamps were used to keep the enclosure in place while screwing.

Step 10: Installing the Clock Numbers.

I downloaded and printed a clock face template from

This template was centered and taped to the face using painters blue tape. In order to keep the numbers from moving they were also taped down. Small brass nails 5/8" long were tapped in to sedure the numbers. Long needle nose pliers were used to hold the nail steady and to keep my hand and fingers away from the short nail.

Prior experiences helped in making that decision :)

Step 11: Making and Attaching Lattice to the Clock

A 1" inch wide and 1/8" inch thick 4' long board was used to make the lattice. The same procedure of burning this board used to get full burn. It was then wire brushed and the wire wheel was used to create the grooves. No stain was applied to these boards, only polyurethane. The 2 legs are 9" and spaced 4 1/2" apart , the crossbar is 8 1/2" wide, short middle leg is 6" long.

Wood glue was used to attach them to each other and weight was then used as a clamp.

Step 12: The Faux Pendulum and Finish

The original clocks had a mechanical movement with a wind up spring. They also had a swinging pendulum.

I made a fake from a leftover piece of lattice and a brass drawer pull knob. The screw holding the arm is slightly loose which allows the pendulum to move freely

Three coats of matte water based polyurethane was applied to all the surfaces of the clock. The only thing left was to do was install the movement and the hands.

Step 13: Conclusion

Thank you for looking.

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