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Walnut and Birdseye Wall Clock
By Thomas Elsner Smith
Materials: Walnut, Hard Maple – Splatted Birdseye, Glass, Brass, Dye, Shellac, Glaze, Lacquer
Dimensions: 6 in. deep by 12 in. wide by 26in. high
I made this clock based a Shaker designs and proportions. I also looked a Norm Abram’s shop clock plan, which I think was a mistake. As much as I try not to make this clock look like his clock, I seemed to have gravitated toward his clock because I liked the proportions.
I embellished the face and back panel with birdseye to give it brighter look much as brass would. All the walnut parts were cutout of 6/4 and 8/4. I book matched the sides, top/bottom and door frame. To add height and drama I added solid block of shaped walnut to the top and bottom. It was a trial and error process but the end result seems to have good balance.
I used Festool Dominos to join it together, which allowed me to completely build and finish (stain & lacquer) the individual pieces, before assembling them. It was a little tricky to assemble but that process let me work on blending the wood tones between the individual pieces.
The door is 5/8” thick. I constructed it using the Freud 99-280 glass door set. That bit set is set up for 3/4” thick material. I didn’t find it to be very user friendly, but I made it work and I am pleased with the result.
Brass knob and hinges are Rocker #36459 and #32926 respectively. The shiny brass finish drew my eye to them too much. I tried dulling them with steel wool but that wasn’t much of an improvement. So, I removed the clear coat and fumed them with ammonia. I like that aged look and have to remember the process.
Clock face and atomic movement with chimes (WWVB synchronized) are Klockit # 26914 and #12223 respectively. The shaft is only 3/16 long, which provided some challenges, like making a 1/8” thick mounting area with homemade birdseye veneer and plywood. The face $18.99 and movement $57.99 were in limited supply at Klockit, I had to call to order and it took 4-6 weeks to get them.
Shaker Wall Clock by Christian Becksvoort, FWW #157
Shaker-style Clock by Philip Lowe, FWW #101
Shop Clock Plan 0605 by Norm Abram, NYWS Season #18
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