Grandfather Clock Wedding Gift
As a wedding gift we decided to make a grandfather clock for our son and his bride. We worked on it for about 6 months (off and on) and as a result we gave it to them late (a few months). We kept it a surprise from them anyway.
Shortly after their wedding we gave them a video tape of me working in the shop and telling them all about what I was making for them but I edited the tape and muted the sound every time I actually said what it was… it drove them crazy.
I was sure that they had figured it out. That’s why if you watch the video of us giving it to them after my son says “A grandfather clock” you can here me say “Yeah, big surprise.” But apparently I was wrong, they really were surprised.
We used mahogany because it is such a beautiful wood… and most of it was scraps from work (they were making a pair of 9’ tall mahogany doors for a customer).
We had a set of plans but of course I changed everything.
I am very proud of the crown moulding. I didn’t think I could make that but I did. It took a lot of thought to figure out how I could do it. Cutting the basic shape with the band saw was easy. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do the edge profile to follow that shape. I know I could have just carved the whole thing but that would have taken a long time and I’m not really that good at carving. In the end did the round over on the router table and the cove on the pin router.
I turned the spindles and the finial myself. That was the first time I had ever used a lathe. Fun stuff.
We used the kid’s initials for sound holes. That was only the second time I had ever used a scroll saw.
We bought beveled glass for the doors and the sides.
I wanted to make it truly special for them and I didn’t think the initials in it were enough. I was stuggling to figure out what to do. Then one day the rep for the company that makes our drawer boxes came in to show us that they could laser engrave our logo on the drawer boxes… then the lightbulb came on. I asked “Hey, how big of a piece can you laser engrave?”
My daughter-in-law is an artist and I downloaded a sketch she had posted on the net. The original sketch called “My Messy Apartment” showed a girl who had fallen asleep in a chair with her head resting on her shoulder. I cropped it and added a Superman tattoo on the girls arm to represent my son who wears a Superman ring. I gave the sketch and the front panel to our drawer box vendor and he did the rest. What a guy.
We purchased the movement from http://www.KlockIt.com. Great company. I had to return the first pendulum I bought because after I got the box built I realized it was too large. Even though it had been months they exchanged it with no questions asked.
I decided to use shellac as a finish. I had never used shellac before. I bought flakes and downloaded instructions from http www.shellacshack.com. Great site. It came out good but I really should have kept the piece longer and worked on the finish more. They love it but I see all the mistakes.
The completed clock.
The crown moulding was a challenge.
The kids initials act as sound holes.
We used beveled glass in the doors and sides.
This laser engraving represents the both my son and my new daughter.