Nice project will be fun ,you know time is a confidence trick by the Swiss
Well now that the cooler months are starting to creep up on us here in Michigan, I figured it was about time to decide what I was going to be doing all winter to keep my sanity during the snow and blowing that I am sure we will see soon enough. I have been wanting to build a grandfather clock for several years but so far have not gotten around to it so I thought that this would be an excellent time to start.
I am no designer by any means so I search the net to find plans that I could use as I constructed it. After finding a few, I showed the final 3 to the wife and let her make the final determination as to what we wanted. After all it is going in her house to. The plans are from Klockit - The World's Leading Clock Parts and Clock Movements Supplier for Over 42 Years and I have settled on the "Columbia Grandfather Clock Kit - The Cooper Collection". They also sell kits, but we're making this baby from scratch!
The first picture is from the Klockit website, the second the start of the walnut in the rough, and after planing a few stick. There is quite a bit of work to this project so please be patient as my time in the shop is limited to mainly weekends. Having to work around family events etc can also delay it. No problem, snow will be here soon enough and wont be gone for several months. We've got time!
Nice project will be fun ,you know time is a confidence trick by the Swiss
Well a bit of time in the shop and a bit of progress. Plans that I purchased are pretty well laid out. Basically a recommended step by step process which is nice. They give a pretty good work flow. I started with making the front frame for the clock. It basically consists of (2) 75" tall stiles, a curved top rail and a simple bottom rail. Everything here is biscuited together. Pretty simple assembly. The top rail takes a couple minutes to layout and cut, but isn't to bad. I laid it out using a makeshift trammel and cut it close using by band saw. After that I sanded it with a drum in the drill press, finished with some hand sanding. The drum I had wasn't very big in diameter so it was less than ideal. I actually had better luck hand sanding it smooth. Glued it up nice and square.
In one of the pictures you can see some masking tape. I needed a lighter background to layout some holes that needed drilled and counter bored. It appears these are simply used to screw mating pcs from the back side of the frame. Probably not very critical but they are very close dimensionally just in case.
Beautiful day in mid Michigan today. Well except that the Spartans lost, but good day to be in the shop! I started working on the sides of the clock case today. Got all of the parts milled using some stile and rail cutters that I have from my kitchen I did a couple years ago. They aren't an exact match to the ones that the plans call for, but they will work. I will just need to adjust the dimensions slightly. I would have been further along, but I made a pretty big mistake while milling the parts. I had the stile and rail bits reversed in their storage cases (labeled wrong) and didn't even think to check them. I had some very good joints but they were all wrong. I used the stile bit for the rails and the rail bit for the stiles. I about cried, but lesson learned. Once I got past that, I milled some more lumber to remake the parts, this time being very careful and everything turned out well.
I stopped for the day mainly due to hitting a point where I just need to let the glue dry before I can proceed. Next time that I am back in the shop, I will get the case sides and front glued together and it should start to look like something.
Thanks for watching.
Well it has been a couple of weeks since I posted. I wasn't able to get out in the shop much last weekend, but I had a good day today. I got the sides and the front glued into a large assembly and attached the back cleats and the rails to put the movement onto. I also started working on some of the molding that will be one of the next step. These molding will go along the base of the clock once the frame dries. In addition to all of this, I had to order a sheet of 1/2" walnut plywood that will make up part of the bottom and the back of the case. Holy smoke is walnut plywood expensive!
Some Pictures of the assembled case are below.
I was able to spend a bit more time in the shop this weekend. I had been waiting on my walnut plywood so I decided to glue up a small panel for the top of the clock out of solid wood. The results are in picture 1. I will probably take the belt sander to it to flush everything up. I made sure to give it room to expand and contract as time goes on. Solid wood panels like to change sizes a lot.
From there I started gluing up the necessary lumber for the base moldings. The base is actually 4 separate layers of wood. The first is a simple square profile pc of lumber. Pic 2 & 3 By the time I had started putting these on the case, I had gotten the plywood that I ordered so you can seen that in the 3rd picture.
The 4th & 5th picture shows the next 2 layers of moldings glued together. they are 1 1/8" thick when done. I just didn't have any lumber that thick.
Picture 6 shows the molding that caps the entire base.
Pictures 7 and 8 show the glued up assembly still drying. It will look very nice when done. I used a bit to much glue so I will have some clean up to do. A lot of hand sanding too.
Thanks for watching
The next step of this build is to make some fluted columns. The columns are to be 48 3/4" long and I don't know of to many lathes that will turn that size of part. Truth be told, I don't own a lathe so I had to figure out an alternate method of making the columns round. The plan is to essentially make one full column and split it in half to get the 2 pcs.
I started by glueing up a blank that is approx. 2 1/8" square. Once glued up I joined and planed it square. You can see it in the second picture.
The next step was to locate the centers. I did it simply be drawing a straight line from corner to corner and using the intersection as the center. - 3rd picture.
Next I drew the circle on the end of the column and used the band saw to knock the corners off to make it easier to turn. - 4th Picture
Since I didn't have a lathe, I made a box up that I could use my router to turn it with. I used a tapcon on one end and a 16d nail on the other for centers. The tapcon had aggressive enough thread to bite into the part well but had a smooth portion of the shank to allow rotation. - Picture 5, 6, 7
After a lot of time - a couple of hours one the box was built - I finally have a round column. Pictures 1 & 8.
I still have a bit of sanding to do to get rid of the router marks, but overall it will work just fine. This was the first time I have ever done this so it took me longer then some perhaps.
Next up will be the fluting and then splitting in half - maybe next week.
Nice work on the Router based lathe!!!!!!
Necessity really is the mother of invention.
Keep up the good work.
Warning: DIY CNC may cause extreme hair loss due to you pulling your hair out.
My how time flies. I have been working on the clock a bit. I got to the point that I need to turn 2 pcs but I did not have a lathe so I spent some time scouring Craigslist for something I wanted to no luck. Finally I found a set of plans online to build one from scratch so I have bee heading down that path for a few weeks. Combine all of that with the lack of motivation coming from the 10 degree weather and I haven't made as much progress as I wanted.
In my previous post I had turned the column. Next thing to do was to flute it and then split it into 2 halves. I used a jig that is described in the plans to help index the column and then fluted it on the router table. Pretty easy in hind sight. I would have done it a bit differently to get things a bit more accurate if I knew then what I know now, but it will be ok. I am probable the only one who will ever see the minor issues. The process starts by building a box the length of the column and 2 end caps. The end caps have a center and a circular hole pattern that is used to index the column. Perhaps the pictures will help everyone envision it.
Thanks for looking.
That is a really nice looking clock design. Great progress so far.
Have you picked out a movement yet? I was just looking at the Klockit web site and noticed that they have a 20% off sale going on until Friday. I am not sure if they are excluding the movements. If not, then you could save some money if you buy one now.