Around the Woods

Make a wall clock as a gift
or a treasured time keeper.

"A stitch in time means some one sewed the clock shut."

My daughter wanted a wall clock for her new apartment. To be honest, I promised her one about six months ago when the new apartment was unheard of, but it is time to turn a clock. I have decided to make it out of birdís eye maple with brass surrounding walnut inserts for the hour divisions. A lot of the decision stems from my having a nice piece of birdís eye and the necessary brass tubing along with some scraps of walnut. The brass tubing is left over from pen kits that needed the tubing for turning support but were not glued into the final pens, thus I also have a dedicated drill bit that just fits the tubing.
The clock works is a simple one that uses a AA battery. These are sold in most crafts supply outfits. Hands are supplied with them or you can purchase them separately. If so, make sure they fit your model of clock. wood turning clock image
The shaft of the clock will probably be 5/16" in diameter and will be available in various lengths. I bought a 3/8" clock meaning that the shaft is 3/8" long. Allowing for about an eighth inch for the hands and retaining nut and washer, and we have a required surface thickness of 1/4". The clock body is about 7/8" thick requiring a final wood thickness of 1 1/8". I like to remove the included hanger on the clock body and make the wood a little thicker so as to give some protection to the mechanism if it is dropped. wood turning clock image
The wood here is about two inches thick but the back is uninteresting and has some discoloration which I plan to remove anyway. I apply a glue block to the final face and attach it to the lathe. wood turning clock image
wood turning clock image
I turn the form to round and thickness it to 1 1/4", leaving 1/8" for refinement. Then a recess is turned to fit the clock. I should measure it but it is just as easy to set the calipers to the diagonal of the clock body and add a bit for clearance. Make sure not to cut too deeply as we need some room to finish the face and to have the right thickness for the shaft. wood turning clock image
wood turning clock image
As you turn, check the depth with a depth guage and flatten the bottom of the recess with a scraper. I use a skew on its side to refine the sides of the recess to get them square for a jam chuck or four jaw chuck. As I near the depth I use the mechanism to make sure of the depth. Here I decide to go a bit deeper. wood turning clock image
wood turning clock image
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© 2015 copyright Darrell Feltmate, Around the Woods

"doing you a good turn today"