My older sister once claimed that if we dropped one of the lead weights found on our family's venerable grandfather clock out the third floor nursery window, it would make a hole right through the earth. I was equally convinced it would bounce.
Experiential education was much in vogue, so we lost no time in putting our rival theories to the test. The result didn't conform to either theory, so we had to drop a second one to make sure. We retrieved the dented weights and returned them to the silent clock, but the cracked sidewalk remains to this day—and so does my interest in clocks.
I've made a number of clocks through the years, but this simple design remains my favorite. The clock body is laminated from strips of wood, bandsawn to an 11 '/2-in. circle and then turned on a lathe. The hour markers are circular plugs of a contrasting wood. Clock hands usually come with clock movements, but if you like, you can make your own hands out of metal or wood. The quartz movement (I recommend the quartz movement and hands package AW-8/90 available from Precision Movements, 4251 Chestnut St., Rt. 29, P.O. Box 689, Emmaus, PA 18049, 215-967-3156) runs off a battery, so the clock can be hung anywhere.
You can use any wood you like. Some combinations that work well are ash with ebony markers and hands, cherry with walnut, walnut with stainless steel, ebony and copper, rosewood and silver, teak with rosewood markers and brass hands. You might even want to drill shallow holes for the hour markers, and then paint them inside, a different color for every hour—a Rainbow Clock—or is that too Californian?
Think about the different materials you plan to combine—whether they enhance each other's qualities or fight and squabble. Also, keep in mind that
An Exercise in Turning
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