1

Turn bote to match diameter of movement.

most woods darken with age, so two woods that may have a pleasing contrast when newlv worked may, over time, drift into an irritating sameness.

Making the Clock

The first step is to prepare eight strips of wood I1/: in. wide x 2 in. thick x 12 in. long. Glue these together, as shown in the drawing. I use plastic resin glue, because it allows more time for assembly. When the glue has set, feed the assembly through a thickness planer, and clean up both sides. Don't reduce the thickness to any less than lVi in., or you won't have room to house the clock movement. If you don't have a planer, just clcan up the best face—this is the one that will show — with a block plane. Draw an 11 Va-in. circle on this surface, and saw just clear of the line.

First, mount the blank by cutting a 6-in. dia. circle out of '/j-in. plywood. Glue this to the face side of the clock blank, so the centers coincide. Don't glue wood to wood directly, but make a sandwich with a thin piece of cardboard —the kind laundries use for stiffening shirts. Then you can easily remove the plywood by levering it off with a chisel. Center the lathe faceplate on the plywood, and attach it with wood screws. Make sure the screws are the right length, so the points don't protrude beyond the plywood.

Now turn a cylindrical hole to the corresponding diameter and depth of the movement you've purchased. Take the faceplate off the lathe, and separate the plywood from the blank. Turn the blank around, and screw the plywood and faceplate onto the back. If your faceplate is large enough, screw it directly to the blank. In either case, center the faceplate on the blank as accurately as you can.

Mount the blank, and with a gouge or scraper, turn the edge to the angle shown in the drawing. Move the tool rest so it's parallel to the clock face, and with a gouge, "dish" the blank to a depth of Vi» in. Check this by laying a straightedge from rim to rim and measuring the depth at the center.

Next come the hour markers. Take the blank off the lathe, and leaving the faceplate attached, mark out the positions of the 12 hour markers. Drill these in a drill press using Forstner or Stanley Power Bore bits, V2 in. for the 12th hour marker. 7» in. for the rest. Test the match between your bits and plug cutters on a piece of scrap—the plugs should be a snug fit. Too loose and you'll find a ring of glue around each marker.

Now cut out the plugs, and glue them into the sockets. Instead of using a hammer or mallet, it's best to coax them into place with a wooden handscrew or the padded jaws of a vise. Make sure the grain lines in the plugs are exactly parallel to the original laminations.

After the plugs have dried, put the clock back in the lathe, and give the face—including the plugs—a light turning with a sharp gouge. Sand the disc while the lathe is turning. But for the final finish sanding, turn the lathe off. and with the clock still mounted on the lathe, sand the face by hand with the grain.

If you have a chuck for the tail stock of your lathe, put in a Vi6-in. dia. bit, and drill the hole for the threaded stem of the clock movement. Then take the clock blank off the faceplate, and plug the holes in the back left by the attachment screws.

Finish the clock with several applications of oil (Watco or tung oil will do) and a final wet sanding with 400-grit wet/drv sandpaper. Make sure you wipe off all excess oil. I wax the faces of the clocks I make, so thev arc easier to dust.

Making the Hands

Some clock movements give you the option of a second hand, but I usually ignore it. Time goes by fast enough without a relentless reminder. If you make your own hands, size the hour and minute hands so you know which is which without having to check your wristwatch. Keep in mind that heavy, unbalanced hands will strain the drive motor, eat up batteries and the clock will run erraticallv.

All the batterv movements I've seen have a slot in the back for hanging the clock. Use a round head screw with a large enough head to hold the clock securely. Quartz-crystal movements need no regulating. A

Simon Watts is a journalist and teaches courses in wooden boat-building. He lives in San Francisco, California.

TIi« Great Brewster chair named for WUKam Brewster, a ruling elder in the Pilgrim church, is something of a small throne, a symbol of Brewster's authority. There are only a few known chairs of this kind in existence.

i HIGHLIGHTS OF

American p Period

Furniture

TIi« Great Brewster chair named for WUKam Brewster, a ruling elder in the Pilgrim church, is something of a small throne, a symbol of Brewster's authority. There are only a few known chairs of this kind in existence.

by david donnelly

Part 1:17th-century Mannerism n appreciation of American furniture, AMERICAN WOODWORKER announces the beginning of a new series: Highlights of American Period Furniture. Each article will feature one of the many styles that have been in wgue since the Mayflower landed.

We'll describe the woods, construction techniques, characteristics of the pieces and the names of the makers. From the urban "high styles" of the wealthy, to the rural "country styles'' of the common folk, the history of furniture weaves a rich tapestry of our American heritage.

New discowries and interpretations are currently changing our understanding of American furniture history. We've learned, for example, that not all great colonial pieces come from New England; until recently, contributions from the Southern colonies had been o\*er-looked. We've also learned that by redefining furniture as a decorative art with a historical lineage, it's no longer regarded as just a utilitarian craft.

Part I of the series begins in this issue with a look at 17th-century American furniture, a style now referred to as "Mannerism." Nex'er heard of it? Neither had we, until ue started lookvig at our furniture heritage with a fresh eye.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment