Henry M. Chadwick.

A Home Made Colonial Clock 86

For convenience I shall divide the woodwork into three sections: the base, or the square box portion at the bottom; the shaft, or long narrow part; and the head, or top.

The base is made of four pieces of mahogany. The front is V 61/2" high and 1' 61/2" wide. The two sides are 111/16" wide and 1' 61/2' high. The back is 1' 61/2|" high and 1' 43/4" wide. All four pieces are from stock 7/8|" thick and planed on both sides.

The drawing shows a rabbeted joint at the two front corners. To make this by hand, proceed as follows: Lay the front board on the bench and mark a line exactly where you want the rabbet to be. It is best to make the lines with a knife point or with a hard pencil sharpened to a chisel edge. Next tack a piece of 7/8" board, whose edges are straight and whose sides are square, close to the line. Place your saw against the straight edge and tack another straight piece close to the other side of the saw. Saw exactly half-way through the board and cut out the wood with a sharp chisel, smoothing up with a small iron plane, or the side cut may be made with the saw by placing the board in a vise and tacking on strips the same as for the top cut. Lay off the rabbet on the other side exactly parallel to the first one, and repeat the operation. Square up the board with the edges of the rabbet.

To the inner side of the front and ends screw six pieces of 7/8" pine board about 3" wide, planed on both sides. (See Section C, D.) These pieces serve as cleats to keep the base-boards straight, and also as blocks to which is screwed the shaft after it is slid into the base. Glue all joints before nailing, and fasten with wire nails, setting the heads about 1/8" into the wood. If you have no nail set, use a large wire nail with the point filed off square.

The stock for the shaft is 1/2" thick and planed both sides.

The front board extends from the bottom of the base to the under side of the horizontal board of the head on which the two pillars stand. This makes it 5' 11/2" long. The two sides are the same length; they are 91/4" wide above the base, and are notched at E on the rear side to about 81/4" to admit them into the base. The position and size of the doorway is easily ascertained from the drawing. The back board is even with the tops of the front and sides of the head, and extends down to the top of the back board of the base, and is flush with the outside of the latter. It is placed between the two sides; this makes it V 2" wide and 3' 7" long.

Bore two 3/16" holes each in the front and sides opposite each of the six cleats in the base. Glue and brad the front and sides together, slip them into the bases and screw to the cleats with 1" round head screws. Each screw should have a round iron washer under its head.

It is well, though perhaps not necessary, to put two or three white pine cleats on the sides, and two on the front, one above and one below the door. This will prevent the boards from warping. Do not, however, glue these cleats on, simply use screws. If they are glued on and the boards swell with dampness, you may have a cracked clock in your hall.

The door is a single piece, with rounded edges, 9" wide and 2' 61/2" high, with two cleats screwed to the inside. It is fitted with brass hinges, and a brass knob that has a tongue on the inside to engage in a slot in the side of the doorway. Do not fasten the door on until after the clock is finished, as it is liable to become marred during the work.

The two moldings are alike, except that one is turned up and the other down. They must be cut carefully in a miter box with a sharp saw. If you do not get a good close joint in the corners, mix some sawdust with a little thin glue and fill the cracks with it. Let it dry well, then sandpaper the joints.

A Home Made Colonial Clock 87

The head is all 1/2" mahogany, planed on both sides. The front is a square frame 1' 6" outside and 1' 1" inside. It is made from four strips V 6" long and 21/2" wide. The joints are halved together, the upright pieces being on the outside and glued and also fastened with two screws to each joint. This can be made nicely with a miter saw if the cuts are first carefully marked.

A Home Made Colonial Clock 88

Section on AB.

The two sides are 91/4" wide and 1' 6" high; the back is V 5" wide and 1' 6" high ; the top is V71/2" x V 01/4" with rounded edges. The second thickness shown on the top is obtained by tacking three mitered strips to the top board, rounding the edges with a plane, and letting them project about 1/2".

The bottom board is glued and nailed to the top of the shaft; it has square edges and a hole for the pendulum, otherwise it is like the top board.

The ornament on top is made from three thicknesses. The back piece is 1/2" thick and follows the outline of the scrolls. It has no openings.

The middle piece is 1/4" thick and has two openings, cut so that when placed against the back it gives the effect of a recess on each side of the center. The front thickness is simply the wing, having the two sweeps carved with a chisel. Of course it is better to do this part of the work with a jig or band-saw, and if you have not access to either, have it got out at the planing mill rather than try to carve it with a chisel.

The Door. The frame is made of mahogany 1" wide and 1/2" thick. "With a circular saw cut two rabbets in each of the four pieces, one for the glass and one for the strip to hold it. (See section on A B.) A beveled plate glass adds greatly to the appearance and costs about one dollar. Take the glass frames and strips to a picture framer, and he will miter the corners and put the whole thing together better than you can do it yourself unless you are experienced in that sort of thing.

Mount the door with two small brass hinges and a knob. Drive a brad with the head cut off into the edge of the frame about even with the knob to catch in a hole punched in a piece of spring brass that is turned under the door frame and tacked to the front board.

The pillars were made of a piece of mahogany 1" square and turned in a lathe to 3/4" diameter. The bases and caps for the pillars, also the sphere on top, are of brass purchased of a dealer. Use round head brass escutcheon pine to hold the bases and caps in place.

On the top side of the bottom board of the head screw four pieces about 7/8" square, to which to fasten the vertical boards of the head. Put 7/8" square pieces on the under side of the top, the same as were placed on the bottom. The front frame, the two side boards, and the top are then put together, but the back must be left loose, as the clock movement is to be fastened to it. This back should be screwed on, but not glued, after the movement is in place.

A Home Made Colonial Clock 89

Section on CD.

There is a wide range of choice to be followed in buying a clock movement, but whatever one you get will have to be fitted to the back board by building up with blocks until the spindles project through the dial. Put two stout hooks or knobs on the back board to facilitate its removal for cleaning or repairing the movement. I finished my clock by applying three thin coats of orange shellac. The first two coats were rubbed down separately with fine sandpaper. The third coat was rubbed with powdered pumice stone and raw linseed oil, and lastly with my bare hand. A darker effect could be obtained by staining the wood before any shellac is applied.

The movement in the clock here described is a Seth Thomas, eight day, and makes eighty beats to the minute. Its cost was $10.00. The dial was made to order and painted on zinc, and cost $2.50. The total cost, including movement and dial, in money was about $33.00. It took me the odd hours and minutes of ten months to complete it.