Building Your Own Clock Casing

Grandfather clocks are highly sought after heirlooms. Building your own clock casing is a great woodworking project if you are skilled in joinery, mouldings, and finishing procedures. Grandfather clocks are also known as longcase clocks, tall case clocks, floor clocks and pendulum clocks. These clocks are often prominent features in the home and can be passed down for many generations.

Part of the allure of grandfather clocks is their ornamental style, so you’ll want to research different scrolling methods and mouldings before you decide on your clock pattern. You will need to buy a kit that gives you the pendulum, clock face, and number of weights that you desire. These choices will determine the sound that your clock will make, which chimes will ring and how often, as well as how many days the clock can go between windings.

Once you have the inner workings of the clock and the style picked out, you will need to buy the type of wood that you want to use. In general, something like this is meant to last a very long time, so you will most likely want to choose a hardwood, like maple, oak, walnut or mahogany. If price is an issue, then you will most likely want to go with a standard oak or wanut. Softer woods will dent and scratch too easily to withstand years of use.

Take time with the scrolling and mouldings of your clock. You may decide to put a personal artistic touch on your clock by doing some of the carvings by hand using a chisel or woodburner. Practice on scrap pieces before working on the piece of wood that you have chosen for these special sections. There are a lot of different options when it comes to mouldings. Shop around for different router tips and test them out on scrap pieces. Sometimes the weight of your hand can affect how it turns out, so you will definitely want to put in some practice before you work on your final piece.

Test out different stains on your wood before you decide to stain the final piece. Use a water based polyurethane for a long-lasting finish. Oil based polyurethanes can yellow over time. Putting care into your clock and taking the time to put decorative and personal touches on the piece will make it worth all of the money and effort that you put into it. Creating a family heirloom like this is very special, so make sure that you sign and date your work when you are done.

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit for all of your wood product needs.

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