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A Clockmaker's Diary
THIRD INSTALLMENT -- The Base Assembly


WEEK ENDING NOVEMBER 20:

The bracket feet look pretty fancy -- and take some time -- but really aren't difficult to make. Don't make them as four separate pieces, but as a box that's cove-cut around the perimeter. After this, the box is cut apart and the Bandsaw is used to do the scroll work. The left, front and right sides of the box are made of 1-3/4-inch thick stock... the back of 3/4-inch stock. The two front corners are spline-mitered (see Figure 3), but once they're coved and contoured, they look like there's no joint at all.

Used a wooden template to maintain the pattern on the matching feet. The tight curves caused me to have to use relief cuts on the Bandsaw to ease them to completion. Used a rabbeting plane to help smooth the outside curves on the feet. Some Drum Sanders are small enough to fit a number of the tight curves of the bracket design, but few are long enough for the really thick stock. So, I used small files and sandpaper wrapped around small dowel rods for these.

WEEK ENDING DECEMBER 4:

I want two quarter columns to ease the front corners of the Base. These split turnings are made from a single 2-3/4-inch turning blank. Glued it up so the glue line wouldn't show once the piece was cut apart on the Bandsaw. Used woodworker's glue and allowed plenty of time for setup/drying. While it was drying, I practiced turning my previously drawn design on a piece of 4 X 4 pine.

The oversized blank leaves me enough margin to split the single turning on the Bandsaw, then remove the saw marks by using the Jointer. Used the Jointer as well to backcut the quarter-columns so that I got good contact all along the front edges.

These split turnings were the last cuts for the clock construction -- except for the back piece.

Last of the construction... the back. It's to be 3/4-inch veneered plywood. It'll not only support the entire weight of the clockworks, but also act as a sounding board for the chimes that will be attached to it.

Finally, I put the entire case together -- from top to bottom -- to check for final fit. And though it seems like I'm almost done with the clock, the final sanding and finishing is yet to come.

CONTINUE...
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