The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Mission-Style Shelf Clock

I had some white oak and opalescent glass left over from my 1905 Lamp Reproduction Project. I searched on the internet for another project that could use the opalescent glass from Kokomo Glass.  I found a neat looking pattern for a Mission style oak shelf clock on


 After I received the plan, which was dated 2003, I went to the web site to order the clock movement. At that web site, it said the movement was discontinued and no longer available 

I searched the internet for a similar square movement, but had no success. I then went to Klock-it, and they had a square movement. Their movement was not black, but was gold colored.  I ordered movement  15705 from Klock-it.

 #53234: Forstner Bits: Multi Spur Bit: 2 38" hole diameter; 12" shank diameter  (1)  $23.99

#15710: Economical Inserts: 2 916" White Dial, 34" Mounting Depth, AAA Battery  (1)  $8.99

#15705: Economical Inserts: 2 1316" White Dial, 1116" Mounting Depth, N Battery  (1)  $8.99

I ordered one square movement and one round movement.  I also ordered the 2-3/8" Forstner bit for drilling the hole for the clock inserts. 

 Google Sketchup

I always enter my projects in to Google's free 3D design package Sketchup.  Doing this familiarizes me with the details of the design.




Making the Blanks

 The first step was to make up all the blanks required to build 2 identical clocks.  Shown below are the blanks glued and clamped up.....


 I made the corner vertical pieces about a 1/2" wider than the finished side.  The plan calls for bandsawing the front and back sides to give the tapered effect. I'm going to try using the table-saw to make these cuts so they are more consistent than a bandsawed surface.

Making the 1/4" Dados and Rabbets

 My old Sears router and table is difficult to use because the height adjustment is worn out. It would also take at least 2 passes on each board, probably an eighth per pass. I decided to use my dado blade set on the table saw for this project.

 For a 1/4" dado, you only use the 2 outside blades from the set. By trial and error, I got the depth set right pretty quickly on the table saw.

I first cut the groove in the vertical styles for the clocks:


 You can not cut grooves on the side of a board because the saw blade will hit the fence. A while back I bought some Rockler universal fence clamps that let you clamp a sacrificial board on the side of the fence. I decided to try them out on this project:



 This set-up worked extremely well.

The only issue I had using the dado set was that 2 blades did not give a 1/4" groove thickness.  It gave more like 5/16". When I grooved the mating pieces, I made them 1/4" thick tongues vs 5/16".  This led to some issues at glue up, because it was a sloppy fit.  When I clamped the front, it wanted to bow. I temporarily clamped a piece of pine across the piece to try to keep it flat. If I make these clocks again, I might switch back to the router because it gives exactly a groove width of 1/4".


First Assembly Step

 The first step is to glue the 1/4" thick pieces on the top and bottom of the face. The stiles are clamped up also, but not glued in yet.


 I cut the 2 pieces at 3-1/8" per the design.

 Clamping the front and backs


And now the backs..........


 I used wax paper to keep the pine boards from sticking to the white oak.

 Drilling the Clock Insert Holes

 After making many clocks and not having a 2-3/8" diameter Forstner bit, I finally bought one to use on this project. I slowed my drill press speed down to as slow as possible. I also clamped a pine stick to the drill press table, to stop the face from rotating when it catches on the drill. This is a Safety step that needs to be done, because your hand is not strong enough to stop the face from rotating if the drill bit catches.

I also drilled a 1/16" pilot hole through first, so I could drill from both directions.


 Using Table Saw instead of band saw to but tapered sides:

 The pattern suggests using a band saw. I used a table saw to get a straighter cut than the band saw. It probably doesn't matter which tool you use, because you end up belt sanding each side to get a smooth side.


 Sawing the 1/4"x1/4" Pieces to exact length

 The small trim pieces that border the glass look best at the corners if they are nice butt joints. I used the disc sander to trial & error cut each one to the exact length needed. You can manually hold each piece very close to 90 degrees to the sanding disc.


I then glued and clamped up these pieces...

 I am not going to put in the final set of 1/4" bars called for in the plan. I want to highlight the colored glass more, so I'm not going to assemble them.

Removable Back

 The original design focused on using a small mica sheet that was expoxied to the oak. I want access to install the glass after staining the clock. I decided to make the back panel removable, using 4 brass screws to hold the back. On the previous 1905 lamp reproduction project, I learned that you must use pilot bits on white oak, or you will strip out the brass screw.  I bought a pilot set for this project. I used the #8 bit because I chose 8x1-1/4" brass screws to hold the back:




 I first drilled a 3/8" Forstner counter-sunk hole, because these are flat head brass screws.  I also scraped some paraffin from the block and put it into the holes for lubrication.  The new pilot bits worked well.


Nearing final assembly

 Here is the first clock nearing final assembly:


Securing the Opalescent Glass

 I wanted to make the glass removable, so I used a couple of white oak strips, plus 2 small brass screws to make a removable glass design:





 The pattern showed a very light color of white oak.  I experimented and chose a Honey Maple stain for this project...



 I used my usual 3 rounds of 220 grit sandpaper and polyurethane to finish the clocks. I left the glass out until the finishing was done.


The Finished Clocks







 Closing Thoughts

 These turned out to be very neat looking small clocks.

If I could figure out how to change the design so the glass could be taken in and out without having the removable back, it would save time making the clocks.  Will have to develop a new design to do this.  The original design relied on using epoxy glue to permanently hold the mica sheet in place.  Since I am using glass instead of mica, I want to make the glass removable.






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