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More Glass Clocks with Vertical Columns

After building the first 2 clocks of this design, I decided to build 3 more to try out the other colors of pen blanks.

Updated Design for the Clocks

I updated the design for this batch of clocks. I eliminated the 2 thin horizontal top pieces because there was not much area to glue them in place. I also added 2 vertical stiles in the back of the clock.

Here is the old design that I used to build the first 2 clocks:

And here is the new design:

In the new design, you drop the glass down into the lower groove. You then tilt the glass towards the front of the clock. You use wooden pieces with brass screws to hold the top of the glass in place. You get access to install the screws from the removable back of the clock.

This design worked well in practice as well.

Sacrificial Pine Scrap Piece

I noticed on the first two clocks that I got a lot of end tear-out when using the router table.  For this next round of clocks, I used a sacrificial piece of plain pine wood on the RH side of the pieces to be routed.  This did a good job of preventing tear-out.

Here I am getting the boards all line up properly using the saw table fence to align the ends. Then I clamped them in the jig to hold them:

Now here the pieces are on the router table:

Yellow Titebond versus Nexbond Super-Glue

I used Nexabond super-glue on the first 2 clocks.  I switched to Titebond yellow-glue for the next 3 clocks.  I switched because it is cheaper to use the Titebond glue, and I can easily remove excess Titebond glue with a damp dish rag.  It is difficult to remove excess super-glue.

I did use Nexabond glue for the 2 semi-circular top brackets.  It doesn't take much glue, I wanted it to set fast, and excess glue does not show.

I used the same Cherry stain on these 3 clocks as the first 2 clocks.  Here are the pieces stained:

I used Behlen's grain filler again on these clocks.

Re-Stocking on Kokomo Glass

My sister Karen went with me for the 2.75 hour drive from Fairbury to Kokomo, Indiana.

We picked out quite a bit of glass to add to my inventory, some of which will be used on these 3 clocks.


 Blue Pen Blanks

These blue blanks are just as ugly as the green blanks, in the blank form.  It is amazing the transformation when they are turned and polished!

Drilling Technique for Brass Tubes in 5" Long Blanks

It is tough to make a drilled hole that stays centered from end to end of the blank. The best process I have found is:

1. Lightly clamp blank in vise on drill press

2. Lower drill bit and tilt blank until it is parallel to blank

3. Move vise and blank 90 degrees to the other side of the drill bit

4. Tilt blank until it is parallel in this direction also.

5. Drill with 7 mm drill bit for brass tube until drill press bottoms out

6. Move blank to bench vise, use 3/16" long bit to finish the hole

7. Use 7mm pen drill to drill the full diameter the full length


Lathe Technique

1. Remove 4 corners of blank using 45 degree chamfer bit on router table.  Use
    yellow jig to hold the blank versus your hand for safety

2. Rough turn the blank with the carbide gouge tool

3. Finish turn the blank with the carbide skew chisel.  Start at right hand side,
    turn down about 1" length to 1/2" size, then remove the next 1" to the left,
   until done

4. Sand with 150, 300, and 600 sandpaper from pen finishing kit

5. Polish with pen finishing paste, apply final wax coat of pen finishing.

Red, Blue, and Green Columns Finished

Pen blank columns look beautiful at this stage  

Installing the Blue Glass


This glass is gorgeous   It is Kokomo Glass part number 14SPL.

Next step is to carefully drill the 3/8" diameter hole for the movement, without breaking this gorgeous glass!

Finished Blue Clock




2nd Green Glass Clock

I chose Kokomo glass model 98N or 98NG for this 2nd green clock.  It turned out very nice also:


Last Clock - Red One

I had two different kinds of pink glass in stock, but I decided I wanted a more red colored glass.  I ordered some Kokomo model 214SPL red glass for this last clock.  I also ordered some more 14SPL blue glass for my inventory for future projects.




 Finished Red Clock


Closing Thoughts

Using yellow tite-bond glue on the main clock frame was a good decision, versus Nexabond.  It saved money and was much easier to remove excess glue.

Adding the 2 rear vertical stiles makes the box more rigid after assembly. I planed the side pieces until they were just thick enough to fit well in the routed grooves.


April 2015 Update

My son-in-law requested I ship a yellow glass clock to his dad in Utah.  I used a Kokomo glass shipping box to ship my clock, and some of the bird's nest packing, plus bubble wrap as well.



And the completed package ready to take to the Pontiac post office..........

April 2016 Update

It is hard to turn the pen blanks to be the same diameter the whole length of the column. I ran across an article in a woodworking magazine that suggested gluing  a piece of sandpaper to a small piece of wood, then sanding on the lathe to achieve the same diameter.  I will have to try that one.




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