The Dale Maley Family Web Site

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Peggy's Clock

A cousin of mine saw a neat clock design, and she wanted me to build one for her.


Determining Clock Size

I did a reverse image search in Google using the image my cousin sent me, and it appears a gentleman custom builds these clocks and sells them on Etsy.  His dimensions were 18" high, 11.5" high, and 3 inches deep.

I went to Sketchup, and  came up with my version of this clock.


Design Considerations

From my previous experience building many different types of clocks, the dial face size and movement often drive the design.  I am going to use a 5 inch paper dial with no glass cover. I will attempt to hand paint the smiles on the paper clock face myself.

For the movement, I used a Klock-it pendulum movement on a previous steam bent clock.........so I will use this one.


for the 2 feet on the outer layer, I will cut those on the scroll saw.

The 2 side wings or arms, will be part of the 3rd layer in.

The challenge is how to make the glued up sides, so they are exactly the same size.  I am going to try a router pattern using 2-sided tape, to see how that works.

The clock face opening will be 5.25 inches diameter.............to give a 1/8" clearance outside of the 5 inch paper dial.


Discovery of a Kit for this clock

I was uploading a finished project to Lumberjocks.com, when I happened to see where a guy had built this clock, using a kit he bought!  You can see his project here.



This guy gave a link to where bought the plans from. Here is the link.    It is  from Wood Magazine‚Äôs website called Woodstore. I went ahead and bought the plan for $8 in PDF format.

It also says you can buy the clock face and movement from Meisel. I went ahead and ordered 1 kit.  This way, I do not have to hand paint the dial with the smiley face!


My design version was similar to the purchased plan, with a few exceptions. I used 4 thicknesses of 3/4" stock, the purchased plan used 3 pieces.  The purchased plan used a removable 1/4" piece of plywood on the back.

So, I am going to build 1 clock using the purchased plan.


Making the Pieces

I glued on all the paper patterns using white Elmer's glue.  I elected to scroll saw all the pieces, versus the bandsaw.  To get the tight curves at the bottom would require a very fine blade in the big band saw...........I would rather use the scroll saw, where I can cut right to the pattern line........and it leaves a smoother surface as well.


When done, I scrub off the remaining pattern using a scotch bright pad and hot water.  I put these parts in the oven at 120F to dry quicker. Below are 2 photos of all the pieces, and clamping them up.  I used an 1/8" round-over bit to make a chamfer on the edges, and a rabbet bit to make the groove in the back for 3/16" thick Luan plywood cover piece.


The magazine plan has the upper front ring with the 3/4" drilled hole in the vertical orientation.  The photo that my cousin liked had the top ring rotated 15 degrees clockwise, so I rotated my ring 15 degrees also.

The plans call for gluing up the 2 back layers first, I did not do this.........I glued all 3 layers together at the same time.


Next Steps

It looks like I got a pretty good fit between the glued up layers of pine, I will find out as I try to do the finish sanding.


I also need to make a Luan plywood back piece for the clock now, because the front of the piece shows behind the pendulum, and will need to be painted white, like the clock.


I plan on using white enamel paint, probably Rustoleum white, because it gives nice shine when done.  Latex white paints do not give the nice shine like oil-based paints do.


The movement and face are on order, so I can have the clock finish painted and waiting for the hardware to arrive.


Painted Clock

I ended up putting on 3 coats of white enamel paint.  I also used some spackle filler, to fill some cracks between wood layers on the inside of the clock.  I used the oven at 120F to speed up the drying process.

I did not paint the center of the clock dial.  The instructions said to glue the face to the clock, so I did not want any paint there.   But the dial was stiff enough and laid very flat, so I did not glue it to the clock.


The white enamel gives a nice shiny and glossy appearance to the clock.


Problems with Pendulum hitting 1 side of clock

I kept rotating the movement, until it quit hitting the 1 side of the clock.   But, I moved the clock to a shelf for photos.........and it started to hit the side.  This shelf was not quite level, when I checked it with a 36 inch level, that is why it was hitting.  I also had to remove a plastic nub from the back of the movement, to give the pendulum arm enough clearance.

This clock is very sensitive to where the movement is located rotationally.  When you change batteries, it is easy to get the movement to rotate.  I installed a small screw to keep the movement in its correct orientation.


The Finished Clock

Closing Thoughts on this Project

I was worried about excessive sanding required, whenever you glue up curved pieces.  Since I used the scroll saw, versus the band saw..........I got the cuts more accurate.  It did not require as much sanding as I thought it would on the finished clock.


However, if one made this clock from a hard wood, versus pine, it would require a lot of sanding.  I would be tempted to make a router pattern piece, then use a guided router bit, to try to make each piece exactly the same............to minimize sanding.


The original plan called for the clock face to be normally orientated rotationally.  I chose to rotate it 15 degrees to the right, like the photo my cousin found.  This worked out ok, but may explain why this clock is so sensitive to movement rotation with respect to the pendulum hitting the sides of the clock.


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