A.J.'s Mantle Clock

Proof there's no such thing as scrap!

LOCATION: Hartford, CT

    Once again, the online community at Woodcentral came through with some excellent suggestions for helping me complete my latest project, a mantel clock I made as a Christmas gift for my sister.
    Most of my projects – both large and small – have been in either oak or cherry, and I’ve settled into my favorite ways of doing the final finish work for those species of wood. However, I’ve not done much in walnut, so I was looking for some ideas on making the walnut look its best. Posting the question on Woodcentral elicited several recommendations, with most of the posters agreeing that a liberal coat or two of Watco would be the best way to go. Actually, I use and like Watco a lot on both oak and cherry, and was already considering it for the clock; the supportive posts on the forum made it official. I topped off the completed clock with a couple coats of satin poly, rubbed out and polished.
    The design of the clock is loosely based on one that appeared on the cover of Woodsmith No. 119. However, I made mine using the photograph alone as a guide (my favorite way to work) and followed none of the measurements or procedures from the article and plans in the magazine.
    The walnut used for the clock came entirely from a scrap heap. A contractor/cabinetmaker friend had recently finished a large job and had a lot of cutoffs left over. Knowing that most of my work is small — clocks, boxes and the like — he offered me a pile of the cutoffs and I readily accepted, proving once again that there is no such thing as “scrap” wood.
    I've made a number of clocks, however this is my first of walnut in this particular style. I was especially pleased with the way my sister’s clock turned out, but resisted the urge to keep if for myself and get her a couple CDs for Christmas instead. What a great brother, eh?

. . . A.J.Hamler



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