CHRISTMAS GRANDMOTHER CLOCK
This heirloom keeps time...and secrets!
SHOP OWNER: George Dart
LOCATION: Havertown, PA
The clock is fashioned mostly from the quarter-sawn white oak supplied by Malcolm Timbers before he left these parts for BC. The wood for the bonnet came from Hearne Hardwood, Oxford PA. The plans came from Murray Clocks of Canada. SWMBO and I both liked the Prescott Design shown on their website.
Sized to fit our dining room, it complements our other furniture. The clock is 79 inches tall and stands about a foot out from the wall at the base and bonnet. I decided to omit glass windows in the waist, as it seemed a waste of money, given the beauty of the wood. I further modified the plans to increase the overall width of the clock by 1-1/4 inches, and to change the shape of the finial. I also developed a raised panel in the base to match the design incorporated in other dining room furniture. Had I thought about it more, I would also have made the pediment boards with mitered joints to eliminate the end grain displayed by the front pediment when viewed from either side. Next time I'll know better! I milled all the wood in my shop.
The clock movement is a Hermle sold by Woodcraft. The movement is an eight-day chain driven clockworks with Westminster chimes. We bought the face and moon dial from Merritt Antiques of Douglasville PA. They supplied the correct face for the movement, plus other items of hardware necessary to bring the mechanical movement and clock face together, as I mounted the face permanently to the bonnet. Access to the works can be made through the bonnet top or by removing the bonnet, which is mounted to molding that slides in groves dadoed in the upper waist.
It took my best friend and I a full two days to locate the movement perfectly and to marry up the moon dial apparatus to the clockworks. He built his grandfather clock some 40 years ago and suggested that I incorporate a trap door within the lower waist/upper base. It provides a visually pleasing "finished" floor for the weight compartment and an unseen "secret compartment" to hide some of my wife's gold bullion collection. I am responsible for the smiley face on the trap door knob. We call him the "Gabigabum", a mythical character I invented for my kids when they were small. The finish is ZAR cherry flavored oil based stain, Seal Coat shellac, and numerous coats of satin poly, rubbed out with 4/0 steel wool, and finally paste waxed.. . . George Dart
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