Designing a Clock Case Assembly

After twelve years with Klockit, I can attest that a common customer question is in regard to designing his or her own clock case assembly.  While there are a number of plans available for differing style clock cases, what would you do if there was no plan available for the case you wanted to create?  What if the design for the case assembly was something so unique, it was not offered anywhere else (other than in your own head)?  It may be that drawing the design is your best (or only) option.  What would be a method by which someone could go about the task of design?

A good way to begin with clock design is by selection of a movement which the case will need to be designed around.  There are a variety of versatile quartz battery-operated movements, and there are the authentic mechanical movements (either key-wind or spring driven).  There are even completely assembled clock movements (called inserts) which simply mount into a hole bored into the front of the case.  Selection of a movement should be based upon personal preference, as the selected movement should offer a majority of the features and options that you desire.  Perhaps you want a chiming, pendulum movement that will not have to be wound once a week.  Perhaps you are interested in a skeleton clock movement which would be the focal point of the case built around it.  Maybe you have always wanted to build an authentic regulator clock with a calendar mechanical movement.  With a variety of movements offered, there are many possibilities to conceive.

Once you have selected the movement, the next step is to get the movement in hand.  There are certain dimensions that will need to be referenced to ensure that your clock case assembly will successfully accommodate the movement.  Having the movement on hand gives you immediate access and reference to any dimensional questions which may arise as you proceed throughout the design process.  In some cases, it may also be beneficial to perform a “mock” mounting of the movement.  It is in this manner that you can gain dimensional information for the movement that could not be gained from the movement alone (For example:  Pendulum swing for a movement with a 7” length pendulum).

…to be continued…

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