How To: Create a Pumpkin Clock

Fall is here! To kick things off, we wanted to share with you how to make a Pumpkin Clock. We’ve created this step-by-step guide to help you create the perfect DIY pumpkin clock! Continue reading

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4 DIY Clock Ideas For Father’s Day

There’s still time to make a unique clock for your Dad this Father’s Day. Not a clock making expert? No problem! Here are 4 easy do-it-yourself clock ideas he’s sure to enjoy more than a tie!

(1) Beer Cap Clock

Make Dad a clock that’ll remind him it’s always a good time for a good beer. Pair 12 beer bottle caps with your choice of clock face, and then install a simple quartz clock movement and hands.

Beer Cap Clock
Photo courtesy of Coolmaterial.com

(2) Vinyl Record Clock

Part timepiece, part wall art! Pick up Dad’s favorite album from a resale store and incorporate numerals, clock hands, a quartz clock movement to easily create a unique gift! Here’s an idea from Etsy seller, Records and Stuff:

Vinyl Record Clock
Photo courtesy of Etsy seller, Records and Stuff

(3) Pool Rack Clock

Does your Dad like to shoot pool? This pool rack clock is sure to be the perfect addition to his Man Cave! Easily create this design using a pool rack, green felt, pool balls, quartz clock movement, and clock hands. He’ll love that the numbers are easy to read from a distance.

Pool Rack Clock
Photo courtesy of Trademark Gameroom

(4) Fishing Lure Clock

Perfect for Dads who would rather be fishing, this simple wall clock using fishing lures in lieu of numerals. Use any material for the clock face, glue on 12 fishing lures, and then install the clock movement and hands. Would also look great with fishing flys!

Fishing Lure Clock
Photo courtesy of thewirelesscatalog.com

Your Turn!

What’s the best thing you’ve made as a gift for someone else? Tell us your story in the Comments section below for a chance to win a $25 Klockit gift certificate!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide | Klockit.com

We’re officially kicking off our countdown to Mother’s Day with gift suggestions to complement her unique charm and taste.

Show her how much you care with a handmade gift from Klockit! Plus we have ready-to-give gifts too – like watches, outdoor lanterns, and wall and desk clocks.

Check out our most popular Gifts For Her!

Make Her the Best Gift

Giving a clock or piece of furniture, handcrafted by you, represents so much more than just a gift. We understand that this special item will be an heirloom passed down from generation to generation, providing lasting enjoyment and wonderful memories for the special woman in your life.

Our top suggestions for do-it-yourself gifts:

DIY-KITS-PLANS-FOR-MOM

Our popular Colton Mantel Clock Kit is a mid-skill level wooden clock making kit. Mom will love the finished version which features a generously proportioned frame highlighted by the graceful compound curved corner posts. This clock kit is designed with open slat sides for optimum sound quality she’ll be able to enjoy for years to come!

See clock kit details: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-34321.html

Is Mom a wine lover? Build her a stylish wine rack from our Prairie Series of furniture plans. Our woodworking plan will guide you to create the perfect wine storage piece she’s sure to enjoy. Stores up to 20 wine bottles, 3 tracks for hanging glasses, and features additional storage under the hinged top.

More on this plan: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-49875.html

Or, build her a unique music box she’s sure to treasure forever. When the case lid is raised, the music melody automatically starts to play. Choose from 4 beautiful melodies!

Music movement options: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-33106.html

Need More Options?

We’ve got you covered! Check out our 50+ ready-to-give gift options. Shop by price or category:

Gifts Under $25:
http://www.klockit.com/depts/GiftsUnder25/dept-507.html

Gifts Under $50:
http://www.klockit.com/depts/GiftsUnder50/dept-508.html

Gifts Under $100:
http://www.klockit.com/depts/GiftsUnder100/dept-509.html

Women’s Watches:
http://www.klockit.com/depts/Women’sWatches/dept-442.html

Outdoor Lanterns:
http://www.klockit.com/depts/OutdoorLampsandLanterns/dept-320.html

Wall Clocks:
http://www.klockit.com/depts/WallClocks/dept-148.html

Desk Clocks:
http://www.klockit.com/depts/MantelClocksandDeskClocks/dept-147.html

Remember the Story Behind the Gift

Over the many years I have given my handcrafted clocks and other décor to family and friends as gifts, I myself had never thought of sharing the “story behind the gift” to make the item even more cherished.

All that changed last year when I started to make and give away tiny hand carved crosses, made from an old weathered chunk of wood from my past.

wooden-cross-pendant

Back To Where It All Began

In the summer of 2003, I was in the area where I had grown up and decided to drive by our old farm. I already knew all the buildings were gone. What was once a very typical family dairy farm was now a 160-acre potato field, but the place of my childhood still beckoned me to drive by.

As I approached the southeast corner of our farm, I noticed a large pile of rocks that had been removed from the fields over many years. I decided to stop and bring a few of these rocks home as souvenirs. As I was walking through the tall grass to get to the rock pile, I tripped over something and fell. I picked myself up and kicked the object up out of the grass and immediately recognized it as one of the oak fence posts my dad and I made back in the mid 1950’s to fence in a 40-acre parcel as pasture for our cows.

As I held the badly weathered, partially rotted fence post, the cherished memories of working with my dad in the dead of winter to cut down and cut up oak trees came flooding back. Thinking maybe someday I would figure out something to do with it, I brought the old fencepost home and leaned it up in a corner of my shop, where it quickly became buried and forgotten.

Oak-Fencepost-001

Appreciating The Significance

In the fall of 2013, however, while working on woodcrafts for an upcoming show, I uncovered the post and got the idea to make wooden pendant crosses to give to my family. After finishing a few of the crosses, I decided to jot down some notes on their origin to include with the little gifts. I did not think anyone would be all that interested in the story, nor really appreciate the significance the story had for me. I was so wrong!

After making many of the cross pendants for family members and friends, it has been truly gratifying to see how much the story behind the gift means to everyone. Now I always make sure my handcrafted gifts include the story behind them, and I encourage you to do the same. Remember, the story will forever link the gift to you and make it even more special as an heirloom.

Written By: John Cooper

John spent the better part of the 28 years he was employed by Klockit, designing hundreds of clock and furniture kits and plans and has continued with product design since his retirement in 2008. John’s love of clocks, his passion for creating furniture for his own home as well as for family, and his great appreciation for the beautiful finished pieces Klockit customers make from our kits and plans inspire him to continue to create still more new clock and furniture designs.

Woodworking Projects For Beginners

Like any hobby I have discovered in the past, each has its initial investments. In fact, I don’t believe there is a single hobby in existence that doesn’t require some sort of materials or basic skill set to get you started.

Want to run? Even though it’s a free world to jog in, you probably will want some good running shoes and apparel if you don’t have them. Want to fly RC planes? Look to spend over $700 by the time you have completed your first plane, and be careful not to crash as you learn the ropes of flying RC.

Woodworking is no exception in the slightest. But what if there was a way to experiment with aspects of woodworking, yet not have to make any large initial investments or require any of the skill sets woodworkers pick up along the way? A way to test the water before you dive into the pool?

Enter the newest additions to the Klockit line: The Manhattan, The Scalloped Ridge, The Beresford, and the La Salle. Keep in mind all of these clocks can be considered excellent craft projects in their own right, an example being our Halloween Frankenstein Clock (which is a super cool and crafty “re-make” of the Manhattan clock), but we shouldn’t overlook the most important fact that all of these kits make excellent beginning woodworking projects as well.

clock-kits-beginner

No Assembly Required

scalloped-ridgeNo assembly is required with the Manhattan, Scalloped Ridge, and Beresford, which means no tools and clamping purchases are required. With some pre-finish sanding, each of these clocks can be ready for staining/finishing, or painting.

Best of all, you can select between purchasing the kit versions (which include sandpaper and clock insert), or you can select the case versions and purchase a clock insert of your choice separately (sandpaper purchased separately with the “case” versions).

See all here: Klockit.com/depts/ClockKits/dept-422.html

Ready For Level 2?

34225Want to progress a level and try an assembly which must be glued together? Ready to purchase your first couple of clamping devices to start off your collection of woodworking materials? Consider the La Salle, a retro style weather station reminiscently inspired by the styles of radios and car dashboards from the 40’s and 50’s.

It offers a novice introduction to glued assemblies, teaches/reinforces pre-finishing techniques learned with the previously mentioned clocks, and still lends itself to crafty expression and personalization.

View Details: Klockit.com/products/sku-34225.html

How the Water Feels

Each of the aforementioned projects make an excellent starting point for the journey into the realm of woodworking and clock-making as a hobby/craft, as well as a means to gain skills and knowledge that can be applied to other assemblies of interest. Best of all, each requires minimal investment and allows beginners an opportunity to dip their feet to see how the water feels…

Written By: Chris Akright

Chris is responsible for the kit, plan, and finishing technical support, which he has provided to Klockit customers for over 14 years. Chris also contributes new product designs, composes written/illustrated assembly manuals, and works to develop new kit and plan products for the Klockit catalog. Chris’s experience is the culmination of years of training under his mentor, and Klockit Designer, John Cooper.

3 Easy DIY Halloween Projects

Looking for easy do-it-yourself Halloween projects? Then you’re in the right place! From Frankenstein to a pumpkin clock, here are three fun Halloween projects that are great for all ages.

(1) Pumpkin Clock

Build a great-looking Pumpkin Clock this Halloween with just a couple of Klockit components! First, select a pumpkin from your local farm stand or grocery store and carve out the insides. Then, install a clock movement and clock hands to the front of the pumpkin. Last but not least, carve or paint numerals on the face of your pumpkin clock.

View project:

http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-pumpkin-clock.html

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(2) Spooky Luminary Lantern

Easily create a spooky Luminary Lantern to add to your decor this Halloween season. Simply purchase and build our Luminary Lantern Kit. Insert our new Halloween panels on each side of the lantern. Last but not least, light up the spooky panels using our LED tealight and remote.

See project:

http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-spooky-luminary-lantern.html

sl-graphic

(3) Frankenstein Clock

Craft a scary Frankenstein Clock this Halloween with just three Klockit components! Purchase our bracket clock case and create a Frankenstein theme using green and black paint. Attach our rubber mounting ring to the white clock insert and mount into the clock case. Great weekend project!

View project details:

http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-frankenstein-clock.html

fx-graphic

DIY Halloween Projects

See all three of our DIY Halloween projects at Klockit.com: http://www.klockit.com/depts/halloweenprojects/dept-527.html

Top 10 Fall Clock Projects

Welcome the fall season with one of our customer-favorite clock projects! We’ve gathered the best of the best DIY clock projects to help you get ready for the fall season ahead. We’re sure you’ll add one (or two) to your fall projects list.

(1) 40th Anniversary Mantel Clock Kit

34230Our popular 40th Anniversary Mantel Clock Kit was designed to celebrate our 40th year in business! The elegant cherry wood case is topped by a Roman bronze bail pull in this mantel clock making kit. The glass front and side panels protect your choice of quad chime quartz movement or 8-day triple chime mechanical movement.

Shop now at Klockit.com, #34230: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-34230.html

(2) Mission Mantel Clock Kit

34962The Mission Mantel Clock Kit is a long-time Klockit customer favorite. It exemplifies Mission Style furniture by combining simplicity and usefulness with modern design. The case is made from North American red oak wood, and features a pendulum clock movement that plays the famous Westminster melody.

View details at Klockit.com, #34962:
http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-34962.html

(3) Weatherman Kit

34727Looking for today’s weather forecast? Turn to your Weatherman Kit! This DIY kit includes everything need to make a mini weather station that holds a Galileo thermometer, a Fitzroy barometer, and gold rectangle hygrometer and clock inserts. Great weekend project for all ages!

Shop now at Klockit.com, #34727: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-34727.html

(4) Set & Forget® Wall Clock Kit

34741The beautifully designed Set & Forget® Wall Clock Kit includes our patented set and forget technology. Simply set the time zone on the motor, put in the battery, allow the motor to go through set up procedure, and enjoy! The movement in this kit automatically adjust for DST. Paint or stain to match your décor!

See more details at Klockit.com, #34741: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-34741.html

(5) Burlington Wall Clock Kit

Burlington Wall Clock Kit

New! The Burlington Wall Clock Kit is a regulator-style clock making kit that features overlay trim and trim blocks on the hinged front door, along with a wood grid that accents the lower glass panel and pendulum. Includes a quartz chiming pendulum movement that plays the Westminster melody. Sure to look great in any room of your home!

Shop now at Klockit.com, #34675:
http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-34675.html

(6) Highlander Weather Station Woodworking Plan

49026Build a distinctive weather station with our Highlander Weather Station Woodworking Plan. This new plan will guide you to create a weather station that features three 2-3/4″ inserts and a Galileo thermometer. Machine all required wood parts out of your choice of wood!

Only $7.99 at Klockit.com, #49026: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-49026.html

(7) Jeweler’s Wall Clock Woodworking Plan

34307The Jeweler’s Wall Clock Woodworking Plan will guide you to build a case that showcases our finest cable-driven, regulator pendulum movement beneath a beveled glass door and plain glass side panels. This customer-favorite clock assembly features a movement that plays the Westminster melody.

Shop now at Klockit.com, #49601: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-CCCCB.html

(8) Swivel Cabinet Woodworking Plan

49738Our new Swivel Cabinet Woodworking Plan will guide you to create a 360-degree, revolving vertical storage piece. Build this cabinet as a fun activity center for children or as an additional storage unit in the kitchen – either way, you’ll be able to personalize the side insert panels with your choice of material!

Start yours today! Shop now at Klockit.com, 49738:
http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-49738.html

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(9) Arts & Crafts Mantel Clock Woodworking Plan

49002This Klockit customer favorite woodworking plan was inspired by the Arts & Crafts style. The plan will guide you to build an elegant clock case that frames a simple clock face. Catch a glimpse of the pendulum bob as it peeks out from the front rail.

Only $7.99 at Klockit.com, #49002: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-49002.html

(10) Mora Clock Woodworking Plan

49167Last but not least, the notable Mora Clock. To date, this is the most ambitious woodworking plan Klockit has ever offered! The Mora Clock woodworking plan was influenced by the Swedish Mora Clock style from the 18th century. This shapely clock features a locking waist pendulum door and a top hinged dial door.

Our long time customer and master woodworker, Richard Didier, magnificently designed, built, and helped us turn this grandfather clock into a woodworking plan.

View details at Klockit.com, #49167: http://www.klockit.com/products/sku-49167.html

Want More?

TWO WEEKS ONLY! Save 7% on your order (no minimum), or 17% when you spend $150. Enter or mention promo code 9B529 at checkout. Valid 9/29/14 – 10/10/14. Shop now! Klockit.com

6 Woodworking Tips and Tricks

Throughout my career at Klockit, I have learned many tips and tricks from customers that have greatly assisted with the success of many projects. While I am extremely fortunate to learn something new on any given day, I also believe it is important to pay it forward. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to offer some of the best tips and suggestions that have been passed along to me.

As a final note, I am always looking for additional tips and tricks in all aspects of woodworking. Feel free to post a reply comment if you have a tip or trick you would like to share.

1. Use stronger miter joinery glue-up

45-degree angles are typically cut on the ends of a board and result in the glue-up of porous end grain of wood pieces. End grain acts like a straw by absorbing the glue into the wood, which minimizes glue and compromises the strength of mitered joinery. In some cases, additional assembly aids can be used to re-enforce the miter joinery (cross-splines, etc). For smaller/thinner frame assemblies, however, this may not be an option. In these instances, consider re-enforcing mitered joinery with glue.

Begin by applying a thin layer of glue to the mitered end of all frame pieces and allow the glue to dry. This initial layer of glue will help to seal the porous end grain. Once the first coating of glue has dried, apply a second, thin layer of glue to each mitered end and allow that layer to become slightly tacky. Join the frames together, apply clamping, and check for square. Make certain to remove any excess glue and allow proper glue drying time.

2. Rub candle wax on screw threads

Ever have a screw that does not want to drive into a wood piece, even though your pilot hole is the correct size? Did it ever loudly “creak” or “squeak” as you tried to drive it in?

Before you break that screw, back it slowly out. Rub the threads on a candle. The candle wax will gather in between and onto the threads and work as a lubricant of sorts, which will also help to prevent any possibility of screw breakage. This is especially helpful with dense woods such as oak.

3. The least expensive drill stop

Drilling a screw pilot hole to a required depth is the perfect task for a drill press. But what if you don’t have a drill press? You could purchase special drill stops and what not, or you could make your own drill stop using masking tape from around the house.

Measure the required pilot hole depth on the drill bit by measuring up from the tip. Wrap masking tape around the drill bit at the required depth. Typically, the masking tape should wrap around several times so that the wrap is larger in diameter than the drill bit itself. Now you can drill.

Once the edge of the masking tape touches the wood surface you are drilling into, you’ll know you’ve hit the target depth. Just remember to remove masking tape periodically to prevent adhesive residue build-up on the drill bit.

4. My Wood Surface Needs A Shave

When removing glue with a water-dampened cloth, many woods will react by absorbing the moisture left behind. As the wood grain absorbs the moisture, it swells. This can produce a rough surface, almost as if the wood had the stubble of a 5 o’clock shadow. This is referred to as “grain raise”, and it needs to be removed before stains/finishes can be applied.

The fix is to allow the wood surface to dry completely. Once dry, sand the rough area lightly with 220-grit sandpaper until it is again smooth. Grain raise can be a big problem when working with water-based stains and/or finishes as well.

For water-based stains/finishes, consider wetting the wood preliminarily with a dampened cloth. Do not soak or drench the wood, but apply enough moisture to force the grain to swell. A dampened cloth will typically only allow the top layer of grain to swell, which will be the layer the water-based product will “stick” to. Once dry, gently sand with 220-grit to smooth the surface once again. Be careful not to over-sand. If you sand through the layer of grain, you will expose wood grain, which did not raise and you may see a re-occurrence of grain raise once you apply your water-based product.

5. Dowels aren’t just for assembly

Wood dowel stock comes in a variety of diameters and can be found at many hardware/lumber store. While dowel stock can normally be used to help support joinery, create straight spindles, etc., dowels can also be quite useful for sanding some end grain profiles (coves, for example).

One should always sand with the grain of the wood, but this can be complicated for the profiled ends of a wood piece. The problem is that sanding against the grain on profiled ends can create cross-grain surface scratches that become highly visible once finish is applied.

The solution? Select a wood dowel diameter that will fit the profile. Wrap sandpaper around a wood dowel and tape it taut in place. Simply spin the sandpaper-wrapped dowel to ensure you sand in the direction of the wood grain and prevent cross-grain scratching.

6. Don’t vacuum your wood piece

I cringe when people tell me they have tried vacuuming sanding dust from their wood surfaces. I can only imagine the surface scratches left behind, or the possibility of attachment bristles that may have broken off and lodged in the wood surface.

Removing sanding dust prior to staining and finishing is a MUST, but the most efficient and effective way to remove sanding residue is to use a clean, lint-free cloth dampened with mineral spirits. Since the cloth is damp, it will pick-up and remove sanding residue from the surface like a magnet, plus quickly evaporate and leave behind a clean, dry wood surface that is ready for stains and finishes.

Best yet, mineral spirits will not cause grain-raise, surfaces scratches, or result in over-looked attachment bristles that could become highly visible once finish was applied.

Written By: Chris Akright

Chris is responsible for the kit, plan, and finishing technical support, which he has provided to Klockit customers for over 14 years. Chris also contributes new product designs, composes written/illustrated assembly manuals, and works to develop new kit and plan products for the Klockit catalog. Chris’s experience is the culmination of years of training under his mentor, and Klockit Designer, John Cooper.