Grandfather Clock Build: The Reveal!

Randy Sharp from Sawdust Inn recently finished his first grandfather clock! It may have took a little longer than Randy had hoped, but he did a fantastic job on one of the most important stages of a clock build…the finishing.

Instead of staining his project, Randy wanted the naturally dark cherry color of the wood to shine through. So he began by sanding all the parts with finer courses of sandpaper, finishing with a hand-sanding to 220 grit paper.

Then he helped the aging process by exposing the clock assembly to the UV rays of direct sunlight. Thanks to two sunny days, the cherry was noticeably darker! Randy then added a generous coat of Boiled Linseed Oil to help move it towards a rich golden brown. Last but not least, he finished it off with three coats of polyurethane for long-lasting protection. As nature takes it course, the clock will eventually reach a rich, deep crimson red.

Here’s a sneak peek of his finished project! See the full reveal here.

Randy Sharp grandfather clock build

12 Tips to Get Your Shop Organized for Fall Projects

After some time away from woodworking due to a knee replacement, I recently ventured out to my shop to get started on some projects for upcoming fall and winter craft shows.

Woodworking Shop

I spent a couple of hours looking over my machinery and tried to find hand tools and supplies. They were not where they were supposed to be, so I decided that the smartest use of my time would be to get organized!

Most of you are probably more diligent than I am about performing shop maintenance. But if you haven’t tidied up your shop lately, I would recommend it! The tips below will help you get organized and smoothly move forward with woodworking projects this fall season.

12 tips to get your shop organized for Fall projects:

(1) Perform a thorough cleaning of your dust collection system and shop vacuum filters.

(2) Check all lighting and make sure overhead lighting fixtures are dust-free.

(3) Make sure heaters and furnaces are clean and exhaust fans are working properly.

(4) Check all electrical outlets and switches to make sure they are dust-free.

(5) Check all machinery power cords to make sure they are safe.

(6) Organize hand tools, boring bits, drill bits, saws, and files.

(7) Check all miter and rip fences to make sure all adjustment calibrations are correct.

(8) Perform test cuts to make sure power saw blades are capable of making cleaning cuts without burning or other problems.

(9) Check planer blades and jointer blades for signs of wear or damage and perform necessary maintenance.

(10) Check condition of band saw blades and blade tension. If necessary, replace worn blade guides.

(11) Make sure you have an adequate supply of lumber required for pending projects. And of course consumables, such as sandpaper, wood stains, finishes, and wood glues.

(12) Do you have enough wood clamps? Make sure your wood clamp assortment is adequate and that all clamping is in good order.

We hope these tips will help you get organized and perform at your best! Do you have any tips to share? Post them below!

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.

Is Time a Human Construct?

When we ask “What time is it?” we’re not trying to pose a deep question. There is a universal assumption that a correct time exists, even though we might not know what it is at the moment. Most of us also believe that time is both unchangeable and uniform. An hour is an hour, whether you live in the United States or the United Kingdom.

It’s not true, however. Time is, and always has been, a human construct shaped by social interactions and customs.


Clocking Out

Life regulated by a clock is a foreign concept in certain countries. For example, in Burundi, meetings and obligations are scheduled according to certain events. If a person wants to arrange a morning appointment, they might specify “when the cows are out for grazing.”


The language of the Hopi tribe in northeastern Arizona has no past, present, or future; for them, time is not a series of distinct instances. Similarly, nomadic tribes in Afghanistan and Iran use the seasons to measure time, making it a cyclical event.

Allen Bluedorn, a University of Missouri management scholar, wrote, “What any group of people think about time ends up being a result of them interacting with each other and socialization processes.” In other words, time is a manifestation of social mores, just like fashion and technology.

When Time Began?

The U.S. national time standard didn’t come into effect until 1883, when the railroads adopted it to maintain shared timetables. Rather than a formal acceptance of an existing element, the adoption of national time struck Americans as revolutionary. The Washington Post likened it to the reformation of the calendar by Julius Caesar and later Pope Gregory XIII.

time zones

Prior to that event, cities and even smaller communities tended to observe their own local time. Many of them were firmly against the change, with the Boston Evening Transcript protesting, “Let us keep our own noon.” One Cincinnati newspaper editor huffing, “Let the people of Cincinnati stick to the truth as it is written by the sun, moon and stars.”1

The paper was reminding its readers—and the railroads—that seconds, minutes, and hours were not a natural phenomenon. Certain units of time, like days, months, and years were in sync with natural events, such as the earth’s movements. Anything else was too arbitrary and, in the case of the U.S. national time standard, too open to manipulation to be real.

Time as a Cultural Phenomenon

Even in societies that do live by the clock, not everyone shares the same concept of time. Americans are ultra-sensitive to timing, with their days consisting of one precisely scheduled event after another. Failure to be punctual is a sign of personal and professional weakness. For other cultures, notions of being early, late, or on time are not as rigid. In Brazil, people who are consistently late are regarded as being more successful than those who are always on time.

The presence of these subjective views and the historic resistance to the standardization of time indicates that time itself is not an independent and natural concept. It has been defined and developed to meet the needs and expectation of any given society. There are suggestions that the current era of globalization is bringing nations more closely together and may one day result in a global time standard, but it’s not likely. At least not without a lot more controversy than the U.S. railroad barons encountered in 1883.

1 Levine, Robert. A Geography of Time: The Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist, or How Every Culture Keeps Time Just a Little Bit Differently. New York: BasicBooks, 1997. p.73

When Time Began: A History of Timekeeping

Chronometry, has become a centuries-old race to develop better and more accurate ways of answering the question, What time is it? Continue reading

Spring 2015 Clock Contest Winners

THANK YOU to all who participated in our Spring 2015 clock contest! So many great stories – we truly appreciate the opportunity to hear about all of the great projects our customers have accomplished.

Congratulations to the grand prize winners: Erin Keck (most creative), Roger Carson (gift of time), and David Schermock (best use of parts). See each of their photos below and read their stories behind the clocks. Also, please join us in congratulating the finalists!

Most Creative Clock – WINNER: Erin Keck


“I am an Art Teacher and Gallery Artist residing in Mechanicsburg, PA. I teach at Art Retreats and Schools throughout the U.S. using Klockit parts. My Original Steampunk Style Clocks are recognized and known Internationally.

I came up with the idea of creating these clocks after seeing an antique mechanical clock where all of the gears revolved. I wanted to create clocks that gave the illusion of movement by remaining stationary and running on a Quartz battery movement.

I design and cut each gear in my clocks from wood. The gears are then painted to look metallic. I give the illusion of movement through balance, dimension, and adding found objects.”

Congratulations to Erin Keck!

Gift Of Time – WINNER: Roger Carson


“My wife Tiffany and I have lived at our current home for 7 years and previous to this lived one street over for 4 years. We became well acquainted with the area residents over this time. We didn’t meet Joella until we moved to our current home in 2007. Jo, as she prefers to go by, is a self sufficient, caring elderly widowed lady from Texas that wouldn’t take anything from folks willingly. The kind of elderly neighbor my wife and I grew up around that we don’t find too much of these days. Over the last three years Jo started to have some health issues. This was about the only thing I saw that slowed down Jo. Her son and daughter traveled from the west coast and decided it was time to move her into an assisted living home where she could live free but still have caretakers on site when needed. Her children discussed with us the decision as we were close to Jo and wanted us to be part of helping Jo transition.

When it came time to help the family clear out Jo’s home her son asked my wife to help him in the basement. There, on a bench under some old pictures was a wall clock kit that was about 1/2 completed. He told my wife we could have it, that he would love to keep it and finish it but wood work wasn’t his thing. He said his dad, Al, loved wood working and his dad started the clock for Jo shortly before his death- in 1994.

As soon as my wife told me the story we both knew that clock was getting finished somehow. I retrieved the clock and all the pieces of trim, etc… I could find and started the ‘puzzle’ of completing the assembly. Jo’s son said his dad couldn’t decide on a mechanical or “new-fangled” electronic movement. We wanted to make this stand out but Jo has hearing issues so I decided to go with the rotating crystal movement without sound. I was able to figure out where most of the trim pieces went (I hope) and purchased some hinges that I managed to fit to Al’s pre cut hinge mortices. I knew from all the fine hand crafted furniture Jo’s husband had made over the years that a darker stain was in order so I used a red Mahogany with 3 coats of gloss lacquer.

We stopped at Jo’s assisted living home just before Christmas to offer her the clock that she had completely forgotten about. She was so surprised she had to sit down for a few minutes to take it all in. I hung the clock for her, listened to several more stories of her husbands love of wood working and got several hugs. The feeling my wife and I had from the smiles and joy we brought to Jo are like nothing we have ever experienced. Jo has called us several times and comments each time of the clock giving her a feeling of “home”, something she felt was missing in her assisted living apartment.

I have always wanted to make a clock and it was just amazing that this came into us at this time in our lives. It gave me some connection to Jo’s late husband as well as pushing me to finally wade into clock work.”

Congratulations to Roger Carson!

Best Use Of Parts – WINNER: David Schermock


“This clock is a “quartz movement version of the beautiful Jewelers Wall Clock” originally designed for a mechanical movement and found in all of the current Klockit catalogues. I have admired the Jewelers Wall Clock for quite some time but I typically don’t build clocks with mechanical movements so I passed over my mild obsession with this design and continued to build numerous other clocks.

As always the arrival of the latest Klockit catalogue caused me to sit down and browse through it looking for items I could use and gathering ideas for my next clock projects. The upcoming wedding of my granddaughter had me searching for something elegant enough for a wedding gift that would be appreciated and hopefully treasured as a family heirloom. I kept coming back to the Jewelers Wall Clock as the ideal candidate.

Sitting down with my latest Klockit catalogue I began going through it page by page identifying the various pieces I would need to build what I felt would be an outstanding example of a clock for the new generation newlyweds. As always, I found everything I would need to get started. In all, twelve part numbers and a lot of work would be necessary to build the clock.

This clock makes an outstanding project and the sound from the Quartz movement (12003) is incredible. With the choice of melodies, volume control and night shut off this movement can be tuned to any environment and room size. With the speaker mounted in the top of the case and tone quality of this movement, the chime fills the room(s) with full rich sound. I prefer the Westminster.

I built the prototype in red oak and it hangs proudly in the living room of my home. I built a second Jewelers type clock in rustic oak to blend with my
Granddaughter’s furniture style. I presented this second and most important clock to my Granddaughter and her new husband at their recent wedding. With their names and wedding date on a brass plaque attached to the lower rail of the door and my “Hand Crafted by” plaque inside, it commemorated the occasion perfectly. No other gift compared (my opinion).”

Congratulations to David Schermock!

Spring 2015 Contest Finalists

With over 175 impressive submissions, it was hard to choose 3 winners!

View ‘Best Use of Parts’ finalists and stories – click here
View ‘Most Creative Clock’ finalists and stories: – click here
View ‘Gift of Time’ finalists and stories: – click here

Please help us congratulate these finalists!

Robert Colvin, Best Use of Parts
Bob Brox, Best Use of Parts
Roger Landry, Best Use of Parts
Jan & Eileen, Best Use of Parts
Kirk Eidman, Best Use of Parts
Steven Bailey, Best Use of Parts
Tom Kanhofer, Best Use of Parts
Tom Palecki, Best Use of Parts
Robert Greenwald, Best Use of Parts
Brian Grayek, Best Use of Parts
Brad Smith, Best Use of Parts
Steve Whipple, Best Use of Parts
Ray Lattman, Best Use of Parts
Stanley Richardson, Most Creative Clock
Stephen Wade, Most Creative Clock
John Daws, Most Creative Clock
Debbie Harary, Most Creative Clock
Maggie Pitt, Most Creative Clock
Miguel Pujol, Most Creative Clock
Dennis McKeown, Most Creative Clock
Laurence Daniels, Most Creative Clock
Richard Crnkovich, Most Creative Clock
RJ Way, Most Creative Clock
Dave Medore, Most Creative Clock
Bud Harrington, Most Creative Clock
Thomas Sheppard, Most Creative Clock
Marty Welch, Most Creative Clock
David Genest, Most Creative Clock
Mark Swanberry, Most Creative Clock
Lou Nelsen, Most Creative Clock
Adolph C. Werner, Most Creative Clock
Mark Royall, Most Creative Clock
Mark Reschke, Most Creative Clock
Nathanael Hasbrouck, Most Creative Clock
Chance Gray, Most Creative Clock
Joseph Trafficante, Most Creative Clock
OBX Metalworks, Most Creative Clock
Dave Greway Designs, Most Creative Clock
Naomi Kocean, Most Creative Clock
Taylor Smith, Most Creative Clock
Debbie Stroud, Most Creative Clock
Daniel Sturman, Most Creative Clock
Jason La Benz, Most Creative Clock
Larilyn Swanson, Most Creative Clock
Randy Sharp, Gift of Time
Troy Koehler, Gift of Time
Ray Everett, Gift of Time
Rich Albright, Gift of Time
Frederick W. Mikkelsen, Gift of Time
Bruce Barnes, Gift of Time
Thomas Fillipovich, Gift of Time
CJ Maust, Gift of Time
Priscilla Marden, Gift of Time
Doug Schieszer, Gift of Time
Karl Taylor, Gift of Time
Richard Varga, Gift of Time
Mary Supina, Gift of Time
Scott Harken, Gift of Time
James Lown, Gift of Time
Allen Randecker, Gift of Time
Jack Hendrickson, Gift of Time
Thomas Lepicke, Gift of Time
Lawrence Schatz, Gift of Time
Scott Martin, Gift of Time
Sue and Walter Godbold, Gift of Time
Bob Karle, Gift of Time
Bill Boudreau, Gift of Time
Ray Holland, Gift of Time
Newton H. Williams, Gift of Time
Dennis Eugene Vanderburg, Gift of Time
Tim Pelletier, Gift of Time
Robert D. Rose Jr., Gift of Time
Nathan Kelly, Gift of Time
Les Mueller, Gift of Time
Steve Nicholson, Gift of Time
Kathy Pegel, Gift of Time
Gina Graham Atkins, Gift of Time
Tony Parker, Gift of Time
Aaron White, Gift of Time