Building Your Clock...

assembling the pendulum wall clock with hand tools


Building Your Clock

All of my pendulum wall clocks are made to order especially for you!  Once you have commissioned the build of your pendulum wall clock the build process will commence and comprise of 6 key stages detailed in the following paragraphs.  With at least 606 individual parts in each clock and a reasonable amount of time for testing in the studio, the whole process takes around 3 weeks to complete, but don’t worry you will receive regular updates on how your order is progressing.

1. Laser Cutting

laser cutting and engraving the wooden parts of the pendulum wall clock

All of the pendulum wall clock parts are engraved and cut on a Trotec laser cutter.  For sections that require marquetry the real wood veneer is etched away to give a depth of around 0.65mm.  Line details are added with a depth offset and a nice slow laser speed to leave clean and accurate detailed features.  Although the laser cutter offers a great cut finish and incredible part precision the parts are at this stage in their raw condition and this only marks the beginning of the build process...

2. Marquetry

marquetry of the wooden parts of the pendulum wall clock

With the pendulum wall clock parts cut and the areas requiring the real wood marquetry veneers etched away, it's time to adhere the marquetry veneers in with strong PVA glue, one piece at a time.  Parts are then clamped between two setting boards until the glue has fully set.

3. Sanding


sanding the wooden parts of the pendulum wall clock

With all those laser burn marks, PVA residue and uneven marquetry surface it's time to get out out the sanding block and make those parts look like they're suppose too.  Sanding starts with a course 120 grit sandpaper to remove the uneven surfaces and laser burn marks, after that it's a fine 600 grit to really get that smooth high quality finish that your pendulum wall clock requires.

4. Finishing

applying finishing oil to the wooden parts of the pendulum wall clock
applying bee's wax and polishing the wooden parts of the pendulum wall clock

comparing the raw and finished wooden parts of the pendulum wall clock

Its now the final stage for the pendulum wall clocks wooden parts.  Applying the finishing oil really is the point when the parts really come to life with the tones and grain patterns of the wood being exposed.  First it's a coat of Liberon finishing oil followed by a drying period.  The parts are then smoothed over very lightly, once more with a super fine 2000 grit sandpaper. The Liberon finishing oil process is then repeated.  Once dry the parts receive two coats of Liberon bee's wax, followed by a polishing with a lint free cloth.  And that's it wooden clock parts complete, now assembly...

 5. Assembly

assembling the parts of the pendulum wall clock

The pendulum wall clock with the fewest number of parts in still has 606 parts, and they are all assembled by hand.  All gear assemblies are assembled on a setting jig to ensure that the gear runs true when rotated.  Most parts are held together using tiny M2 stainless steel screws avoiding the need for messy adhesives. In order to hide as many of the screws heads as possible small piece of wooden veneer with self adhesive backing are used.  With at least 606 parts assembled it's time to get the clock on the wall and running.

6. Testing

testing the final assembly of the pendulum wall clock

Every pendulum wall clock made is run tested for around a week prior to delivery.  This allows me to place the clock level on the wall and make final adjustments to the pallets (escapement release parts) and to run the clock to make sure that all performs as it should.  Performing this step also gives you the reassurance that your new clock has been fully tested.

As you can see there is a lot of time and effort that goes into building your pendulum wall clock and this doesn't take into account the design and prototyping that takes place before the clock is added to the collection.

Thank you for taking the time to read this Building Your Clock page.  I hope you found it interesting and informative, however if you have any questions or comments about the page or any aspect of the site or clocks, please do not hesitate to contact me.

One more thing... it might worth taking a look at my FAQs page, a growing page of common questions that people ask when viewing my mechanical wall clocks.  Keep those questions coming... Thanks Darren



Section of Burrell Showmans engine wooden mechanical pendulum clock