I have now completed my first clock project and applied the finish to it. It’s ready to present to my parents for the 50th wedding anniversary!
I used a very non-traditional way to attach the back to the clock case…magnets! Since I’m still not very good with hinge morticing, especially with tiny brass hinges for projects like this, and I didn’t want to risk screwing anything up, I opted for someting that was easier for me to do and was a little unique. I bought a package of quarter inch diameter rare earth magnets. I recessed in the plywood back and mated them with steel screws that they were attracted to. The back stays in place and it’s easy to remove/replace when the battery needs replacing or the time reset.
I had some nice prefinished maple plywood in the shop that seemed to have some figure to it so I used that as my back material and it provides a nice contrast to the rest of the case….and if they don’t like it, it will be against a wall anyway.
For a finish, I used Watco Danish oil. This was the first time I’ve used danish oil and I really like it. It’s easy to apply, cures relatively fast and it really brings the wood to life. This is a finish I’ll use again. I also applied one coat of minwax finishing wax .
There are some things that I would do differently if/when I make another mantle clock. I will use a clock movement with a second hand. I will use a lighter contrasting wood to set the face areaapart from the rest of the clock. I would use a darker tinted paste wax to finish a project like this to accentuate the grain. The lighter wax that I used does not do much for the overall finish.
This was an enjoyable project to build. I hope mom and dad like it. I contemplating making another one of these for my own home using some of the copius amount of red oak I have in the shop.
-- Josh....in Nashville, TN