Building a shaker wall clock with hand tools (more tools than building)

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Blog entry by RobD posted 07-24-2008 05:23 AM 2649 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch


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View kem's profile


56 posts in 3745 days

#1 posted 07-24-2008 01:59 PM

Great stuff! You’ve really documented the use of all of your hand tools well. I’m motivated to make a bench hook and shooting board now.

Why did you make your shooting board for a pull stroke? Is it a lefty thing? Also, did you chisel out your mortises in the stiles?

Thanks for posting.

-- Kevin

View RobD's profile


61 posts in 3622 days

#2 posted 07-24-2008 03:11 PM

Hi Kevin. The shooting board is designed for a lefty (notice my left hand drives the tools in most of the shots unless unless the operation was awarkward, or the grain was running against me, or the photo didn’t look right.. For example, plow shot with stanley 45, it “photograhed” better when drove it with my right hand.. so you could see those shavings come out ;-) To make the shooting board I have, for a righty by just swith the location of the fence. Mine is based on David Fink’s recent writeup in Fine Woodworking. Just follow his plans if you are a righty. Lefty’s must adapt and adjust but we are used to that..

And yes, I did use mortise chisel on the stiles. my mortise and tennon jounts are still a “work in progress” Notice you dod not see any close up shots of those jounts!, but they do improve with practice.

If you are thinking about makeing the bench hook and shooting board just do it! They dont take very long to make and they helped my work a great deal. I would say I got a return on my time invested making these after the first project. I regret not making them sooner.

View kem's profile


56 posts in 3745 days

#3 posted 07-24-2008 04:58 PM

Hey Rob,

Thanks for the pointer to the Finck article. Here’s a video of Finck making and using his shooting board. I also found (really just the first google result) this design with a locking knob that looks good. I just finished my Holtzapffel workbench and am building up my accessories. Your post was timely!

-- Kevin

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3923 days

#4 posted 07-25-2008 01:43 AM

Rob – I’m working on learning to do what you did here all by hand tools—- I’m jealous of your talent. Watch your back though—- I’ll be catching up!

Those clocks rock!

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3815 days

#5 posted 07-25-2008 02:07 AM

Lefties of the world unite! When I built my shooting board, I wasn’t even thinking about it and make a right handed one. I have yet to remake it, but this just gave me the push to do it. Great blog, love the step by step and highlight of the tools. How long did this whole process take you. Scrub planing still scares me. I’m afraid that I might just go off the galoot deep end if I start doing that.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View RobD's profile


61 posts in 3622 days

#6 posted 07-25-2008 04:37 AM

Don’t fear the scrub!

There are many ways to the top of the hill. The best part (aside from the resut of course!) is exploring the different paths.

It’s hard to say how long the clocks took. I never really kept track of the… I was building 4 clocks, 1 pine, 1 walnut and 2 cherry ones and doing it at very small clips – after my kids went to bed, during nap time or for the 1 hour between comming home from work and having dinner. During those times, my two boys (aged 4 and 2) would be down in the shop with me. ...

I will say that the sawing and stock prep took much longer, however I am sure there is muich room for improvment with regards to my methods of work. In addition, it did not help that i was working with 4/4 stock with the cherry and walnut and most of the parts needed where 1/2” or under. The pine clock was some recycled 3/4” T&G stuff, the stock prep on that one went a bit faster.

I was thinking of doing a small simple project – based on a crafts picture frames project in American Woodworker

Perhaps I document it with photos and the time it took each operation if anyone would be interested.

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