|Project by Peter Brown||posted 08-25-2015 08:10 PM||1822 views||13 times favorited||11 comments|
This grand clock is made from two walnut boards measuring 4” x 16” and opened up like a fan! I wanted a project to challenge me and this fit the bill. The final size is 34” in diameter and quite a striking addition to the wall. let me show you how I made it.
I learned about this sliced wood technique after stumbling on Seth Rollands website. I did a separate LumberJocks post up on the process: here. This write up will focus more on the project and less on the technique.
Cutting up your stock
I started with a large piece of walnut. I cross cut it down to 16” then ripped that down to 4”.
My original hope was to make the entire clock from a single small board. I was a bit off in my guesstimate and ended up using 2 boards, each measuring 16” x 4” for this project.
Setting up the cut
For cutting you need a band saw and a straight fence to reference the cuts off of. For me, I just clamped a board down to the table to act as my fence.
I made a number of “units” that would use to space out each cut. They are approx. 1/8 of an inch. The number doesn’t have to be precise, just as long as they are all a uniform thickness. I then cut a spacer equal to 8 units and one equal to 16 units, so there would be fewer individual pieces to try and manage.
I then used a marking gauge to scribe a line on all 4 ends of my project board about 1/2 away from the edge. Now we should be ready to begin cutting the board.
The cutting process
1. While keeping the work piece against the fence cut the length of the board
2. Stop the cut right at the 1/2” margin you marked earlier.
3. Back out the cut completely
4. Add one “unit” strip up against the fence.
5. Flip the board end for end and make another cut, again stopping at the 1/2” margin mark.
6. Rinse and repeat
You will begin to see this zig-zag pattern emerge with in a few cuts. It’s just a matter of following the steps. Add a strip, make a stopped cut, flip the board over and begin again.
Once you’ve gone 7 strips deep, you can replace those with your “8 unit” board. Then you can begin adding the strips again till you get to 15 and replace both with the “16 unit” board.
It’s not terribly difficult, but you can begin to zone out. If you find your attention wandering, turn off the band saw and give yourself a moment to collect your thoughts. Zoning out at a power tool is recipe for a bad day….
Relief cut & some sanding
In order to add both visual interest and more flexibility I made a relief cut on the band saw. It was a simple ‘S’ curve that added quite a bit of drama to the look of the piece.
Now is a good time for a bit of sanding as adding a finish is the next step. Sanding between all the slats is a very tedious process….I only went to 120, but probably should have gone up to at least 180.
Oiling for more flexibility
In attempting to get even more of a radius out of the piece I decided to add the finish. I used a heavy coating of boiled linseed oil and allowed it to soak in over night before checking on its progress.
The fact was, I was only getting about 180 degrees of curve from the board. Honestly for a 4” wide board that was pretty good, but if I wanted a clock, I would need to cut a second board…
As you can see, I with the two of them together, I’ve got my full circle. I used wood glue and clamps to join the two halves and create my 34” clock face. The process was not without complications, and I would direct you to the video if you care to watch a grown man weep….
Turning the hub & finishing touches.
Now that the main body of the clock was glued together it needed only a center hub to give it the rigidity it needed.
I used an off cut of the walnut and turned a 3” flange shape hub on my lathe. Add a healthy dose of epoxy and a bottle for weight.
The next morning, I added some more oil and the clock movement.
The finished clock is already one of my favorite pieces and is hanging in my office.
Let me know what you think and thanks for checking out this write up!
-- Peter Brown - Collector of WD-40 and wood splinters