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Sliced Wood Clock

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Project by Peter Brown posted 08-25-2015 08:10 PM 1822 views 13 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Sliced Wood Clock
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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.

Completed Clock

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





11 comments so far

View hookfoot's profile

hookfoot

178 posts in 1412 days


#1 posted 08-26-2015 12:24 AM

Beautiful.

View drewpy's profile

drewpy

568 posts in 820 days


#2 posted 08-26-2015 05:28 AM

Pretty cool. Thanks for sharing.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View playingwithmywood's profile

playingwithmywood

247 posts in 1060 days


#3 posted 08-26-2015 05:34 AM

your projects are amazing and your delivery is not annoying like others

I think you should do it again but after you do the cuts then steam the wood and try to make your bend then leave it clamped to dry for a what a few days or a week in that form and then you can go back and add glue

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1651 days


#4 posted 08-26-2015 09:53 AM

An awesome project, well presented! Thanks Peter1

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View bushmaster's profile

bushmaster

1357 posts in 1745 days


#5 posted 08-26-2015 01:03 PM

great workmanship and thanks for the tutorial.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View ohwoodeye's profile

ohwoodeye

1731 posts in 2616 days


#6 posted 08-26-2015 02:33 PM

Very cool. Nice video as well. I’m glad you edited all of the issues you encountered while making this project into this video to prepare anyone who might attempt this do this as well.
Well done.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View Peter Brown's profile

Peter Brown

196 posts in 1140 days


#7 posted 08-26-2015 03:16 PM



your projects are amazing and your delivery is not annoying like others

I think you should do it again but after you do the cuts then steam the wood and try to make your bend then leave it clamped to dry for a what a few days or a week in that form and then you can go back and add glue

- playingwithmywood

Thank you! I think with some steam bending technique you could get crazy shapes out of this!

-- Peter Brown - Collector of WD-40 and wood splinters

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

3553 posts in 2024 days


#8 posted 08-26-2015 07:12 PM

Pretty smart project buddy it came out really nice.

-- Please help me help other Vets click..> http://www.gofundme.com/m1abko.....It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View calisdad's profile

calisdad

286 posts in 972 days


#9 posted 08-27-2015 03:14 PM

Kudos- for originality, execution and presentation.

Thanks for sharing.

ps- good point about zoning out. Sometimes we are absorbed by the task.

View Peter Brown's profile

Peter Brown

196 posts in 1140 days


#10 posted 08-27-2015 03:52 PM

Thanks for all the feedback everyone! I really do appreciate it!

-- Peter Brown - Collector of WD-40 and wood splinters

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1752 posts in 526 days


#11 posted 08-28-2015 10:03 AM

This is a wonderful idea, Peter. You’ve wrinkled my brain. Therefore, I Buddy thee. And Favorite this piece.

-- Mark

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