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Project by Bothus posted 09-16-2009 07:00 AM 3005 views 4 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a wedding gift we decided to make a grandfather clock for our son and his bride. We worked on it for about 6 months (off and on) and as a result we gave it to them late (a few months). We kept it a surprise from them anyway.

Shortly after their wedding we gave them a video tape of me working in the shop and telling them all about what I was making for them but I edited the tape and muted the sound every time I actually said what it was… it drove them crazy.

I was sure that they had figured it out. That’s why if you watch the video of us giving it to them after my son says “A grandfather clock” you can here me say “Yeah, big surprise.” But apparently I was wrong, they really were surprised.

We used mahogany because it is such a beautiful wood… and most of it was scraps from work (they were making a pair of 9’ tall mahogany doors for a customer).

We had a set of plans but of course I changed everything.

I am very proud of the crown moulding. I didn’t think I could make that but I did. It took a lot of thought to figure out how I could do it. Cutting the basic shape with the band saw was easy. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do the edge profile to follow that shape. I know I could have just carved the whole thing but that would have taken a long time and I’m not really that good at carving. In the end did the round over on the router table and the cove on the pin router.

I turned the spindles and the finial myself. That was the first time I had ever used a lathe. Fun stuff.

We used the kid’s initials for sound holes. That was only the second time I had ever used a scroll saw.

We bought beveled glass for the doors and the sides.

I wanted to make it truly special for them and I didn’t think the initials in it were enough. I was stuggling to figure out what to do. Then one day the rep for the company that makes our drawer boxes came in to show us that they could laser engrave our logo on the drawer boxes… then the lightbulb came on. I asked “Hey, how big of a piece can you laser engrave?”

My daughter-in-law is an artist and I downloaded a sketch she had posted on the net. The original sketch called “My Messy Apartment” showed a girl who had fallen asleep in a chair with her head resting on her shoulder. I cropped it and added a Superman tattoo on the girls arm to represent my son who wears a Superman ring. I gave the sketch and the front panel to our drawer box vendor and he did the rest. What a guy.

We purchased the movement from Great company. I had to return the first pendulum I bought because after I got the box built I realized it was too large. Even though it had been months they exchanged it with no questions asked.

I decided to use shellac as a finish. I had never used shellac before. I bought flakes and downloaded instructions from http Great site. It came out good but I really should have kept the piece longer and worked on the finish more. They love it but I see all the mistakes.

Here is a video of me describing the clock after it was completed:

Here is a video of us giving it to them:

I welcome you comments and suggestions for improvement.

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

25 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#1 posted 09-16-2009 07:04 AM

Very impressive ,most beautiful clock and fantastic gift.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bothus's profile


441 posts in 3176 days

#2 posted 09-16-2009 07:11 AM

Think you Jim. I see so many things that I would do different. Some are design issues, some are workmanship but overall I am proud of it.


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 3321 days

#3 posted 09-16-2009 07:14 AM

That is one beautiful piece of work!! I’m sure your son and daughter in law will cherish it for many years to come.

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View kolwdwrkr's profile


2821 posts in 3590 days

#4 posted 09-16-2009 07:30 AM

super job. Thanks for sharing

-- ~ Inspiring those who inspire me ~

View John in SD's profile

John in SD

140 posts in 3812 days

#5 posted 09-16-2009 08:36 AM

Very very nice

-- Life used to be soooo much simpler!!!!

View HeirloomWoodworking's profile


238 posts in 3739 days

#6 posted 09-16-2009 03:00 PM

Very nice work! This will be a treasure in your family for a long time to come. Congratulations!

As a frequent GFC maker myself, I can apprecieate your hard work and dedication required to create this wonderful piece. You are right about the goose-neck crown mouldings, they can be very intimodating and time consuming to make.

Thanks for sharing!


-- Trevor Premer Head Termite and Servant to the Queen - Heirloom Woodworking

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3893 days

#7 posted 09-16-2009 03:10 PM

very Nice Heirloom….................somebody is going to be very happy

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1099 posts in 3807 days

#8 posted 09-16-2009 03:16 PM

Too bad you didn’t think of a all wooden wheel clock! I could have helped you out! Your clock is absolutely beautiful. Well done!

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View firecaster's profile


572 posts in 3418 days

#9 posted 09-16-2009 03:21 PM

This is truly amazing. This will be argued over by their kids. Better start on one or two more.

-- Father of two sons. Both Eagle Scouts.

View isetegija's profile


763 posts in 3514 days

#10 posted 09-16-2009 03:49 PM

Most excellent work.

Thanks for sharing with us and welcome to Lumberjocks community.

-- Not my woodworking

View jhawkinnc's profile


111 posts in 3300 days

#11 posted 09-16-2009 07:50 PM

Looks great! My father made a GFC for our wedding, too. It has a place of honor now in our dining room. Now, 13 years later, it’s the one wedding present that I really remember and cherish. I’m sure your son and daughter-in-law will always treasure yours.

View Bothus's profile


441 posts in 3176 days

#12 posted 09-16-2009 08:11 PM

Thanks again to all for the kind words.

HeirloomWoodworking: I took a quick peek at your gallery. You do nice work.

Firecaster: I hope they have kids. I can’t wait to be a grandpa.

Charles: I may tackle a wooden clock someday, I’ll take a rain check. I peeked at your gallery as well. Beautiful clocks.

jhawkinnc: I would love to see a photo of the clock your father built.

I will check out all of your galleries as soon as I can (this work thing is really getting in the way of my social life).

Take care all and thanks again,


-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3413 days

#13 posted 09-16-2009 08:16 PM

Very special present.

Beautiful work.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 3773 days

#14 posted 09-17-2009 12:09 AM

Very nice, Welcome to Lumberjocls!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View jhawkinnc's profile


111 posts in 3300 days

#15 posted 09-17-2009 05:04 AM

Thank you for interest in the clock that my father built. I posted a project listing of it.

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