Simon Willard banjo timepiece

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Project by woodyjim posted 11-18-2009 12:35 AM 2028 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Repro of rare Simon Willard 8 day weight driven banjo clock. Solid mahogany with book-matched walnut veneer. Note the unique ghostly figure in the veneer! I did not plan on that but look cool. Face was printed in MS Word and antiqued to look 200+ years old. Movement is an authentic Willard movement with the rectangular cable-driven weight riding in an enclosed pocket down the back of the clock. Note the winding arbor is at the 2 o’clock position as the original was. Lower glass tablet is authentic reverse painted scene as used by many clock makers of the period. Original Willard hands were used with authentic solid brass eagle adorning the top.

Finish: shellac on natural mahogany.

Tools used: table saw, miter saw, band saw, scroll saw, thickness sander, finish sander, thickness planer, router, jointer, shaper, 1/2” & 1” belt sander, oscillating spindle sander, hand chisels, low-profile block plane, glass cutter, wood lathe

5 comments so far

View Tim Dahn's profile

Tim Dahn

1567 posts in 3534 days

#1 posted 11-18-2009 12:58 AM

Nice! And an authentic movement too, Great! How did you antique the face?

-- Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from poor judgement.

View branch's profile


1142 posts in 3123 days

#2 posted 11-18-2009 01:05 AM

hi nice locking clock i like the design it s looks the part nice work thanks for sharing keep them coming

View huff's profile


2828 posts in 3254 days

#3 posted 11-18-2009 01:34 AM

Jim, another fantastic clock. Great craftsmanship and attention to detail.

-- John @

View LesB's profile


1688 posts in 3412 days

#4 posted 11-18-2009 02:31 AM

I like you efforts at authenticity.

I can’t recall ever seeing a banjo clock with a “straight waste before so it must be rare. They are usually tapered. We have one with the tapered waste but the movement has worn out. It was my wife’s parents wedding gift. The cost to restore the movement was prohibitive so I “temproarily” put a quartz battery movement in so it at least tells time. The original movement has been preserved in case someone wants to repair it some day.

Where do you get your original movements. I haven’t even been able to find a reproduction for our clock.

-- Les B, Oregon

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3546 days

#5 posted 11-18-2009 02:42 AM

This is another great piece, your work is outstanding.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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