I like to build clocks and have been studying your posts regarding your French balloon clocks and have a few questions:
1. Do you have a problem going against the grain when you rout the body of the clock? In other words, do you just go from left to right throughout the complete length of the template? How much clean-up do you need to do after routing the body?
2. What bit do you recommend using to rout the body and opening for the movement? Would a regular straight bit work?
3. I saw where you used the scroll saw to separate the clock body from the waste at the 1/8" lip. How did you smooth the 1/8" edges and make them have a consistent reveal around the edges?
4. I noted that you recommended flipping the template and timber when routing the movement opening in the back half of the body. Do you also flip the template when making the back half of the body?
5. In general, what are the approximate dimensions of your clocks? I realize that the dimensions are, in the end, determined by the diameter of the dial, but am curious what size clocks you chose.
I think that is it for now. When the weather clears, I'm going to take a shot at making one of the clocks. It should be interesting; I have never done template routing.
Also, thanks for your contributions to this forum; your comments are very much appreciated. You obviously have a wealth of experience and expertise.
Thanks in advance for your reply.
I'll attempt to answer your questions John in the order asked.
1.Because the outside shape is being plunge routed, there is no breakout, I keep going taking cuts of around 3mm. There really is very little sanding to do, the surface from a sharp cutter is very smooth.
2.For the body shape and clock opening I use a straight plunge cutter, that is one with an extra cutter at the bottom so that it cuts during the plunge rather than burn it's way down.
3.Here are a couple of shots that make this clear, there well may be a suitable size bearing available but at the time of the first clock I wanted it there and then!
4.Whenever the wood is flipped, so must the template because there are bound to be small inaccuracies in making the templates.
5.The biggest one uses a 150mm dia. clock and the height, not including the feet or finial, but incl. the pediment is 400mm and 110mm front to back, the head is 180mm.
The smallest uses a 90mm clock and the height, not incl. the feet or finial but incl. the pediment is 270mm and 70mm front to back, the head is 120mm dia.
All that is left now is for us to wait for your photo shoot John, don't hesitate to ask if you have further questions.