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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I said it once and I'll say it again. A grandfather clock should never be your first clock build. Especially if you have no clue what you are doing.

My clock stopped running a few years ago due to oxidation and dirt gunking up the works on the mechanical movement. I finally got in there and cleaned it as best I could and literally squirted oil where ever I could. Ordered special light oil specifically intended for clock mechanisms.

One of my favorite pieces but it still sounds like doo doo. The internal dimensions are not quite right so super soft on the hammers. My own design which is why it doesn't work the way it was intended.

Plant Fixture Wood Wall Door
 

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I said it once and I'll say it again. A grandfather clock should never be your first clock build. Especially if you have no clue what you are doing.

My clock stopped running a few years ago due to oxidation and dirt gunking up the works on the mechanical movement. I finally got in there and cleaned it as best I could and literally squirted oil where ever I could. Ordered special light oil specifically intended for clock mechanisms.

One of my favorite pieces but it still sounds like doo doo. The internal dimensions are not quite right so super soft on the hammers. My own design which is why it doesn't work the way it was intended.

View attachment 399454
My first love, for a real build, was a grandfather clock. Wish I'd bought the works back when I was gripped by that want [fifty years ago, or when I lived in Germany].
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Getting a real German mechanical movement would be so awesome. I was stationed in Germany many years ago but wasn't into clockmaking yet. I did pick up a black forest cuckoo clock.

But making clocks has been a ton of fun. Most have been poorly planned and executed but a few really came out nice.
 

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My first love, for a real build, was a grandfather clock. Wish I'd bought the works back when I was gripped by that want [fifty years ago, or when I lived in Germany].
Getting a real German mechanical movement would be so awesome. I was stationed in Germany many years ago but wasn't into clockmaking yet. I did pick up a black forest cuckoo clock.

But making clocks has been a ton of fun. Most have been poorly planned and executed but a few really came out nice.
I have a couple non working Black Forest clocks. Low end versions. I regret not jumping on the opportunity to buy the ornate versions, but when I was there, pay was under a hundred a month (that's my excuse and I'm staying with it). Sad was, even though my pay was pathetic, the money exchange rate was four marks on the dollar. As such, a $20.00 pair of hiking shoes would have been $80.00 in the states.
 
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Frank
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When I built my first grandfather clock my shop was still in a one car garage. I bought the movement which did not come out of the box for many years. Fast forward I built my workshop and completed my clock. To my surprise the movement did not work. Only needed to be lubricated!! I have needed to lubricate over the years and I also bought recommended clock oil. I have posted pictures in past threads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have a couple non working Black Forest clocks. Low end versions. I regret not jumping on the opportunity to buy the ornate versions, but when I was there, pay was under a hundred a month (that's my excuse and I'm staying with it). Sad was, even though my pay was pathetic, the money exchange rate was four marks on the dollar. As such, a $20.00 pair of hiking shoes would have been $80.00 in the states.
I completely understand the situation. My situation was similar but opposite. My first assignment was England and the exchange rate was 2 dollars for 1 pound. So I was getting low pay and everything was twice as expensive. I think I have a cricket bat somewhere but that is all that I brought back that's survived through the years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
When I built my first grandfather clock my shop was still in a one car garage. I bought the movement which did not come out of the box for many years. Fast forward I built my workshop and completed my clock. To my surprise the movement did not work. Only needed to be lubricated!! I have needed to lubricate over the years and I also bought recommended clock oil. I have posted pictures in past threads.
I tried searching for pics but failed. New fangled technology confuses me. lol. Sad my last job dealt with cutting edge technologies but websites confound me.

If you have any pics of your clock handy I would love to see them.

Regards,
Oscar
 

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I got as far as the base and ran out of wood. What I thought was mahogany was walnut so I only had enough of either species to do half. I did buy an antique face off of eBay that I still have ready to use. My plan was to use only antique wood so I am always on the lookout for old wood tables to repurpose. I am not as concerned with the movement so when or if I get to that point I will probably just buy a used clock and gut it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think a mahogany and black walnut clock would be super elegant if the lumber is tastefully placed or maybe just slapped together because it would still look amazing. ;)

I am sure whatever you make will be a gorgeous piece of art.

Can't wait to see what you make.
 

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Oscar,
Here are pictures of the grandfather clock I built out of walnut. I think it was completed in 2003. It used about every tool I had in the shop, routers, table saw, lathe, planer, jointer, and band saw. The first three pictures are without the movement and the last one is the completed clock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Frank, just wow. Beautiful classic piece. Great job on it.

As an aside, is that a real wood shop. I don't see any saw dust on the floor. lol.
 

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Frank
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Oscar,

Yes, it is a real wood shop. I have a shop vac system attached to each major tool. I have two Jet air filters on ceiling. And last but not least my Wife who complains when I get too much saw dust, so I try to keep clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
lol I am jealous. my one car garage/shop always looks like a tornado came through.

kudos to your awesome organization and shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, since I cleaned one clock I decided to clean and oil another clock that had stopped due to dirt and oxidation.

Interesting how the purple heart has oxidized. At some point it will be completely brown with only a light purple glint. It is constructed from solid purpleheart lumber. It is really heavy. It is supposed to be steampunk themed so left the face off to see the mechanical movement. Not as exiting as I had hoped but still cool to me. Another clock to enjoy (again).

399491
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Frank,

Thanks.

I did. Thankfully the eye can not detect small differences between two similar pieces if separated by some distance. I did them by eye and they are really different. I enjoy turning but not great at it. I just don't do it often enough to get proficient at it.
 

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Giving a woodworker a can of oil to work on a mechanical clock will literally gum up the works. I am not a clock repair person but my late wife was for about the last 30 years of our marriage. By osmosis, I heard a lot of clock repair horror stories where the repair person first had to clean all the excess oil before they could fix something as simple as the works were not level. A well adjusted clock needs the tiniest drop of oil at the bearings. My advice is find a good clock repair person. They can also adjust the hammers so that it sounds nice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wonderful advise. There was no dripping oil so hopefully didn't gunk it up too bad. Unfortunately, there is no fixing the hammers without me tearing the carcass apart and rebuilding. The clock is my own design and I missed a decimal somewhere. lol.
 

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Wonderful advise. There was no dripping oil so hopefully didn't gunk it up too bad. Unfortunately, there is no fixing the hammers without me tearing the carcass apart and rebuilding. The clock is my own design and I missed a decimal somewhere. lol.
If the hammers are accessible, then a clock repair guy/gal could probably bend them into adjustment. I assume the hammer arm is brass. The repair person will have special pliers that will allow them to bend the hammer arms without marring them. No one will see that anyway.

A lot of the clock repair people belong to

https://www.nawcc.org

You might be able to locate a member in your area. Good luck.
 

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Oscar,

I also did my own turnings. Like you I am not proficient. I made several that went into the trash before I got the 4 I needed. The finial on the top was easier since I only had one.

I agree with the comments made about oiling a clock. Only a drop is necessary. If the oil is running, you applied too much. I also purchased clock oil and applicator which makes it easier.
 
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