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Hi guys. I'm new here.

So, I have wanted a mantel clock for quite some time. I particularly like the tambour style. I have had my eye out for one for the past couple years, but I only come across cheap plastic, or an expensive antique. I don't have several hundred dollars i'd be willing to spend on one, and thought I would enjoy it if i was able to make one.


I am comfortable with wood working, but certainly not a pro, or even a dedicated hobbyist. But I've never hesitated to build something out of wood if i've had a use for it. I've built an aquarium stand, end table, and made a piece to enlarge my entertainment center. If that helps you understand my comfort level.

I have some tools, but probably not everything I need. I've got a table saw, compund miter saw, jig saw, router, a biscuit joiner, drill, and an electric palm sander. I'd like to avoid making major tool purchases for this, but will consider it if need be.

Does anybody know of any plans for something similar? I scoured the internet and I found many, many mantel clock plans, but didn't come up with anything for a tambour style mantel clock.

i'd appreciate the help!
 

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Just do a Google search for "free mantel clock plans" and you'll find something that will give you a good start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks, i'll figure it out as I go. I saw that. it's all of 5" tall and is premade for you. where's the pride in that?
 

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I think I saw a clock similar to that in one of my woodworking magazines within the last year or so. Woodsmith, maybe?

In any case, how ornamented do you want it? It seems like it should be fairly simple to cut the front and back to shape (jig saw or band saw, maybe?), and make a form to shape veneer over for the curved piece. If it was me, I think I'd probably start out that way. You could add moldings to dress it up, or leave it simple. And I'd buy a movement, because I'm just not cool enough to make one myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I ordered all the parts involved with the clock(movement, dial, hands, and the glass cover and bezel). I figured that will be my starting point for all my measurements. I already have a general idea of how I want it to look. I'm just not quite sure how i'm actually going to make it yet.

I think i'm going to use red oak, as that would match my entertainment center.
I've really only worked with veneer once, and had bad luck with it. There was a spot that wouldn't take to the stain evenly, and it totally looked like crap.
I guess my main worry is putting it together. I haven't done very much using glue, and i'm thinking i'll be using a lot on this.

I don't plan on leaving it plain, it will be dressed up a little. pretty much like the picture.(I know it's a small picture and tough to get details, but it's one of the closest pictures that I could find to how I want to make mine)
 

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the interiors are basically empty, in other words the shell is the structure. front and back and bottom are flat pieces. the tops can be laminated (curves), or segmented pieces glued together. i've seen both. as you mentioned, your movement will drive some design, such as pendulum, chimes, gongs(?)
 

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thanks, i'll figure it out as I go. I saw that. it's all of 5" tall and is premade for you. where's the pride in that?
not much, but at least you could make all the part's bigger if you like the style ? than put togother the one you bought and sell that one which should pay for the pattern ?? i been in clock's for 60 yrs or so have built hundred's and sold them in the antique trader yrs back, their are lot's of styles out their, you will be able to look at a picture and make the part's, make sure the dial size bezel will fit if you have already bought it , also merrits antique has lot's to look at also good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
at least you could make all the part's bigger if you like the style
this doesn''t look like parts to me. It looks like it was probably milled out of one piece.

I have been making a picture of how i want this to look, i'll post it once I'm done, and ask some more specific questions on how things should be done
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


here is what i'm planning on. The molding will be a little more detailed, but that's the general idea.

I do plan on using pieces of wood glued together to build the thickness of the clock. I'm thinking i'll be buying a drum sander to help sand/shape this.

the front decorative piece is something I'm not sure how I should do yet. I think if i tried to inlay that piece, the front would be too flat. I was thinking about having it sunk in. like the hole cut out in the front piece, but i wasn't sure how I would shape those tight inside corners. I know a router wouldn't fit. So i'm thinking that piece will just be glued to the front.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok guys, i'm ready to start the building process with this. I went to lowes to pick up some wood, but I didn't see anything I wanted. As you can see from my picture I want to do two different woods. Do you guys have any suggestions on this? What type of wood looks good in a light color, and what looks good in dark? At lowes I was going to pick up maple for the light body color, and red oak for the dark trim. The maple they had wasn't in good shape so I just didn't get anything. Where do you guys get wood that isn't the normal stuff stocked at lowes/HD?
 

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As said, you could try to stain one specie two colors. You could use oak and walnut. I've used oak and eastern red cedar for contrast. That May may be too soft a wood for you.
 

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dempseyjosh said:
thanks, i'll figure it out as I go. I saw that. it's all of 5" tall and is premade for you. where's the pride in that?
If you use that as a base to go buy, you can make it whatever size you want. There IS pride in doing it yourself. I am doing my very first cherry project, although just a small one. I am making a weather station that will include a clock, hygrometer, a liquid filled glass tube thermometer and a storm predictor which is also a liquid filled tube. Now, I can buy it cheaper than I can make it. However, I am changing the design so it's my own and instead of using the wood that comes with the kit, I am supplying my own. My design, my creation equals my pride.

If you see something you like, change the design to fit YOUR needs...make it your own. You definitely do NOT need to make it exactly as you found it....

Good luck with whatever you decide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I got some tools for Christmas, so I was able to start on it. It will likely be sort of a slow process. I have a baby due in 4 weeks, and as it is, I only find a few hours to myself on the weekends every now and then.

I started the first two layers. I have the clock face in the first, and the quartz movement in the second, and they are glued together. The third will be easy and the fourth I will have to decide how I want to open a door for changing the time and batteries. Both of those will likely get done the next time I work on it(hopefully this coming weekend). After that, I need to wait until I save some cash for the rigid oscillating belt and drum sander, so that I can sand all of it together to get a nice smooth shape, then i'll work on the trim stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey there, i'm back. I got to a point last year and then didn't make any more progress because I needed some tools to get it done. This is how it sat for almost a year.


But along came Christmas and my wonderful wife got me an oscillating belt and spindle sander. So, I glued on the third layer and shaped the whole thing close to it's final shape, and this is where i'm at now.


I need to get a couple router bits to help copy the exact hole size all the way through for battery access, but I should be able to get those sometime this week and work on it some more next weekend. I've got the fourth final layer to attach, and figure out the battery access door, then I plan on building a router table before I start working on all the trim work. It might be some time but i'll come back and show progress pictures in case anyone is interested
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, I got my router bits, and added the fourth layer. It's now to the thickness I want it to be. Doesn't look much different but here are some pictures, i put the clock face and glass is just to check it out.



i'm working on the router table before I start the trim work, and i'm probably 1/3 of the way done with that. But, in the mean time, i'd like to get some suggestions on how I should do the back door. I have a couple ideas, but nothing is jumping out at me as being great.

also looking for tips on the design in the middle. just gluing it straight on doesn't sound right.
 
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