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Advice on clock assembly?

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  • Advice on clock assembly?


    I have finished sawing the pieces for my first bigger clock project. I just need to do some sanding first and then I'm ready for assembling the clock. I feel more than little insecure and need your good advice on assembly. The clock I'm making is Worthington wall clock in red oak.

    Now, the instructions say to fix the inner support structure (made of 3/4" oak) with glue and screws. It also tells to secure the back piece(s) to the support with glue and screws. But all the rest of instructions it's just
    "assemble" or mostly "attach".

    What do you think or recommend? Is it just glue that's supposed to hold this thing together??? Or should I use tiny brass brads (or ever tiny screws?) with glue. Or tiny nails without heads between the pieces, like little dowels? I do not have access to Aleene's wonder glue you've mostly been recommending here, it'll be just normal PVA wood glue.

    I'm especially worried about attaching the gable ornament to the edges of the roof pieces. The humidity will change quite a lot during the year and I have it hard to believe glue would hold in such a small strip. The pattern does include overlay pieces that would cover brads or screws of the gable ornament, but I would like to omit those if possible. The other similar overlays are clearly for decoration only and I simply don't like them.

    What I dread the most is splitting the wood if I'd use brads. My deadline is in mid-October and I would need to mail order some new wood if something should need reworking. Hence I cannot afford any bad mistakes.

    The bezel came also with tiny brads. Any hints here? Should I drill starter holes for brads?

    I'm planning the finish the clock with Danish oil. A sating finish is preferred, I don't like much gloss. Do you think I can leave it without any varnish? Will it be too dull or is varnish needed for protection in the long run?

    All help is highly appreciated,

  • #2
    On parts that will be visible, I always try not to use brads, because no matter how good of a puttier you are, you always can see that. Others might not see it, but you always will. If its covered, like the gable is by trim, I would use a couple brads if I felt it really needed it.If possible, I do drill pilot holes through at least the first piece i intend to drive the brad through, just for piece of mind. Humidity plays havoc sometimes, but if glued properly, glue should be enough.You dont say what wood we are talking about, but in wood such as red oak, walnut, cherry, ect, for those little teeny brads for mounting the bezel I do not drill pilot holes, I just carefully drive them in with a hammer, and havent had a clock split yet. If the nails poke through to the inside of the clock case, use a sidecutters pliers to snip the point off flush with the wood.PVA glue is fine, epoxy is fine as well . Just glue bare wood to bare wood! Danish oil, and definatly a varnish for lasting beauty and for that "completed " look. Good luck, I hope it helps you some. Dale
    Dale w/ yella saws


    • #3
      The bezel came also with tiny brads. Any hints here? Should I drill starter holes for brads?
      Whenever I use a dial/bezel combination I've found that using a push pin to start the hole not only positions the brad, but also starts it going in straight.

      As far as your concern for glue (only) being strong enough, my experience is that if the joint is properly prepared and glued the wood fibers will give before the glue joint will.

      A lot of the "oil" finishes already have varnishes in them. Check the contents on the label, or search the forum here for the many threads on what is really contained in them. I'll default to the "finishing pros" for the details.

      Post a picture when you're finished.

      . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
      visit sometime
      Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570


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