Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Clock

Yes, it's finally done!  I've been waiting months to blog about this and now it's finally here...the Gandalf clock!

I've been working on my masterpiece in tech-ed for a long time and I'm so happy it's finally done!  It's a 12" by 12" fully functioning clock made out of alder and butternut wood with additions that make it possible to hang it on a wall.  

To make it I had to use the Inventor program to design what I wanted to be on the clock face.  I went with the famous Ring Tengwar inscription (one Ring to rule them all, one Ring to find them, one Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them) around the outside rim and the beloved Gandalf quote around the inner circle ("All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us"--get it, time?  Because it's a clock!).

After I designed the face on the computer I had to cut, glue, and press all five of the wooden panels together.  Each panel is about an inch thick and it took a long time to get it all glued up, not to mention prevent it from creeping up.

We had to block-plane the entire thing, which is basically using this sharp tool thing to cut little wood curls off the face of the clock.  That took a lot of time.  Then, days and days of sanding.  The TimeSaver was broken so all of the sanding had to be done by hand.  After about a week and a half it was finally ready to be laser engraved with the design.
This is a block-planer--mine was extremely fussy so it took me a long time to get that part of the process done.

Once that was done I had to cut out the shape of the clock.  That part was nerve-wracking because any wrong move and it would be ruined.  Then I used the electric sander made for sanding rounded edges to get the sides in a perfect circle.  You can't tell it very well from the picture (you can see it a bit better on the top) but the entire clock is also beveled on the sides.  That meant more hand sanding which took a long time as well.

Next I stained it using three coats of satin finish and one of glossy finish and on the back I used one coat of satin.  In between each layer of stain I had to do more hand sanding!

Finally it was dry and I drilled the hole for the hands.  But then the clock mechanism wouldn't fit through the hole with enough room to attach the hands.  I had to cut a little 3" by 3" divot into the back so it would fit.  Apparently I wasn't supposed to use the spinning saw thingy alone and my teacher was supposed to do it, so I got in a bit of trouble for that...whoops.

Just when I thought school couldn't get any more scary...

I finally attached the hands to the clock and voila, my very own Lord of the Rings customized clock!  

Have you ever made a craft with a Lord of the Rings theme?


  1. Oh my goodness, that is the most amazing clock ever! Great work! :D

  2. That is absolutely gorgeous!! Woodworking is a lot of fun. I haven't done much myself, but it's kinda in my blood. My Dad was an AMAZING woodworker!!

    P.S. Do you mind if I come up with a nickname for you?

    1. Neat--it takes a lot of patience and skill. Still working on developing both those traits, myself!

      Ooh, fun nicknames! Go right ahead :D

    2. Alright. Nimrodel. And Nim if I want something shorter.

      Have you ever read a book called "Papa's Wife" by Thyra Ferre Bijorn?

    3. Ooh, you're good! I like Nimrodel for Lembas... XD

    4. That's a pretty name--I like it too :D I'm glad it wasn't Sauron or something, haha.

      Why did you pick that? After the river or the elf? Or maybe just because it sounds nice?

      No, I've never read that. Is it good?

    5. Oh gracious!! I would NEVER have nicknamed you after a bad guy......unless you had done something REALLY AWFUL!!!

      Both. Nimrodel was a Lorien elf and Lembas was a Lorien food (or at least Lorien is the only place you hear of it being made) plus the name just FIT.

      YES!! It is absolutely hilarious!! It's about a Swedish minister and how his maid decides to marry him and then they eventually (along with 8 children) come to America. I love it.

    6. Oh goodie, I'm glad I haven't done anything too bad ;)

      Ah, that makes sense. The lay of Nimrodel is one of my favorites--very sad and poignant.

      Sounds funny, perhaps I'll give it a try!

    7. Hahahahaha!! Don't worry, Dearie. If you do something REALLY awful, I'll tell you!!

      :) Exactly! I love it, but I don't like the Tolkien Ensemble's version of it. They don't have the right person for singing Legolas' parts. They need tenor and the guy is more of a baritone.

      Do!! And don't forget to read Gaskell's NOrth & South!

    8. Thanks! I'd rather steer clear of that if at all possible, anyway XD

      I've never heard that one--but I always imagined Legolas with a tenor voice as well.

      Oh, right!

    9. Absolutely!! ;)

      It just soooo didn't sound right!


  3. You made that? :o That's amazing, beautiful work!!