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January 26, 2014 at 3:22 pm #48834
I just saw a Youtube video on John R. Sullivan clockmaker. He has a neat operation and cranks out grandfather clocks. Go to Youtube and type in .January 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm #55528
Good video David, He’s quite the craftsman, but can he sing?January 27, 2014 at 6:09 pm #55529
From the looks of his operation he sings all the way to the bank. Does your wood shop have the capacity to produce these clock cabinets?
davidJanuary 28, 2014 at 4:47 am #55530
Yes, If it’s made of wood, I can reproduce it. My tools are not quite as old, ( 40s and 50s), but I have adapted different methods to make a lot of the moldings, instead of having a lot of the molding heads, I make most of it on the table saw. I have a shaper, but it is easier for me to do on the table saw. I also use a lot of hand planers and various hand scrapers. We try to reproduce everything back to or as close to original as possible. Don’t get me wrong, That guy is very good. MahlonJanuary 28, 2014 at 6:21 am #55531
It looks like you might be sitting on a gold mine. Woodworking and clocks are a great combination.
davidJanuary 28, 2014 at 6:39 am #55532
David, the problem that I have is that I stay so busy working on antiques that I have trouble finding room to work on movements. I usually have 4 or 5 furniture projects going at one time. I average around 150 to 200 pieces come through my shop a year. I would show a pic. of my shop, but it would not be for the faint hearted 😳 I am hoping to get to a point that I can repair clock movement well enough to switch to doing mostly clocks. For now I have to clean a place off in the shop, set up my ultrasounds, tare down the movement, clean it, then hope no one slams the door and drops dust off the lights before I can get it in the house to reassemble. MahlonJanuary 28, 2014 at 10:56 am #55533
Hey Mahlon, where are you located? it has been 2 years since the shop conversion from wood to clocks and I am still finding sawdust. I have put most of the woodworking tools on rollers, packed in the other area. I havent used them in some time but have plans to build a pocket watch crystal drawer unit. I have debated about selling the woodworking tools but if I give it a few years I know I will want to be building some things. Have some great ideas on cases for clocks, hopefully I will get some time..ooohhh so many things to do 🙄 ..WilliamJanuary 28, 2014 at 11:38 am #55534
Hey William. We are in N. Central Okla. My problem is, I can make 2-3000 over a period of 4-5 days working on furniture. I’ll have to get a lot better and faster at clocks before I can give up the wood working. I keep telling my wife that I am getting too old to lift all the heavy furniture, but she says she’ll let me know when I’m too old to lift furniture MahlonJanuary 28, 2014 at 11:43 am #55535
William, I forgot to tell you, I saw an international time recorder like the one you were working on, on E-bay. I believe it was in Penn. I think they only wanted like $500.00 for it. I think they are pretty cool pieces. MahlonJanuary 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm #55536
Hey Mahlon, thats really good, I need a Bergeon this that and the other thing 😆 ….just kidding, I know what you mean, the heavy work is what got to me along with some physical issues, I kept the wood shop open for business the first year, just in case, until I could make the decision to be full time with clocks and pocket watches. I do have another business which is a part time partnership and can be very profitable and it helps with new tools. I realized I had to make the move for my future, not only that but because I love this work (after 47 years I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up) who would have guessed, a clock guy. When I decided to put everything into it I figured out what the MINIMUM income could be (keeping my head just above the water line) sell a bunch of stuff and reduce debt, this last year produced way above that minimum. My wife says I am easier to get along with 🙄 even with all the sacrifice….. I am much happier as my retirement plan is now up and running Thank God! I am very fortunate. WilliamFebruary 2, 2014 at 1:17 am #55537
Woodworking and clocks certainly belong together. You may want to go into manufacturing clocks in the future. Hold on to your woodworking machinery and tools.
davidFebruary 2, 2014 at 3:55 pm #55538
David, you are absolutely right, that IS the future plan, My hopefully future daughter in law insists they get a grandfather clock for a wedding gift (I told her they cannot get married for 10 more years) but she doesnt want any old clock, she is very persistent on it being one I have made from scratch, movement and case…..How exciting is that…I may be old, bald and fat by then 😯 …..it also explains my desire to figure out machinery and machining techniques, still thinking though on how to accomplish all this and will have many future questions 🙄 , (please be patient with me) WilliamFebruary 2, 2014 at 5:56 pm #55539
Those woodworking tools are part of your survival infrastructure. You should hang on to them until you win the lottery.
davidFebruary 2, 2014 at 7:11 pm #55540tmac1956Participant
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Do any of you wood working guru’s know a good source for boxwood logs? That wood is critical when turning watch cases. The metal just sticks right on the wood without any adheasives.
I am envious of you wood artists… I don’t have the talent for that. However, I have been considering building an oak kneeler at the college wood shop.
Thanks guys – great thread.
TomFebruary 2, 2014 at 8:37 pm #55541
For some reason boxwood is the wood of choice in the watchmaking/watch repair trade. This is probably because some well respected watchmaker in the past used boxwood. There seems to be a fear of doing something different and being criticized by other people in the trade. There are companies that do nothing but metal spinning and many of them are located around Chicago. The material they actually use for their forms is cheap sawdust board. To make a core for a deep part such as a bowl, they glue sheets of the sawdust board together and turn the shape down on a wood lathe. I am sure boxwood would work but so would a number of many other materials.
Sticking a piece of sheet metal to a piece of wood and turning it sounds like a dangerous idea. The metal should always be secured to the form or core with a live center. I do not know how Steffen Pahlow chopped off his index finger but I can guess that it may have had something to do with metal spinning.
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