DIY: Grandfather Clock

Updated April 17, 2017

Grandfather clocks can be made by hand in an exact style and with a choice of wood. Antique clocks sometimes need a lot of work and maintenance to restore the clock back to its original condition and may be out of the price range for some people. Buying a new grandfather clock may also be an expensive investment. People who are handy can make their own grandfather clock and cut the cost by purchasing materials and assembling the clock themselves.

Purchase a do-it-yourself grandfather clock kit. These types of kits will have the inner and outer mechanisms of a clock that enable it to function and the outer construction material of the clock. The clock will be made of either fine maple or oak.

Follow instructions to the exact detail that come with the grandfather clock kit. Assemble the wood frame of the grandfather clock first so that the inner and outer mechanisms can be added in the right place. The clock parts will need to fit into the exact locations both inside the clock and outside the clock, since the inner mechanisms control the outer mechanisms of the clock.

Buy a grandfather clock kit that comes with luxurious wood only, even if the kit is slightly more expensive than inferior kits. Better quality wood, such as walnut or pine, will last longer and give the clock aesthetic beauty when completed. Hire a carpenter skilled in making do-it-yourself grandfather clocks if you are not good with woodwork or tools in general.

Order the wood from a lumber company, either online or at your local hardware store if making the clock yourself. Order four wood bundle packs for a tall grandfather clock. Make sure the wood is at least five square feet in length. For smaller clocks such as wall clocks, purchase one to two wood bundle packs.

Place the wood on a flat work surface. Place the smaller, pattern-grain pieces on the side for the panel sections. These are the parts of wood that will be outside the clock. Choose narrow wood board pieces, which will make up the rails and stiles of the clock and are part of the support of the clock.

Use a CMT Model 219 mitre saw in the 8-1/2-inch size. Cut the rails first, 9 inches in width. Cut the cross cut pieces of wood at 8 1/4 inches. Cut as many pieces of wood for the particular clock you are making, and make sure to follow instructions.

Glue pieces of the wood together with PVA cement glue. Follow instructions on the glue bottle or blueprint drawing for how much glue to apply. Let the glue dry and install the inner clock mechanisms first, which include a spring, gears, chimes and pivots. Next, set the face, dial, weights, hands, time and pendulum on the outer side of the clock. Test to see that the clock works once fully assembled.

Things You'll Need

  • Grandfather clock kit
  • Clock blueprint or diagram plan
  • Wood bundle packs
  • Mitre saw (CMT model 219)
  • PVA cement glue
  • Inner and outer clock mechanisms
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About the Author

Linda Stamberger began writing professionally in 1994, as an entertainment reporter for "Good Times Magazine." She has written online copy for The Volusia Community website and is the author of "Antiquing in Florida." Stamberger studied creative writing at Southampton College, where she won a partial writing scholarship.