If you are mechanically inclined and comfortable working with small parts, learning to build clocks can be as enjoyable and satisfying as owning clocks. The parts needed to build a clock case vary depending on the type of clock you are building. Parts and supplies are available online.
For a first-time clock builder, a clock kit that includes all parts and components may be the best way to go. Canada's largest clock kit company, Murray Clock/Craft, claims to produce the finest quality clock case kits and components for clients who demand cases of fine-furniture quality. They sell kits for Grandfather, Grandmother, and Granddaughter clocks; wall clocks; mantel clocks; and musical clocks. SteeBar has kits for Arabic Number or Roman Numeral Tower Wall Clocks, mini desk clocks, mantle clocks, and pendulum clocks. Their stock includes clock plans, clock inserts, and clock-making supplies, as well as clock kits. Many of their plans include a wood pack option for making the clock case. Their wood packs are not model parts, but sized appropriately for each plan. Wood packs are now available in Red Oak, Maple Black Walnut, Ash, or American Cherry.
When purchasing timber for a clock case, if possible, buy timber kiln-dried at 12 per cent moisture content and in 2.5 cm (1-inch) thick planks. Cut the planks to the required lengths, allowing an inch or two at each end. Put the timber through a planer, to clean and square. Then stack it in the house, perhaps under a bed, until it has dried completely. SteeBar now stocks Baltic Birch Plywood in four thicknesses and two sizes. It is the very best grade of Baltic Birch Plywood available (B/BB or 3-B). Basswood, sapwood, and walnut also work well for building clock cases.
Dial and movement
Often the emphasis is on the case as a piece of furniture and not as a timepiece. Always purchase your dial and movement before you start building the case. Then build the clock case to fit the dial and movement.
Clock case parts
Merritt's is a large supplier of clock case parts. Primary clock parts include glass or Plexiglas (including etched glass), door moulding, finials, clock tops and bases, and clock feet. Add decorative touches with ornaments or finials. Clock hardware ranges from feet pads, hinges, knobs, mounting brackets, keyholes, locks, latches, hooks, and drawer pulls to corner ornaments. Crescent Clock Company sells antique clock parts, including clock cases, clock tops in several different styles, replacement bases for clocks. The Clocksmiths Clock and Watch Shop also sells antique clocks and parts. Online companies are also a good source for other clock-building supplies, including scroll saw blades, epoxy resin, branding irons, rasp sets, sanding drums, pen kits, letters, numbers, motors, chimes, dials, and router bits.