Popular Woodworking 2004-08 № 142, страница 54

Popular Woodworking 2004-08 № 142, страница 54

Wall Clock

Modern CAD software restores the look of a 164-year-old Shaker design.

It's difficult to open a book about Shaker furniture or to page through a woodworking catalog without coming face to face with a clock similar to this one. It seems that nearly every woodworking magazine and catalog has published plans for a clock with Isaac Newton Youngs' name on it.

So what possessed us to do the same thing?

Well, the goal of this project was to create a version of Youngs' clock that looked very much like the classic original but was built with joinery that a beginner would be comfortable with.

As I began drawing up our plans, I made an interesting discovery. Other plans for this clock that I consulted didn't look exactly like the original 1840 wall clock at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass. Many of these other plans made slight alterations to the size of the clock's case or the visual weight of the doors' rails and stiles.

In a few instances, these changes looked good. In others, however, it seemed that the designer - in seeking to make the project easier to build - made the clock a little chunky or squat. So John Hutchinson, Popular Woodworking's project illustrator, scanned in a photo of the original clock and scaled the parts using his computer-aided design software.

Suddenly the clock got a little taller, a little skinnier and the top door's stiles became narrower. After

we "built" the project with CAD and compared it to the original, we knew we were on the right track.

Of course, we did make changes, but they are mostly invisible to the naked eye. To make the clock easy to build, the case is joined using rabbets and dados. The back piece is plywood, instead of solid wood. And the moulding on the top and bottom is a bead instead of a roundover. All the changes can easily be undone for those seeking Shaker purity.

Finding Rift-sawn Wood

Youngs built his original using mostly rift-sawn butternut. All of the grain in that clock is arrow-straight without any of the arching cathedrals that are common to this somewhat-uncommon wood.

To reproduce that look I sorted through a 4'-high stack of butternut at the lumberyard but came up empty-handed. Rift-sawn butternut, according to the guys at the lumberyard, is hard to come by. So I went with Plan B: rift-sawn red oak, which is plentiful and inexpensive.

Three things are important when choosing wood for this project: Pick boards where the grain is dead straight, the growth rings are close together and the grain is rift-sawn - not flat-sawn or quartersawn. Flat-sawn oak exhibits the cathedrals you see on every red oak kitchen cabinet in every suburban subdivi-

by Christopher Schwarz

Comments or questions? Contact Christopher at 513'531'2690 ext. 1407 or chris .schwarz@fwpubs .com.


Popular Woodworking August 2004

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