Constructing a Grandmother from Pieces and Scratch

by Bill
(San Bernardino, CA, USA)

The two pieces one on the other.

The two pieces one on the other.

Recently I bought what appears to be the base box and what I'll call the top box (with the clockworks, face and crown) of an inexpensive Grandmother clock at an auction. The clockworks work, but there is no key nor pendulum. It is also missing the spindle like insert in its crown. (Sorry if I'm using the incorrect terminology.)

My plan was to construct a unique middle with door possibly of wood and glass, find a pendulum, and refinish it all while hand decorating it with engraving, etching, inlay, and paint making it a personal family heirloom.

I have never taken on a project of this caliber but have done other woodworking efforts. One suggestion I have been given was to find known antique parts and wood to do this. I'm not so sure that is a great idea or not as I assume the parts I'm starting with are not antique quality.

The face is 7 3/4 in. on a 9 1/2 in. brass plate and has no name and no moving moon dial. It is spring driven with clean (like new) works and does run. The original wood finish is not much to get excited about. It appears to be only a red staining with little or no varnish, enamel, or poly top coat. Definitely, has no polish to it. Sort of a rustic unfinished look.

Any ideas about the maker or quality of what I'm starting with?

The top back is nailed not screwed or latched like other grandfather clocks I have owned. Am I right that I get to the works by removing the face plate?

Any suggestions about my ideas?

Can I make the middle any height and the pendulum arm any length I like, or am I bound by size and physics restrictions?

What about the weight of the pendulum?

Or will I need to do some experimenting?


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