Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Tick Tock Goes the Little Clock
My back shot was scary, but so far, it feels pretty good. I couldn't be alone for 24 hours afterward, so I had to spend the night over at Nerdtopia last night. I was sore throughout the evening (that part is normal), but this morning I woke up and felt myself moving around like I hadn't in almost a year. The doctor said it can take up to a full week to feel the results, so I'm waiting to see how this works with long-term back pain. I'm, dare I say it, hopeful.
But let's talk about something else, shall we? I'm SICK of talking about my back.
How about a homemade clock????
I bought the Ascent Wooden Gear Clock by Jeff Schierenbeck for Pa for his Father's Day/birthday gift last year (birthday is in August), so it's been loitering in the back room of my parents' house for quite some time. Recently, we decided it was time to get that puppy out. Then we had to go buy stain (you have the option to stain however you like or you can follow the directions).
I arrived at my folks' house last weekend to find this obnoxious dining room cover thing on the table. RED ALERT! I've learned from mini-ing to always use a blank tablecloth because you WILL lose EVERYTHING on such a bright pattern. Did I insist that we turn this thing over before we started? Of course not. Bad idea. We should have done it, and the next time I'm over there, I'm going to remove everything from the table and flip this thing over to make sure we can find our clock bits. (But I do appreciate Ma sacrificing an old tablecloth for the project!)
This is what the clock kit looks like in the box:
There are three sheets of wood total, which felt like a very small amount considering my Beacon Hill dollhouse has like 37 sheets or some madness like that. Everything is laser cut, which RULES.
Since it's going in Ma's house, I allowed her to choose the stain colors. I don't trust my father on color choices:
Like two idiots, we started punching out the pieces and putting them in stain piles before we read the first page of the directions (the really good super detailed awesome directions), which states that you put a lot of the clock together before any finishing. I should have know this because it's the same with dollhousing. If you stain something, it makes it almost impossible to glue it together. Luckily, we caught this in time. I took everything away and bagged it:
The difference between my parents and myself is that they have a LOT of property. I have one little house -- all of my "tools" are like two feet away from me at any given time. Not so with my father. I was left alone quite a few times while my father went downstairs, into the back room, or all the way down to his Morton building to find things like C-clamps, sponge brushes, binder clips, and an assortment of other "building" products. Eventually, it seemed like we had everything we needed. And PRESTO MAGIC, we had the first piece together:
I don't know how we did it because how could you find ANYTHING on this table?
My father lost his razor blade (for breaking the little tab off where the pieces were held into the wood) at least 6 times.
I am better at Pa is at gluing little, decorative wood pieces together. He is better than I am at figuring out how a clock actually works. We make a good team! I went through the directions and checked them off as I went. I've also learned from dollhousing that it's a good idea to check the pieces off of the schematics page as you use them, so I did that, too. We got into a nice groove.
We got to the place where we had to glue some big pieces and make sure they were perfectly dry, so I took that time to get out the little bits:
And stain them the dark color (which I don't like, but Ma loves. I like the other colors of stain though, just not this dark one):
Pa rigged up this contraption to keep the long pieces of the clock glued together. He thought it was most important to keep the middle holes aligned, so he put screws through them and clamped them all together. I felt that it was most important to have the ends of the clock line up perfectly, which wasn't happening. They are just a tiny bit off from each other. It remains to be seen if this will affect the clock function in any way (probably not). But I must admit, putting all four pieces together on one clamp was a space saver and quite handy (please note, ONLY two of each are glued together. You don't do all four together, oh no you don't):
And then we were done for the night. We'd spent so much time setting up, reading directions, and hunting for tools that we had to stop here. It worked out because now we know the main clock shell pieces are completely dry. Yay!
I'm not sure why, but I've always wanted to build a clock with Pa. All of those gears remind me of his mechanical engineer brain. Whenever I see a small clock kit in Hobby Lobby or something, I have an urge to get one to make with Pa. But you know what is 1,000x better than a tiny, cheap clock? A big, lovely, wooden one. I'm so excited to see it come together!
Want to see what it will look/sound like? Click HERE. (And if Ma gets sick of the noise, she can just let it run down and not wind it!)
Thank you, Ma, for tolerating the project. Thank you, Pa, for letting me help you build it. XXOO.
And, a HUGE thank you to my readers for giving me so much support about my back shots. You mean the world to me!