A customer recently contacted me with a special request. To make a clock as a gift themed around the popular game, "Night in the Woods". I suggested a little research and then I would come back with some ideas. My initial thought was to theme a bespoke wooden clock around the game. I have a laser engraver, so I thought that some sort of engraving on the face of the clock would be good. I jotted a few ideas down on paper, one of which was using the main characters as numbers. I decided that I would go with this idea, so I did a bit more research and found some appropriate images. I found an ideal piece of Ash in the workshop and mocked up my idea with the laser onto the unturned Ash blank. I placed the hands on top, and sent the photo to the customer. They were happy with the idea so I proceeded.
I started off by turning the basic clock face. The piece of Ash was mounted on the lathe and the rear turned and sanded first. The recess for the clock was measured and cut, and then the piece was reversed, using the recess as a tenon for the chuck. The front was then turned and sanded ensuring that the centre hole depth was correct for the clock mechanism. I avoided any decorative cuts on the face of the clock given that this would be engraved and that would form the decoration.
Once turned and sanded, I started the engraving. I used masking tape to ensure that the lines are straight, and then went ahead and engraved in each of the characters. I did a few tests on scrap first to ensure that the laser was set to the right power levels. For a finishing touch, I engraved the game logo in the centre of the clock face, and used leaves for the small numbers as they appear in the game. I spoke to the customer and we also agreed on a personalisation on the back of the clock, so that was then engraved too. I then sealed the clock with sanding sealer and finished with Hampshire Sheen gloss wax.
I then made the base. This was made using 2 blocks of Ash, cut to the appropriate sizes, sanded and finished. The base was then constructed and the clock dry mounted with 2 dowels, and once I was happy, it was glued. Once dry, the final step was to mount the clock mechanism and attach the hands. The clock is a German made mechanism, pretty much the best assurance of quality that you can get. The final clock was then safely packaged and sent to the customer in a presentation box, in time for the birthday party that it was intended for.
This was a great fun project, as it involved researching, designing and then building a product from start to finish. This is a great example of a commissioned, bespoke piece. I can personalise different products by engraving a message of your choice, on a piece designed within an agreed specification.