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A Plain Oak Hall Clock

The hall clock shown in the illustration should be made of plain oak. The following pieces will be needed to make it:

  • 2 back posts, 1-1/2 by 1-1/2 by 81 in., S-4-S.

  • 2 front posts, 1-1/2 by 1-1/2 by 21 in., S-4-S.

  • 2 front posts, 1-1/2 by 1-1/2 by 44 in., S-4-S.

  • 10 front and back horizontals, 1-1/2 by 1-1/2 by 15 in., S-4-S.

  • 10 side horizontals, 1-1/2 by 1-1/2 by 11 in., S-4-S.

  • 1 face, 3/8 by 14 by 14 in., S-4-S.


  • 4 rails, 3/4 by 1-1/2 by 18 in., S-4-S.

  • 4 stiles, 3/4 by 1-1/2 by 12 in., S-4-S.

  • 4 horizontal mullions, 3/16 by 3/4 by 11 in., S-4-S.

  • 4 horizontal mullions, 3/16 by 5/8 by 11 in., S-4-S.

  • 4 vertical mullions, 3/16 by 3/4 by 15 in., S-4-S.

  • 2 vertical mullions, 3/16 by 5/8 by 15 in., S-4-S.


  • 1 piece, 3/8 by 14 by 21 in., S-4-S.

  • 2 pieces, 3/8 by 14 by 18 in., S-4-S.

  • 4 horizontal mullions, 3/16 by 5/8 by 14 in., S-4-S.

  • 4 vertical mullions, 3/16 by 5/8 by 20 in., S-4-S.


  • 2 pieces, 3/8 by 9-1/2 by 14 in., S-4-S.

  • 8 horizontal mullions, 3/16 by 5/8 by 9-1/2 in., S-4-S.

  • 6 vertical mullions, 3/16 by 5/8 by 14 in., S-4-S.

  • 2 middle side panels, 3/4 by 9-1/2 by 20 in., S-2-S.


  • 8 vertical mullions, 3/16 by 3/4 by 18 in., S-4-S.

  • 8 vertical mullions, 3/16 by 5/8 by 18 in., S-4-S.

  • 8 horizontal mullions, 3/16 by 3/4 by 9-1/2 in., S-4-S.

  • 8 horizontal mullions, 3/16 by 5/8 by 9-1/2 in., S-4-S.

If the worker will take the trouble to combine the different lengths of pieces having like thicknesses and widths into pieces of standard lengths, he will be able to save himself some expense at the mill with no more work for himself.

Begin work by shaping the ends of the posts as indicated in the drawing. Lay out and cut the mortises for the tenons of the horizontals or rails. These mortises need not be deep if the joints are to be reinforced later with lag screws as is the clock shown. They may be what are known as stub tenons and mortises. The tenons are not more than 1/2 in. long, just enough to keep the rail from turning about.

Next lay out and cut the tenons on the rails. Bore the holes for the lag screws, being careful to bore on adjacent surfaces so that the holes will miss each other. Use a 3/8 by 3-in. lag screw, boring the hole in the tenon with a 1/4-in. bit the full depth the screw is to enter.

The side panels should be fitted into grooves in the rails, and before the frame is put together these panels should be squared up and the grooves cut in the rails and posts at the proper places.

Hall Clock Complete

Details of Hall Clock

The mullions of the lower side panels, it will be noted, are specified 5/8 and 3/4 in. wide. The 5/8-in. pieces are for the central parts of the frame and the others for the outside. The frame is to be made 1/8 in. larger all around than the distance between the posts and between the rails so that it may be set in grooves cut in the posts and the rails to a similar depth, 1/8 in. This is true, also, of the mullions of the front doors. Square up the shelves so that they may be set into grooves in the adjacent rails. The middle shelf is to have an overhang and will rest upon the rails.

The mullions of the top side panels are all of the same width, and it is not intended or necessary to set their frame into grooves in the posts. The wood panel back of them gives ample strength.

It is a good plan not to groove the panel upon which the figures are placed, and which becomes the face of the clock. It is better to fit this piece in and fasten metal or wood buttons on the back side so that it can be readily taken off to get at the clock movement from the front.

Make the doors, tenoning the rails into the stiles and grooving both to receive the mullioned framework of 3/16-in. stuff.

Put the whole frame together, using good hot glue for the joints. When the glue has dried sufficiently to allow the clamps to be taken off, fit the doors and hinge them. Butterfly surface hinges look well and are the easiest to apply.

Thoroughly scrape all the surplus glue off and sandpaper the parts preparatory to applying the finish.

To finish, apply one coat of mission oak water stain. When dry, sandpaper lightly, using No. 00 paper. Apply a second coat, diluted with an equal amount of water. Sand this lightly and put on a very thin coat of shellac to keep the filler color, which follows, from discoloring the high lights. When the shellac has had time to harden, sand lightly and put on a coat of paste filler. Use light filler, colored with umber and Venetian red in the proportion of 12 oz, of umber, and 4 oz. of red to 20 lb. of filler. The directions for applying the filler will be found on the can labels. On the hardened filler apply a thin coat of shellac. Sand the shellac lightly and put on several coats of some good floor wax, polishing well according to the directions on the can. This is what is known as a mission oak finish and is quite popular for this type of furniture design.

The metal figures for the dial come with the clock movement. Some of the movements come already set in boxes of wood so that all one needs to do is to shape the projecting ends of the wood containing boxes and fasten them to the frame with screws from the back. A clock with dial figures, eight-day movement, striking the hours and half hours, with cathedral gong can be bought for $4, possibly less.

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Previous: Oak Stain

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