Shaker Style Chain Driven Wall ClockShaker Style Chain Driven Wall Clock - Side ViewI promised my daughter that upon her graduation from law school I would give her a wall hanging Shaker style clock. She graduated in the spring of 2008. I completed this clock in October of 2009. A little late; but to keep anyone from finding out I printed 2008 on the clock dial. Pretty clever huh?

The clock carcass is cherry and though not visible is constructed with hand cut dovetail joinery. The back of the pendulum compartment is spalted maple which gives this relatively large area some interesting figure for eye appeal. To provide contrast the doors are made of walnut.

In keeping with the Shaker theme the trim is simple bull nose and quarter round. Door pulls are turned "mushrooms" typical of what the Shakers would use.

Clock Dial And Serpentine Hands The clock dial was drawn using Google SketchUp. The four I’s to represent the numeral four is not a mistake. Though four is correctly represented as IV it is traditional in clocks to represent it as IIII.

After drawing the clock dial in SketchUp I applied an antique texture behind the numerals to add a little "age". Next I printed the dial full scale on 13" X 19" premium card stock. To protect the dial I applied seven coats of Spray-On MinWax Satin Polyurethane with the added benefit of still more aging (it dries slightly yellow). Finally the card stock is glued to a plywood backing. – Did he say plywood? Yes, an extremely rare occasion when I use anything but hardwood in my projects.

Spalted Maple Backing, Brass Chains, Bob & Weights Add Eye Appeal The mechanical clock movement is a German made Hermle model 241-080. It is an 8-day movement with a gong that strikes once on the half hour and counts out the hours. The serpentine hands are not in keeping with the Shaker style. Mother Ann would definitely not approve, but hey, my daughter likes them. The chains, bob and weights are brass plated. If you look closely at the bob you can tell these pictures were taken in my shop. The bob shows a reflection of me and my 15" planer.

To complete this project I used non-mortising hinges and rare earth magnetic catches. The hinges have an antique brass finish. To keep the clock level in the vertical direction I used two adjusting pins that have sharp points which dig slightly into the wall and can also be adjusted for level in the orthogonal vertical plane. These pins are made especially for this purpose and are a traditional piece of clock hardware. I finished this piece with seven coats of hand rubbed MinWax Wipe-On Polyurethane Satin Finish.

Leave a Reply

4 Responses to “Finally Finished – A Shaker Style Chain Driven Wall Clock”

  1. Mark Mazzo says:


    Very impressive work on this piece. The design, wood and finish are all very nice.

    I like the treatment with the spalted-looking wood behind the clock mechanism. To me this, along with the walnut/cherry combo give the piece a hint of a modern look while still adhering to the Shaker aesthetic. Very nicely done!

    I found myself looking at the pictures and saying that they looked great. I had to chuckle about you and your planer’s reflection in the bob! I still think that they look great. Can you comment on how you lighted the clock and then worked the pictures to remove the background?

    The Craftsman’s Path

  2. Joe says:

    Hey Mark!

    What a coincidence. Would you believe I just came from The Craftsman’s Path admiring your fantastic and beautiful turnings. I wish I had that turning skill. I could use it in my furniture projects.

    I’ll tell you my photography secrets if you tell me how you get photo groups to work in your blogs. I have been trying to make this functionality work for weeks. I have downloaded the most recent plug ins and still no success. Could you point me to the one you use? And are you using Word Press?

    My shop is lighted with fluorescent lights. Lots of them. It is quite bright. All my pictures are taken with the camera on a tripod and the Av setting(aperture priority) at f/11 and IS) 200. I use Adobe Lightroom 2 to develop them with a custom preset derived from shooting a number of pictures with a standard grey card to correct for white balance. I shoot RAW only. I use no additional lighting.

    The pictures are then edited in Adobe Photoshop CS3 (though you can use the much cheaper Adobe Photoshop Elements). I describe this in some detail in my Woodworkers And Digital Photography tutorials (see especially Part 7 for an explanation of this very technique).

    I hope this helps.


  3. Mark Mazzo says:


    Thanks for the nice comments on my recent turnings. I’m sure you have it in you…it’s one of those things that just requires some dedicated practice just like learning to sharpen chisels 😉

    I do use WordPress – I think we may have chatted about it when you were first setting up your blog. I have tried a few, but the picture plugin that I am currently using is called Shadowbox JS ( It seems to work pretty well and it should connect seamlessly to your WordPress installation. However, the pics in old posts may not use it because it may insert a tag that sets it up for use when the pics are added to a post. Try it out.

    I will have to read your photo tutorial next. However, when you say you use a custom preset with a gray card for white balance, I’m not sure how this is done – can you comment? Is RAW a camera mode or do you just mean without additional lighting? My daughter has Photoshop Elements so, I may be in luck for trying your methods!

    The Craftsman’s Path

  4. Joe says:

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the pointer to Lightbox plug in. I will give it a try.

    I don’t know what camera you use so this answer may be irrelevant. If you tell me the make and model I can probably give you a better answer. But let me answer your questions backwards. RAW is not a camera mode, rather it is a file format much like jpeg or jpg is a file format. The difference is that RAW gives you all the information the camera captures without processing it so that you the photographer can process it. JPEG or JPG is a compressed file which is already processed for a camera setting such as “Cloudy Day”. There are two major problems; First much of the original data is lost making it difficult to re-process for say a fluorescent lit environment (that is color correct) and second the compression technique is lossey making significant process changes begin to appear “blocky” (not a technically correct word but descriptive).

    A grey card is a card that is colored (are you ready?) grey. The finish on the card is such that it will reflect a standard amount of light (18%). The problem is that different types of light (incandescent, fluorescent, cloudy day etc.) produce different colors in a picture unless you use a known color and reflectance in a picture to correct for this. Often the way this is done is to take two pictures of a subject, one with the grey card in the picture and one without. Then, when processing the picture with the grey card you have a known color and reflectance which you can use to correct the color (if the grey is correct all the other colors will be also). Once you document what you had to do in the grey card picture to get the correct grey you simply reproduce that recipe in the picture without the grey card. Now you have a color corrected picture.

    Lightroom lets you save that recipe as a preset. You can have as many presets as you want. For example one for cloudy days, or bright sunlight etc. The when you download RAW files from your camera into Lightroom you simply apply the appropriate preset (recipe). Now you don’t have to use the grey card each time.

    All of this is covered in detail in my photography tutorials. Hope this helps.