The brief was for a mantle clock that chimed every quarter hour with a full chime and dongs on the hour. For those looking for something similar, the technical term is a 4×4 Westminster Chime and it will be familiar to millions around the world as you’ll have heard it from Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament, and of course it’s regularly featured at the start of the BBC News with headlines read out between the bongs.
Fortunately I had a massive lump of Walnut in stock, which meant the entire clock could be cut with no need for a veneer face or any jointing of the wood. Yes, it might be wasteful when you’re removing most of the back for the mechanism and speaker, and even more so because I chose to add a pendulum which had to have even more timber hollowed out. But, the finished clock looks so much better than multiple bits of wood cobbled together as there’s not a single joint around the curving sides.
The pendulum swings perfectly within the kidney shaped hole and is particularly hypnotic as you can’t see the arm it swings from. And the curving design around the clock face which widens to a square base gives an elegant design, finished at the base with moulding cut from the same hunk of Walnut.
Finally, the clock was finished with a hard wearing french polish, meaning it’ll only need dusting and an occasional rub with some furniture wax to keep it looking stunning for many years into the future.