Giving the Gift of Time

I am sitting in my workshop, a kind of makeshift space in the garage, listening to my favorite Celtic music. It inspires me to create. Today I am making a clock, not an easy task, for a friend. It was to have traditional Celtic decorations hand painted on the wooden surface. First things first. I have the task of cutting a perfect circle in wood for the clock face. I found a guide to help me here: This will inaugurate the project and set it in motion.

There is a tool for every woodworking job and I grab my circle cutter. Your wood should be fairly thin, but even then, don’t try to use a paper or cardboard circle maker. They are sold in craft stores alongside the heavier type such as a Jasper circle jog tool. This gadget converts a plunge route into a precision circle cutting devices, making holes of various diameters. For a clock face, it will have to be set on the larger end of the spectrum. Make sure the one you choose can be adjusted to a six or seven-inch opening. The Jasper, by the way, is pre-drilled to fit most plunge router and no trial cuts are necessary given the precision of the instrument. I can testify to the fact that this calibrated marvel is easy to set up and use.

A lot of people use this tool to make or add to a sound system. It is so accurate that you can’t go wrong when building custom speaker cabinets for example. For my clock, it is ideal. The brand is famous for well-engineered accessories like the circle jig series. It comes with a guide and overall is a very useful addition to any serious woodworker’s toolbox. My clock will have the perfect face. After achieving perfect results, the circle is cleaned with sandpaper to touch up the rough edges. If you go freehand, this is a must. Some people create a circle in pencil and work just a touch outside the line so they can clean a fraction of an inch with the sander. I recommend keeping your eye ahead about a half of an edge of the blade so you will stay on track. It reminds me of what I learned in driving school: look ahead of the car in front. This way if you veer off course, you can react appropriately.

My clock is moving along and soon I will give the gift of time. There is a lot of work ahead now that the circle is done. Clocks have a myriad of tiny parts to create movement. It is not a novice job. You can also take an existing clock and create a new body to your specifications. A gift is usually customized to the taste of the recipient. The idea is that it is hand-made and one of a kind. With my handy wood working tools, I can fashion virtually anything from simple and modern to an alpine-style clock.