Heirloom Clock

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A country piece with straightforward construction and pleasing lines, this grandfather of clocks is a challenging project sure to become an invaluable family heirloom.

A tall-case clock has a special presence in a home. The face watches over the comings and goings of a family, one generation to the next. The ever-present and familiar rhythm of pendulum and chime give the home a heartbeat. 

This clock is based on a late 18th-century original tall-case clock that graces the parlor of an Ohio Quaker homestead that was a prominent stop on the Underground Railroad. Behind the original clock, a secret passageway inside the wall connects to a steep, narrow staircase that allowed fugitive slaves to reach a hiding place in the attic. 

As clocks go, this is a country piece with simple construction and pleasing lines. It begs you to pull out whatever figured wood you’ve been hoarding for a special project. I’ve made several versions of this clock, one faithful to the original in walnut, and this rendition in figured maple.

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