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Woodworking with Will Myers


Isaac Youngs Wall Clock

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The Isaac Youngs wall clock is a decidedly timeless piece.

At the end of this article you will have a chance to see a short video of this clock being made.

The original clock, made by Youngs in the 1840 is in the collection of Hancock Shaker Village, Hancock Mass. Even though time seems to be my worst enemy these days, I thought I would have a go at making one.

The overall measurements I used for this clock came from Ejner Handberg’s second volume of Shop Drawings of Shaker Furniture and Woodenware. Mr. Handberg’s dimensions were documented from the original clock.

I am not sure what kind of wood the original clock was made from. For the one here I used American cherry. One nice thing about this project is, it can be made from very little material. The cherry for this clock is made of scraps left over from building my kitchen cabinets a few years back.

How the case of the original clock is joined together, I could not discern from the pictures I was able to find, so I used wedged thru mortise and tenons.

The sides of the case are 31 1/4in x 3 1/8in x 5/8in. The tenons that join the sides to the top and bottom are 5/8in square and 5/8 in length. To cut these use a cutting gauge and scribe a line a shade over 5/8in around the ends of the side boards. Then lay out the two tenons about 3/8inch in from the edges.

Using a dovetail saw, tenon shoulders down to the gauge line then clean out the waste between the tenons with a coping saw and chisel.

Learn how. Discover why. Build better.
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