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About

Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger

Carpe Diem!

(Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

Copyright

1996 - 2026

Webmaster:

Kirt Blattenberger

BSEE - KB3UON

Family Websites:

RF Cafe | Equine Kingdom

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Plastic Scale Model Kits - Airplanes and Rockets

Kirt's Lorraine Grandmother Clock Project

Lorraine Grandmother Clock from Klockit Plans - Airplanes and Rockets

Klockit Version

Supermodel Melanie with my Lorraine Grandmother Clock built from Clockit plans, August 2013 - Airplanes and Rockets

Melanie modeling my version scratch-built from plans (not a kit).

My Lorraine grandmother (grandfather) clock built from plans and mechanics purchased from Klockit is complete after nearly four years. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to build a floor model clock, and this one will fit well in our 1,500 sq.ft. split foyer house. The wood chosen is hickory both because it has beautiful grain and color variation, and because then I can say that I have built a "Hickory Dickory Clock!"

The hickory was bought from Summit Hardwoods, just a few miles south of Erie, PA. Thus far I have cut out most of the rectangular blanks. Finally, the process of squaring everything and exacting the dimensions, then the detailed shaping, drilling, routing, sanding, etc., has paid off in the form of a beautiful, classic grandmother clock.

Although I enjoy the building and finishing process, I can't wait to hear the tick-tock of the weight-driven clockworks, and the hourly chimes. My obsession with the passage of time is pacified for the time being with a refinished antique wall regulator, but this is my piece pièce de résistance.

The instructions and drawings provided on the plans are excellent, but as the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words (not sure how many drawings a picture is worth, though). There have been a couple instances so far where the order of operations would be better with a couple steps changed. One example is where milling the 1/4" cove in the Hood's arched piece (H-8) over the door is necessary prior to hinging the door because otherwise the door cannot swing shut. Another is that I decided to glue the crown pieces directly to the hood rather than build the crown assembly separately and then screw it to the hood. There is also the case in Step 28 where the wrong edge of Hood bottom is indicated on the plans.

Latest update August 10, 2013

The Lorraine Grandmother Clock project is officially complete! All four 1/8" thick glass panels were cut by Schaal Glass Company here in Erie, PA. They did a great job with the arched piece that goes in the door for the dial. If I had though it out before-hand, I would have modified the plans to use just a simple arch to make glass cutting simpler (and less expensive). There would still be a shoulder region per plans when viewed from the front, but the inset for the glass in the back of the door would have just an arch from one side to the other. A complete set of photos of the finished clock will be posted soon. Here is a short video tour of the completed Lorraine Grandmother Clock!

July 27, 2013 Update

The Lorraine Grandmother Clock is complete and has been fully operational of of July 27, 2013! The only thing left to do is install the glass panels, but I'm waiting to have them cut. Doing a complete mock-up of the mounting and fitting prior to finishing made for very quick work installing all the clockworks components and panels. A very slight adjustment of the chime hammers was needed, but that's it. I pulled the pendulum to the side and let go, and it's been ticking away ever since. Thus far it appears to be keeping perfect time. The moon dial has been set for today's moon phase, so it will be interesting to watch it progress over the next month. planning for the clock began in November of 2009 when I purchased the plans from Klockit - about 3 years and 9 months.

Melanie did a great job filming a short video on me explaining my method for applying polyurethane without suffering the heartbreak of runs, sags, and air bubble in the finish. That is a hot topic in online forums and as you might expect, there are many opinions, often contradictory, on the best way to do it. My way has been honed over many decades and works well for me, but it might not be the best way for everyone. Melanie made a video of me talking through my process of applying the polyurethane in a manner that eliminates bubbles, sags, and runs.

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Installing finial mounting stud - Airplanes and Rockets

Installing finial mounting stud.

Put nut on finial end and use a socket to screw into wood, then screw finial onto stud. Doing so prevents potential stripping of finial threads. Use way on wood thread end to ease installation.

Using a dab of wax on screws during installation makes them much easier to install - Airplanes and Rockets

Using a dab of wax on screws during installation makes them much easier to install, especially in hardwood, and minimizes the potential of wringing the head off. I pre-drilled and pre-threaded every screw hole prior to finishing, but still used wax for final assembly. 

Using a square screwdriver bit to adjust the minute hand - Airplanes and Rockets

Using a square screwdriver bit to adjust the friction-fit center hub of the minute hand simplifies the job 

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, base with polyurethane applied - Airplanes and Rockets

Base with polyurethane applied. A full four coats were applied to inside surfaces as well as to outside surfaces.

Chime Block mounting on Hood rear panel cover - Airplanes anr RocketsChime Block mounting on Hood rear panel cover (finished) - Airplanes anr Rockets

Chime Block mounted on Hood

Hood rear cover

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Finish applied and ready for clockworks (rear view) - Airplanes and Rockets

Lorraine Grandmother Clock built from Klockit plans. Finish applied and ready for clockworks (rear view).

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement (left side) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement

Model #451-050 (left side)

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement (right side) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement

Model #451-050 (right side)

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement (back) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement

Model #451-050 (back)

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement (front) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement

Model #451-050 (front)

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement (top) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement

Model #451-050 (top)

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement (bottom) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hermle Grandmother Clock Movement

Model #451-050 (bottom)

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Hood and crown after finishing (top view) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood and crown after finishing

(top view)

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Clockworks and supporting frame - Airplanes and Rockets

Clockworks and supporting frame, and side panel fabric frames

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, polyurethane on bottom - Airplanes and Rockets

Even the bottom received stain and polyurethane 

 Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Hood and Crown with stain and four coats of polyurethane (front view) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood and Crown with stain and four coats of polyurethane

(front view)

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Hood and Crown with stain and four coats of polyurethane (rear view) - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood and Crown with stain and four coats of polyurethane

(rear view) 

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Inside of base - Airplanes and Rockets

Inside of base

 Minwax Early American stain applied to Lorrain Grandmother Clock (front) - Airplanes and Rockets       Minwax  Early American stain applied to Lorrain Grandmother Clock (rear) - Airplanes and Rockets

Minwax Early American #230

stain applied

(front & rear views)

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Stain applied to Hood & Crown (rear view) - Airplanes and Rockets

Minwax Early American stain applied

(Hood rear)

Lorraine Grandmother Clock, Hood and Crown with stainapplied (rear view) - Airplanes and Rockets

Minwax Early American stain applied

(Base rear)

Gluing/Clamping Crown Molding on Waist Top Cap - Airplanes and Rockets

Gluing/clamping crown molding

on Waist Top Cap

Gluing/Clamping Crown Molding on Base - Airplanes and Rockets

Gluing/clamping crown molding on Base

Base rear plywood cover screw countersinking - Airplanes and Rockets

Base rear plywood cover screw countersinking

Dial mounting (front) - Airplanes and Rockets

Dial mounting - front

Dial mounting (rear) - Airplanes and Rockets

Dial mounting - rear

Dia & Chime Blockl mounting (inside) - Airplanes and Rockets

Dial and chime block mounting

Clamping Base side panels - Airplanes and Rockets

Clamping Base side panels

Base assembly plywood - Airplanes and Rockets

Base assembly plywood

Waist assembly clamping & gluing - Airplanes and Rockets

Waist assembly clamping & gluing

Lorraine Grandmother Clock,  - Airplanes and Rockets

Waist and Base side components with rabbets and dados cut.

Base assembly top view - Airplanes and Rockets

Base bottom assembly - top view.

Grandmother clock base bottom with corner and triangle gussets installed - Airplanes and Rockets

Base Steps 12 - 15: Base bottom with corner and triangle gussets installed.

Lorraine Grandmother Clock,  - Airplanes and Rockets

Waist Steps 1m & 1n: Cutting the cove molding on the table saw. 

Lorraine Grandmother Clock,  - Airplanes and Rockets

Waist Steps 31 - 34: Top waist cap being glued.

Base Step 2 & Waist Step 5: Cutting dado slots - Airplanes and Rockets

Base Step 2 & Waist Step 5:

Cutting dado slots in side members.

Waist Step 1j: Ripping jig for cutting cove molding triangles from square blank - Airplanes and Rockets

Waist Step 1j: Ripping jig for cutting cove molding triangles from square blank. 

 Lorraine Grandmother Clock,  - Airplanes and Rockets

Waist Step 1k: Cove molding shaped and ready for cutting interior curve.

Lorraine Grandmother Clock,  - Airplanes and Rockets

Push tool made for cutting concave in cove molding. Notch engages corner.

Crown Step 50: Crown trim glued to front, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Crown Step 50: Crown trim glued to front.

Gluing Grandmother Clock Crown Side Components to Hood- Airplanes and Rockets

Gluing Crown components to Hood

The plans say to build the Crown separately and then screw it to the Hood, but I decided to glue everything as I went along in order to make it easier to fit pieces together properly.

Step 60: Lorraine Grandmother Clock Crown Components C4 & C5 Mitered - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Step 60: Crown molding parts C4 & C5 mitered.

Hood corner columns - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Step 33: Hood corner columns.

Scrap Wood Attached to Crown PArt C4 While Routing - Airplanes And Rockets

Crown Step 49: Scrap wood attached to Crown

part C4 while routing.

Lorraine Grandmother Clock Trial Fitting Crown Molding - Airplanes and Rockets

Fitting Crown molding parts C1 & C4. 

Cutting arch in Hood side piece H-2L, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Step 32: Cutting arch in Hood side piece H-2L. I performed this operation right after Step 4. 

Hood side and door pieces, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood side and door pieces.

Hood grill cloth frame and door glass retainer - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Steps 34-36: Hood grill cloth frame and door glass retainer.

Using drum sander to smooth Hood side piece arch, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Using drum sander to smooth Hood side piece arch.

Close-up of Hood left side with door hinge, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Step 25: Close-up of Hood left side with door hinge.

Hood door arch sanding template, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood door arch sanding template.

1/4" round edge milled in Hood door arch, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

1/4" round edge milled in Hood door arch. 

Hinge slots for Hood door, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hinge slots for Hood door.

Rabbet for Hood door glass milled on back side of door, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Step 31: Rabbet for Hood door glass milled on back side of door. 

Milling rabbet in Hood piece H-10, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Milling rabbet in Hood piece H-10.

Major Hood components screwed together for test fitting, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Major Hood components screwed together for test fitting.

Milling hinge slot in piece H-1R for Hood door, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Step 26: Milling hinge slot in piece H-1R for Hood door.

2" grid etched onto workbench surface, Klockit Lorraine Grandmother Clock hood assembly being clamped - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood frame components clamped for screwing. Note 2" square grid etched into workbench surface to help make alignments easier.

Scrap wood extensions butted against Hood arch piece H-8, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Scrap wood extensions butted against Hood arch piece H-8 so that router bit does not walk around corner at bottom of arch.

Plywood pieces H-14 and H-17 screwed onto Hood frame, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Plywood pieces H-14 and H-17 screwed onto Hood frame. Hole for clock movement has not been cut out of H-14 yet.

Cut-outs in plywood Hood pieces H-14 & H-14, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Steps 27 & 28: Cut-outs in plywood Hood pieces H-14 & H-14.

5/32" ogee milled into Hood side openings, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Hood Step 32: 5/32" Roman ogee milled into Hood side openings.

Close-up of 5/32" ogee, Lorraine Grandmother Clock - Airplanes and Rockets

Close-up of 5/32" Roman ogee.

Video Tour of My Lorraine Grandmother Clock

 

Applying Polyurethane Finish to the Lorraine Grandmother Clock (video)

 

Update September 16, 2012

At long last, most of the major house projects are done so I'm finally able to get back to work on the clock! Oh, part of the delay has been due to moving to a new house in December 2010. The workshop is set up in the garage of the new house rather than in the basement as the previous one was. It's nice having an 8-foot high ceiling again. Before beginning assembly of the clock's hood (top enclosure for the works and dial), I took the time to scratch a 2" square grid pattern on the workbench surface. Dark stain was brushed into the grooves and then a couple coats of clear were sprayed over everything. This will make getting all of the clock components straight and square much easier. The clock's hood assembly is being clamped and screwed at this point. The plans don't call for glue on any of the frame joints, but I will put some on prior to final assembly of each section. Trim pieces in future steps will hide all of the screws in the frame so it will not be necessary to plug the screw heads. It has been a long time since I undertook a project like this where precision cutting and sanding is required for everything to fit properly. Buying a much better belt/disc sander has made keeping edges square and straight much easier (the old 3" model was a real piece of junk that would stall if I pushed down on the wood with too much force).

Lorraine Grandmother Clock Hickory Blanks Cut - Airplanes and RocketsUpdate November 12, 2010

Well, I thought all the blanks had been cut, but after reading through all the plans pages, I found about 20 more pieces that were not shown on the main cut-out drawings. Most were pieces that had at least one dimension less than the stock 3/4", so it required running the wood across the jointer to trim it down to 1/2" or 1/4" as specified. I just bought a Craftsman 4-1/4" jointer, and man do I ever appreciate that machine! The last time I used one was in high school woodshop back in the mid 1970s.

Now that all the blank slabs have been cut and sanded to precise size, the next step is to begin doing all the mitering, jointing, routing, and assembling. I also bought a Craftsman router and router table to make the job easier. The table saw or radial arm saw could be used, but the router table setup will be much more precise when handling the relatively small pieces in the clock. Building a cabinet or bed frame would be a more appropriate size for using the saws.

Well, Melanie and I just signed a contract on a different house here in Erie, and we're due to close on it at the end of November, so unfortunately that means packing up everything and moving before getting back underway.

The house has 1,500 sq.ft. as opposed to our current 910 finished sq.ft. (plus full unfinished basement - see photos here). The new house is a split foyer type, so the workshop will be downstairs on the garage level It is about 25 years old, but in very good condition. One of the best features is that it is one of the very few panoramic views of Lake Erie, from a vantage point high on a ridge line. The only thing better would be to live right on the shore, which, of course, I cannot afford. I will post pictures later.

Whereas the workshop here is just kind of thrown together, in the new place I will build wooden work benches and tool stands permanently into the lower level, and there will be ample overhead lighting along with a distributed dust collection system - nothing too elaborate; just enough to keep from having to move the shop vac around all the time.

So please check back around the end of December 2010 for an update. Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!

Here are some of my other woodworking projects from over the years.

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