Watches n’ Such

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WNS-CLK-182 – Custom Hand-Painted Arched White Dial with a Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Theme

WNS-CLK-182 – Base Section with Shield on the Front

  This custom tall case clock was built for multiple reasons. First, I always enjoyed the look and fragrance of the red cedar wood species. Second, because I have never seen a tall case clock made from 100% red cedar wood. Third, because I wanted to design a dial that featured existing historic landmarks from the Lebanon County, Pennsylvania area and incorporate it into a tall case that included regional features from the heyday era of Pennsylvania tall clock making (1700-1850). Finally, cedar wood is famous in the country of Lebanon (for which the city and county of Lebanon, Pennsylvania were named), so the wood species has a namesake connection to that area.

  I recently purchased an unusual hybrid brass 8-day English bell tall clock movement with a calendar disc feature. It included a quality-made arched dial and hands. It is most likely an English reproduction that dates from 1960s and includes the unusual combination of hand-made pieces (plates and all of the motion works’ posts and pins) and factory-produced parts (wheels and plate posts).

  The tall case project started from a pile of 3/4” and 7/8” thick cedar wood with various widths and lengths that I purchased from a local wood worker who shapes rough lumber into specific thicknesses.

  The completed cedar wood clock case measures 8’-1” tall x 19-1/2” wide x 11” deep. All wood parts of the case including the back, floor, finials and glue blocks are made from red cedar. The outside sections of the case were finished with five coats of clear shellac, and the interior sections and back are unfinished.

Custom Hand-Painted Dial Features

  I laid out the design of the custom hand-painted white dial with the following existing landmarks and features native to Lebanon County, Pennsylvania.
  The top arch (lunette) area features workers hanging Lebanon Bologna in a wooden smoke house in preparation for its curing process. Ornate branches, leaves and flower motifs border the circular design to its right and left. The caption reads, “Lebanon Bologna - Since 1700s.”
  The top left spandrel area features the Union Canal Tunnel during the autumn season. The caption reads, “Union Canal Tunnel – circa 1823.”
  The top right spandrel area features Lights Fort during the summer season. The caption reads, “Lights Fort – circa 1742.”
  The bottom right spandrel area features the Cornwall & Lebanon Railroad Station during the spring season. The caption reads, “Cornwall & Lebanon Railroad Station – circa 1885.”

  The bottom left spandrel area features the Cornwall Iron Furnace during the winter season. The caption reads, “Cornwall Iron Furnace – circa 1742.”

  The central section includes Roman numeral hour markers, a round sixty minutes track, a round sixty seconds sub-dial with a straight blued steel hand, two winding holes, a semi-circular calendar aperture window, colorful pheasant birds perched on tree branches adorned with leaves and flowers on the right and left of the central arbor, ornate blued steel minute and hour hands and it is signed “Randy Jaye, Lebanon, PA.”

Hybrid Movement Service and Repairs

  The service and repairs on the movement were done by NAWCC member, Pete Schreiner. Some common and a few peculiar issues were encountered that he corrected and fixed.

Case Design and Building

  The cedar wood boards used for this project were difficult to work with as they were various widths and lengths and contained various flaws including knots, bark and warping (which is not unusual for this type of wood). The woodworking required a lot of preparation, sawing, fitting, gluing, sanding and time to construct the clock case.

  The case was designed to incorporate several regional features found on traditional tall case clocks that were made in the central Pennsylvania area from the early 1700s to around 1850.
  Various parts were repurposed (the arched dial glass, the 8 and 10 pound weights, pulleys, waist door hinges, lock, brass escutcheon and key) from a spare 1960s-era Sleigh floor clock case.

  A new straight rod pendulum with brass bob, leg levelers, brass cable, brass hood door knob and hood door hinges were purchased.

Base Section:

  The base includes a shield on the front (a regional characteristic). The bottom of the base section has cutouts in the front and sides. The front features a keystone figure in the center and the sides have a semi-circular design. There are 1-1/2” cedar blocks that reinforce all four corners of the bottom where adjustable leg levelers are inserted.

Waist Section:


  The waist includes custom waist molding at the bottom and top and a case door that measures 33-1/8” high x 8-7/8” wide and has a curved top section. With the case door open the natural (unfinished) cedar wood, the weights and pendulum can been seen.


  The hood features a top section with three turned finials, four round brass lion head figures in the rounded sections next to the finials, three keystones (cut from cedar wood knots) on the front of the chimneys. There are also two turned columns (one on each side of the dial door).

Item ID: WNS-CLK-182

Custom 100% Red Cedar Wood Tall Case Clock - Lebanon County, Pennsylvania Theme with a Hybrid 8 Day English Bell Movement and Custom Hand-Painted Dial.

WNS-CLK-182 – Full Front View

WNS-CLK-182 – Full Right Side View

WNS-CLK-182 – Dial Attached to the Movement on Test Stand

WNS-CLK-182 – Front Plate with Layout Scribe Markings

1WNS-CLK-182 – Hybrid 8-day English Bell Movement on Test Stand – Front View

WNS-CLK-182 - Movement with Calendar Dial on Test Stand during Refurbishment

WNS-CLK-182 – Waist Section with the Door Open Exposing the Unfinished Cedar Wood inside the Case

WNS-CLK-182 – Top of Hood View

WNS-CLK-182 – Waist Section and Door with Incredible Wood Grain Patterns.