Barn Owl Clock

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About: A self taught builder of many things, with an interest to lean more...

This hobby started five years ago when I decided to build my sister a clock for the holidays. I was then hooked. I started building all different types of clocks, each one is unique to themselves. This is my favorite so far, be on the lookout for more are to come...

You will notice I don’t give many measurements, my pieces are made for my visual appeasement. So I just sort of wing it. Enjoy

Step 1: Design

I first started with sketches of an idea. After coming up with the idea I drew it life-size to determine if it was visually appealing and also to figure out the actual size for the clock face.

Step 2: The Clock Face

I decided that 5 1/2 inches was perfect for the clock face. The clock faces are made from an air drying clay. I rolled out the clay to about 1/8 of an inch thickness and cut out the circle. After it dries I figure out the placement for the holes, ( I use a seven day winder for my works, you can use an electric if you like) I then determine the number placement and ink them in.

Step 3: The Base

The base of the clock was next. I had to determine how to make it stand. As you can see in the photos it needed more than 2 feet to stand on. I used old Barnwood (hence Barn Owl clock) that I had from another project and made the tail of the owl as the third leg. I attached it using dowels for extra bit of strength.

Step 4: The Front of the Clock.

I next had to determine the correct placement for the front of the clock. I made twovertical braces to attach to the front too, and clamped them in the front to visually place it before glue up. Next I glued angle braces, these are for the wings. (to come later)

Step 5: Clay Body

While determining the correct placement for the face, I started to make the clay body (the same clay used for the face) Rolling it out flat and then shaping it to the wooden base. I would add more clay as I brought the body up, placing it over the first part building up the thickness. I glued up all the parts except for the tail and the front. (for the clay body needed to be built up)

Step 6: The Roof and More Clay Body.

The roof of the barn owl was next. I used cardboard to determine the placement. This was necessary for figuring out the wing placement and how high to bring up the clay body. I brought up the clay and shaped it over the angle brackets, once dry I and cut the excess clay off.

Step 7: The Wings

The wings of the barn owl were made with Birdseye maple. (the eyes on the wood emulate feathers) I cut out the wings on my bandsaw (freestyle) as everything else was cut too. I determine the placement and drilled the holes for dowls to hold the wings in place.

Step 8: The Feet

I bought the claws online, to finish them off I wrapped them in waxed thread. I use just a touch of clear epoxy to hold it in place.

Step 9: Attaching the Clock Face

First I need a back for the face (that I can attach the works too) I cut bands of wood 1/8 inch thick and glued them up on the back of the face. I then can attach the face to the back of the front board and then attach the works to the face.

Step 10: The Back.

The back of the owl was cut out at the same time as the front, to mirror the shape. Using a scroll saw I cut out the door to the back. I bought some nice brass scissor hinges and mounted the door to the back. I glued up the back to this same angled braces used for the front.

Step 11: The Roof

The roof of the barn owl was made by gluing 1/8 inch strips flush with the back and front boards. After that dried, I have epoxied two pieces of old roof top slate to the top of the boards.

Step 12: Finishing

I love the product general finishes, Arm R Seal. I put maybe 8 coats on the wings, body, and face. One coat a day giving it time to dry

I hope you enjoyed this build, and maybe you can create an animal for yourself.

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    10 Discussions

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    4 months ago

    This clock is so creative and unique! I look forward to seeing what else you make :)

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    jessyratfink

    4 months ago

    The combination of clay and wood is lovely!

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    markzu

    5 months ago

    Great build! Where did you get the claws/talons?

    1 reply
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    dcdaktari

    Tip 5 months ago on Step 2

    Sand the clock face with a 600 grit to smooth it out. Watch it , and will make a lot of dust.