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grandfather clock

Steampunk Grandfather Clock

D-I-Y-, Flea Market Finds, ShowsSamantha Extance

I had purchased a broken grandfather clock at a thrift store 2 months ago in the hope of making a display piece out of it. As a rule, I never upcycle anything that can be restored. This clock was in a sad state when I happened upon it--the wood panel in the back was entirely overtaken by mold & wood rot. Luckily, the majority of the clock was in tact. Though it is still a work-in-progress (I hope to fashion it with wheels & a working clock mechanism), the exterior is finally done! Here it is in its various stages. I used clock plates, bicycle gears, chain, metal erector set pieces, a clock spring, an old whisk, and lots of screws & nails.

Want to DIY?, here are a few tips! To make your own steampunk grandfather clock (out of an already broken one), you will need the following hardware: screws (of various sizes, fitting your collected pieces), chain & jump rings, metal brackets (for heavier pieces, like the bicycle gear pictured above), Gorilla brand wood glue, nails (for extra support at the base of your grandfather clock), and metal connector pieces (like the metal erector set pieces that I used--which are a rare find; however, at Lowes Home Improvement you can purchase similar metal pieces in their hardware section categorized under hardware designated for "Science Projects."). The tools I used are fairly common: hammers (one large & one small), an awl (for making starter holes for screws & nails), pliers (for opening jump rings & chain links), and screwdrivers (of various sizes depending on the type of screws that fit into your collected pieces).

After you have gutted your clock, I recommend cleaning it thoroughly before beginning to steampunk it. Murphy's oil is great for wood, soap & water, a wood-friendly scrub brush, & (if you are dealing with mold) rubber gloves & a protective mask. Once you have collected pieces that you would like to affix to your clock, I suggest laying everything out before beginning to screw & nail it in or sketching it out beforehand.

As a display, at RAW; Tulsa's Solstice event, it had the desired effect of drawing a lot of attention & foot traffic. In the home & at an event like this one, it certainly is a conversation piece.

Thank Yous Galore, I must take this moment to thank a fellow Make;Tulsan and graphic designer extraordinaire, Michael Chaplin, for helping me transport the grandfather clock to the show & back home again. Sadly, I was not able to affix the clock with teleportation capabilities (sigh, if only). Thanks to RAW; Tulsa for the opportunity to showcase my work, have professional photographs taken, & video--everyone was so nice & I had such an amazing night; Thanks to 33forty & their wonderful staff who helped me with lighting & moving furniture & last but not least, to all of you who came!