Here's the subject of this project. We're going to ressurect it from its cardboard tomb and give it a new lease on life.
It strikes me that when this clock was fully assembled, it had something of a sun-like appearance, so what better wood to use than flame maple? These blanks come from a board of flame maple that I've been hoarding for nearly two decades, waiting for the right project.
Being that Tommy is a guitar picker, and flame maple is also a wood used in many fine instruments, it seems like the natural choice for this project.
I marked each blank for center, then clamped each of the 24 blanks into this sophisticated, complex jig I built especially for this project. It's three pieces of wood screwed together. Like I said, sophisticated and complex. A hole was drilled in each blank where it will mount onto the array of rods around the clock.
The original pieces that I am replacing had welting on every other one presumably to mark the whole numbers on the clock. I was able to remove them to re-use on the new pieces. It just so happens that the rib on the welting is the same width as the kerf on a circular saw blade, so I slapped a circular saw blade onto the arbor of my table saw and kerfed half of the blanks.
Using one of the original pieces as a template, I traced out the shape on each blank and cut them roughly to size on the band saw.
Onward to the spindle sander to smooth out the rough band saw marks.
A 1/8" radius router bit breaks the edges of the pieces to give them a nice, smooth appearance.
Hand sanding with medium fine grit sandpaper.
Since I will be using water based stains, the pieces need to be wetted to raise the grain first. Once it's dry, the raised grain will feel coarse in texture, but sanding the raised grain will remove it and there won't be any stray wood grain for the water based stain to raise.
Staying with the sun / guitar theme, I attempted a sunburst effect on the pieces. The first step was to wipe the sides with yellow stain.
Step two was busting out my seldom used airbrush to apply the darker brown stain.
I airbrushed the edges and blended it in with the sides to achieve something of a sunburst effect.
Here are the pieces after staining. Once the stain was dry, I sprayed multiple coats of varnish over them.
Using a mallet and a block of wood, I coaxed all of the original welting into the kerfs on the pieces that had them.
Here are the finished pieces ready to be mounted on the clock. The clock itself looked a bit tarnished, so I used a paste of lemon juice and baking soda to remove some of the tarnish, leaving just a little bit of patina, then I sealed it with a coat of lacquer.
I used epoxy to glue the pieces back onto the array of rods and voila! Here is the finished project.