You start by using a piece of plywood with one good edge. Either the factory edge that was cut when you bought it, or one you cut with your table saw. If you don’t want to make marks on the plywood, tape a piece of paper to it, and mark on the paper. Lay the short edge of the square along the plywood, draw a mark the entire length of the square. Flip the square over, and move it about 1/16″ of an inch away from the other line, and draw a second line. These lines should be parallel. You will see from the video above, that for a framing square, you can use a center punch and if your square is less than 90 degrees, hit the inside corner, if your square is more than 90 degrees, hit the outside corner with the center punch (hard), on a metal vise. This spreads the metal out ever so slightly and will move the angle of your square slightly. Be sure and check it again on the plywood, again making two marks with the pencil. See if you need to do it again. You can make several punches in a small area to spread the metal more and more if needed. Make sure and don’t go too far. Also don’t get too close to the edge, or you may mess up the straight edge, and you’d need to file that down.
Several years ago, I built a wooden clock from plans from Clayton Boyer. I really liked Solaris, but decided I better start with Simplicity, which from its name, means it should be a bit simpler to build. I wasn’t sure I’d even be able to get it running, so thought I better start simple! It went rather well. I ordered the plans, then I just cut out the paper and glued them onto the wood. From there, it is basically cutting around the lines. I used oak and baltic birch plywood for the gears. I used a scroll saw to cut out the gears and a lot of the other parts. It worked pretty well, but I think a band saw works even better for the gear teeth. The gears aren’t really as difficult as you’d think to cut out.
I did make some copies of the plans and cut out several practice gears from cheap plywood before I tried my hand on one of the final gears from baltic birch. I did make a couple mistakes and had to make a couple pieces over, but for the most part, the clock came together fairly well.
I made a wooden mallet out of maple, to use when chiseling mortises for my workbench. I found some plans online and used those as well as some notes that Paul Sellers had on his mallet, and the Blue Spruce Joiner’s Mallet. This article in addition to my YouTube video, which shows many details in how this was built. So not all details are in this article, use my YouTube video, and the link above for the plans I found.
I have now glued up one leg, and have a video of me gluing up the first top section, which is 4 boards wide, or about 7 1/4″ wide, which will still go through my jointer one more time before I glue up the larger sections into the entire top.
I haven’t done a lot of woodworking in my life, and most of what I did wasn’t much to be proud of. In 2011, I changed when I made a wooden clock from plans, cutting out gear teeth with a scroll saw. It’s the first project I ever decided to do the ultimate great job on, and I think it turned out pretty nice. I got a new SawStop table saw recently, and decided the first project should be a new work bench. I got the Christopher Schwarz book Workbenches Revised Edition: From Design & Theory to Construction & Use and read through it trying to figure out what kind of bench I wanted. I did find out my current workbenches, built many years ago are “kitchen cabinet” type of workbench, a work surface, and storage underneath, but little opportunity to clamp your work to it to work on it.
This series of articles has companion YouTube videos you can watch, starting with the one for this article. Please subscribe and Like the YouTube video, and you can follow along with the project until it is complete.
This article has additional information to supplement my YouTube video. My jointer had a bad vibration when powering it down. When I researched the issue, I saw people saying it was the V Belt, and to use a link belt instead. I didn’t know what a link belt was, but a little more research and I had it figured out. They also say the vibrations are bad for your bearings, and my vibration shook like crazy, I wouldn’t be surprised if it tore up the bearings very quickly. My jointer is used (new to me), however, the guy had it for ten years, and never used it. So essentially new. The problem with V Belts is when they sit for a long period, the shape gets retained. If you remove the belt from the jointer, you will see exactly where the small and large pulleys were. I could have bought a new V belt, but the long period of time seemed relative when people talked about it, a few weeks may be enough to set a memory in the belt and start vibrating. I’m sure it won’t be long before I don’t use the jointer for a few weeks.