Grandfather Clock

Marc Spagnuolo

The Grandfather Clock is a formidable time piece. Standing 76 7/8” tall, 28 1/8” wide, and 13 1/2” deep, this clock will be the showpiece of any room it resides in. Built from quartersawn white oak, it features Arts & Crafts styling with a touch of Stickley influence. The through tenon construction is beautiful and sturdy and the dark brown finish gives the project a warm and handsome appearance.

  • 19 lessons
  • 195 min
  • $79.00

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Getting Started

    An overview of the tools and hardware you’ll need to build your clock.

  2. Design Diary

    Dear Diary, today I am designing a Grandfather Clock.

  3. Workflow

    A quick look at how I developed a workflow strategy for the Grandfather Clock.

  4. The Wood

    Let’s learn about quartersawn white oak get the stock milled up while we’re at it.

  5. Front & Rear Frames

    The front and rear frames come together with some joinery options and tapers.

  6. Through Mortises

    A template and some planning helps produce clean consistent through mortises.

  7. Through Tenons

    Careful layout and a little finesse result in near perfect through mortise and tenon joints.

  8. Grooves & Curves

    We need to cut various grooves into our clock frame as well as curves in the bottom rails.

  9. Hinge Mortises

    With careful layout and scribing hinges mortises are a breeze to install.

  10. Front & Back Assembly

    The front and back frames are assembled and rabbets are cut in the rear for the back panels.

  11. Panels & Assembly

    The entire clock frame comes together as we attach our front and back sub-assemblies to the rails.

  12. Doors & Hinges

    We’ll use some simple methods to size our doors and transfer the hinge locations.

  13. Dial Mount & Seat Board

    Mounting the movement begins with construction of the dial panel and the seat board.

  14. Chime Mount & Panels

    The chime block mounts to a shop-built mount that connects directly to the back panel.

  15. The Top

    The top of our clock is a simple panel featuring an elegant bevel.

  16. Odds & Ends

    Numerous details need to be wrapped up before moving on to our finish application.

  17. Finishing Your Clock

    For our finish we’ll raise the grain, apply a beautiful brown dye, and topcoat with lacquer.

  18. Wrapping Up

    We have a few little details to wrap up and the clock parts need to be installed and set up for proper time-keeping.

  19. Update

    A quick update on glass installation and leveling.

Please note: this project is designed around a specific clock movement (Hermle Movement) as well as some other components listed below. Unfortunately, the vendors of these products tend to be inconsistent in their offerings so if you buy this project, you’ll likely have some homework to do in order to find the parts that work with our plans and require no modifications. We try to keep the links updated but this has proven to be a constantly moving target. So I suggest doing this legwork before you purchase the project.

What You’ll Receive:

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction (19 videos in total) showing every step of the build.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase. 

What You’ll Learn:

  • The Design Process
  • Wood Selection & Grain Considerations
  • Through Mortise & Tenon Construction
  • Cutting Tapered Legs
  • Frame & Panel Construction
  • Hinge Installation
  • Glass Installation
  • Aging Brass Hardware
  • Setting up a Clock Movement
  • Finishing with Dye and Lacquer

What You’ll Need:


  • Bell Forest Lumber Packages are available here (Guild members get 10% off with code).


  • Planer/Jointer (alternatives: purchase pre-milled lumber kits or use hand planes)
  • Tablesaw
  • Dado Stack (for making tenons)
  • Router
  • Festool Domino (although I used this tool you can substitute dowels, biscuits, pocket screws, or classic mortise and tenons which I demo in the video)
  • Bandsaw (alternative: Jigsaw)
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • Miter Saw (alternatives: Cross-cut Sled or Miter Gauge at Table Saw)
  • Random Orbit Sander
  • Hand Tools – Chisels, Flush Trim Saw, Shoulder Plane, Card Scraper



  • Hinges – Unfortunately, the hinges I used in this project have been discontinued. The alternative is a very nice hinge from Horton Brasses that’s available in several finishes.
  • Door Pulls
  • Clock Movement (You can install a different movement but you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and adjust the plans accordingly)
  • Clock Parts Kit
  • 1/2” Rare Earth Magnets
  • Leg Levelers
  • 1/8″ Thick Glass

About Your Instructor:

Marc is a podcaster, video producer, woodworking enthusiast, and author of Hybrid Woodworking and Essential Joinery. He has contributed articles and video content to, Popular Woodworking Magazine, WOOD Magazine, and Woodcraft Magazine. He is also the host of The Wood Whisperer, an instructional woodworking video series that’s been going strong since 2006. He is also one of the hosts of the Wood Talk podcast. He has taught classes at the William Ng School, Marc Adams School, Weekend with Wood, Fine Woodworking Live, as well as at various Rockler and Woodcraft stores. He also speaks periodically at woodworking events like AWFS and IWF.