Completing Sal's Clock
Some projects start out fine and then take so long and lead to so much frustration that you check out emotionally well before the project is finished. The restoration of Sal’s Clock was such a project. Though eager to try a veneer repair, I soon learned that the process wasn’t as exciting or as rewarding as building from scratch in any measure. But Sal is a good friend and I made a commitment to fix the clock. So I sucked it up, and soldiered on.
|Nope, this first try won't do.|
In the last post about the clock I had just torn out my original, ill-fitting veneer patch and had applied dye and finish to my new veneer pieces. This brought me to my second attempt at fitting the veneer. To help, I extended the patch closer to the clock face so that the inner edge would be covered by the clock face door. By doing that I reduced the number of edges I needed to fit by one third.
Using an X-acto knife and a straight edge I cut the veneer piece. Then I sat it in place on the clock and using it as a guide I cut the veneer on the face of the clock with the same X-acto knife. I used chisels to clean out the face of the clock to accept my new veneer.
This second fitting of veneer was much better than the first. It wasn’t perfect, and it was quite frustrating, but in was acceptable. So I then glued it in place, using Nexabond CA glue. The glue has only been on the market a few years, and I haven’t seen much press about it since it came out. I will say though that I like it and I use it quite often. It sets quickly, only requires a small quantity and doesn’t affect finish.
|All clamped up.|
When I took the clock out of clamps, there was still a small gap between the new and old veneers. Rather than try to fill the gap as I had with the first veneer patch, I instead used a very small artist’s brush to apply dye to the gap. This brought it to the same tone and color as the veneer on both sides and made it much less obvious. You can still see the gap if you look, but it doesn’t grab your attention from across the room any more.
|Not a perfect patch, but pretty good.|
To finish up the clock repair I re-installed the clock face door (conveniently hiding the inner veneer edge) and replaced the screws in the rear access door hinge in order to re-attach the door.
When I gave the clock to Sal he was pleased with it and appreciated all the work I had done. I was happy to have the clock out of my shop. I learned that veneer repair is not a passion of mine and I’m happy to never do it again.
Here's a listen to MWA Podcast #71.