Shelf clocks of the pillar and scroll type were made by a number of American clock makers in the early 1800s. Prior to that long case grandfather clocks were quite commonly made in the 1700s. The long case allowed for a greater drop distance for the weights which drive the clock movement. Shelf clock and wall clock with wooden works were also made and were more popular in the 1800s.
In the late 1700s and early 1800s there was a shortage of metals due to the British embargo. This led to the production of wood gear clocks by some makers. If you want to purchase one of these wooden works clocks from this period be prepared to spend thousands of dollars.They are now prized antiques and much thought after. Several thousand dollars is commonly the asking price which is beyond the means of many clock fanciers.
The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has on display a very fine wood gear clock which was made in the early 1800s. This clock is still in good running order after 200 years. Detailed drawings and plans have been made from this clock and these are available for those who would like to build a reproduction of this fine old time piece.
You can build your own version of this beautiful antique clock in your woodworking shop. A wonderful clock with, excellent time keeping capability, can be made from these plans with careful workmanship. To build a wooden works clock is not difficult but it does take time and careful workmanship.
Hundreds of years earlier wooden clocks of more primitive design were commonly made. You can also build a fifteen century wooden gear clock from available plans. This is a wall clock and is weight driven. This is a much simpler clock building project which has fewer moving parts. The clock will always keep time and looks great on your wall.
Building wooden works clocks is a wonderful hobby. Craftsmanship and wood working skills are involved.You do not even need an array of power tools. The original makers of these clocks used only simple hand tools and the modern craftsman can do so also. The individual parts of the clock are of simple design and quite easy to make. The skill comes in finishing the parts accurately and fitting them together properly so that the clock will run smoothly and keep good time.
Today there are a few makers of wooden gear clocks which are mostly sold in the form of kits and plans. The average home workshop can even quite build a really beautiful wooden clock from a plan. With attention to detail and careful workmanship the end product is a fine time piece which will be a center of attention in any home.The tick tock of your own wooden gear clock which you yourself created is sweet music to the ears.