Every man I’ve ever met has had a secret fantasy that some old codger would find him one day, hand him a laser sword and explain he was the last person in the galaxy with the ability to save the universe from total destruction. For me, Star Wars was more than a movie, it was a heads up to be on the look out for old men in bathrobes wielding light sabers. For many junkies the 4th of May is affectionately called Star Wars day, (May the 4th be with you). So for your consideration I present, The Rebel Alliance Wall Clock.
A Classic Combination
I started this build by scouring through my stock of wood. I seem to have maple in abundance so I decided to pair it with some walnut in a new hope of getting a cool looking combination.
I jointed the boards on the table saw and then cross cut them to 12″ in length. Once glued up this would give me a 12×12 panel to work with.
I left the boards in clamps for a few hours before moving on to the next step.
Prepping the Panel
On to my favorite neighbor hating tool, the loud and powerful planer. I try to plane boards in the middle of the day, as it is quite loud and my shop is fairly close to my fence line! Still, if you want a flat board in under a minute, nothing beats the mighty growling planer.
Next step is the stencil. I downloaded this one free online. I enlarged it in Photoshop and had to make a slight alteration to the swoops. This grievous affront to the rebel alliance symbol was a necessary evil, in order to get the clock movement to fit.
Wicked Curves at the Band Saw
Now, just take it to the band saw and cut out the shape. That was the plan. Turns out intricate cuts at the band saw are going to take a bit more practice for me. I was using a 1/4 blade but I ended up with a pretty rough cut. Still, nothing a little sanding won’t fix.
Sanding, Shaping and Regrets
Cleaning up the outside curve was a piece of cake at the belt sander. If you don’t have a belt sander, then a random orbit sander or even a rasp will do the job. It’s just going to take a little longer.
Now the inside curve is a different story. Due to my less than stellar band saw skill, shaping and sanding the inside curves took me about two hours. I put on a movie and the time passed pretty quickly.
Time Marches On
In order to have the piece sit flat on the wall I decided to recess a hole for the clock movement. This step is optional, but I think it gives the clock a finished look. I used a 2 5/8 forstner bit to remove the bulk of the wood and then sharp chisels to square up the corners.
Stay on Target
All the hard work is done. We are in the home stretch… A couple coats of wipe on poly for beauty and protection.
Add your clock parts and find a good place to hang your handy work. Now, “You are part of the rebel alliance and a traitor” congrats!
May The Force be with you!