Are you on the trail of antique grandfather clocks? You might have come across items with proud provenances. However, these will burn your pockets. The next best thing is to make your own grandfather clocks as a hobby or as an entrepreneur. You can make them in the tradition of the old masters in the clockmaking industry.


The Early Clockmakers

The early clockmakers of America did not make a good living out of the trade because most of the clocks were imported from Holland and England. To survive, they also provided services as gunsmiths and locksmiths. Also not all households had tall clocks in their homes because these were expensive, so they preferred smaller, but cheaper clocks. The war also affected the economy and few people could afford what are now considered antique grandfather clocks.

The long clocks, as the grandfather clocks were called then, became popular when a young Quaker arrived in America and founded a lucrative clockmaking trade. From thereon, the long stately clocks became permanent fixtures in several homes. The clocks would later earn the name grandfather clocks after the composition of the 1876 song “My Grandfather’s Clock” by Henry C. Work. By this time, grandfather clocks were worth their weight in gold.

Tools of the Trade

Making replica antique grandfather clocks is an interesting hobby and can be a lucrative business once you’ve mastered the intricate technical aspects of clockmaking. There are several DIY books available in bookstores and online bookshops to help jumpstart your hobby. Knowledge of the background of clockmaking and an acquaintance with the history of long case clocks are useful before you start out your hobby or business.

Unless you already have the deftness of hand in carpentry, making those replica antique grandfather clocks will be difficult. As a tyro, you have to start from ground zero and work on simple models before attempting intricate designs. Start with the basic tools to set up your hobby: power tools, routers and accessories, clamps and hand tools, and wood burning tools.

A workbench and a separate working area is a basic requirement for your hobby or fledgling business. You can hasten things up by hiring experienced workers. If your interest is purely a hobby, expect some time before you can make your own replica of the grandfather clock.

Models For Reproductions

For your antique grandfather clocks, look up the different models of prestigious clockmakers – Howard Miller, Ridgeway, and Henstchel. Here are some popular reproductions from these clockmakers:

The Adams from Howard Miller is a long clock crafted along the tradition of fine artisanship, excellent quality, and design. The carved rossetes and split finial or decorative crown at the top is made of ash burl. The dial of The Adams is adorned with Arabic numerals and a well-designed moon phase detailed with the famed Presidential Collection hemispheres. The pendulum is made from brass and is outfitted with a center disk to match the dial and the weight shells. The mechanisms include nighttime shut off and a cable-driven three chime movement.

The Salem by Ridgeway has a swan neck split pediment, features a chain-driven movement that sounds the Westminster chimes, and a sound shut-off system for your convenience.

Henstchel Orleans showcases nickel roman dial, pendulum, and shells. It also features a beveled glass door and a flagship triple chime that comes with an auto night shut-off feature.

These reproductions of grandfather clocks are stunning pieces any home or office would be proud to display. So if you’re going into the hobby or the business, how about getting one item for your own pleasure. This way you can get the feel and spirit of the antique grandfather clocks.