People have been building clocks for thousands of years, and none better than the classic grandfather clock. After being mesmerized by the pendulum and enchanted by the chime, you will be hooked 🙂 Not just your bog standard wall clocks, a grandfather clock will wow your guests. What a perfect woodworking project 🙂 Today we will help you find the best woodworking plan for one (hopefully for free!)
DIY grandfather clocks are a great project for a woodworker or craftsman of pretty much any standard. Some plans are simple and even the more complex grandfather clock plans are achievable even for a fairly green woodworker. They’re also a great project to do with your grandkids as a way to bring history and classic design to life in a fun way. Grandfather clocks also make good gifts that can stay in families for generations! All in all, grandfather clocks are a great example of fine woodworking in action! Turn lumber into woodworking gold! Make a grandfather clock today 🙂
When I decided to look into building a wooden grandfather clock, the first step was to try to find some free grandfather clock woodworking plans online. Failing that, I will look into the paid plans available. The main reason I do these blog posts is because there is a lot of spam on the internet regarding free woodworking plans, so I wanted to do the legwork so you don’t have to 🙂
Just be aware that these plans and videos are about the wooden construction, not the clock movement, pendulum and other clock parts (don’t forget the dial and clock face). Although it should be easy to buy and fit a simple grandfather clock kit with a little reading online 🙂
Are there good (and free) grandfather woodworking plans out there? Let’s find out together!!
Internet Based Grandfather Clock Plans
In my search for free grandfather clock plans, it didn’t actually start well as my first port of call was the typical spammy page that says they have plans to download but in fact don’t. It had the traditional broken links too, the hallmark of any poorly put together woodworking page.
But after this bad start, I have to say this search quickly became one of the best ever. I have searched for rocking horse plans and lighthouse plans (among others) and always found it a struggle! But if you want to build a wooden grandfather clock, the choice for free plans is pretty amazing! Below I will detail some of the best ones I found! Many of these have detailed photographs of the process to boot!
Popular Woodworking blew me away first, with a full and detailed set of plans with instructions on how to make a country style grandfather clock. Yes, it was made in 2013, so it’s a little old, but the content is top notch. It literally leaves nothing to the imagination.
The next one is a bit of a weird one. I found an excellent free grandfather clock plan which had the Shopsmith branding but the website address was http://freegrandfatherclockplans.com/. I found this a bit strange, as Shopsmith is a pretty well-known brand of multipurpose tools, so I thought someone had ripped their information and pirated it on their own copy site.
So I went straight to the Shopsmith official website and located the grandfather clock plans on there and clicked the link. Guess what? It took me straight back to http://freegrandfatherclockplans.com/ Weird marketing for a big brand, I thought!! Anyway, the plan itself is detailed and excellent.
Finally, I found this page on Dempsey Woodworking. Not quite as good as the other two above, but still pretty detailed for a free woodworking plan 🙂
Don’t get me wrong, my search wasn’t always this perfect. I still found spam pages like this one that are falsely saying they have plans, but on the whole this search was far easier than the others I have tried! What is it about grandfather clocks? 🙂
I didn’t even bother searching for paid plans, as the free ones were of so high quality. Now onto the Youtube plans. Good for if you are a visual learner 🙂
Youtube Based Plans
Most of the videos I found were good but would probably be hard to use on their own without any included plans. Although, the woodworking techniques and assembly instructions shown would certainly be useful whilst putting together some of the free plans shown above 🙂
We start with an oldy but a goody from the New Yankee Workshop, as they walk us through every step of building a grandfather clock in a video that lasts over 40 minutes. Certainly a woodworking masterclass from the New Yankee Workshop right there.
Just be aware that the video on Youtube is taken from a pretty old video so the quality is pretty bad. But if you can take the ‘filmed on a potato’ vibe, you will learn a lot 🙂
Woodsmith Magazine follows up with a detailed video about a craftsmen’s clock (more like a large mantle clock), but weirdly there is very little commentary on it, so you have to learn from seeing someone else making the wooden clock rather than explicit instruction. And I thought that, as a magazine, they might throw a link to a free plan on their site to boot….but alas no luck! And granted, it’s not a grandfather clock, but I thought it was interesting all the same 🙂
Finally, we have the founder of Starling Furniture giving us a masterclass on making his own version of a wooden grandfather clock. As with the first video, there are no physical plans included, but it will give you great insight into the techniques you can use in the process of building such a clock. Again, this video is quite old so get ready for blurriness 🙂
Grandfather Clock Plans Gone Wild!
There you have it. We found more than enough grandfather clock woodworking plans for free, and instructional videos to help us along the path to making our very own wooden grandfather clock. This was actually one of the best woodworking plan searches I have ever done!! Now all you have to do is decide on what type of wood to use….. cherry ? mahogany?….walnut?….oak maybe….just not plywood OK 🙂
No need to recommend any paid plans today, although I will say that if woodworking plans are your thing, I know about a pack of 16000 plans that can be had for an excellent price. In my experience, a singular plan is often around $10-15 for just one of them, whereas this pack has 16000 for not much more. If you are interested in woodworking, you should check out this woodworking plans pack.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Grandfather Clock?
A grandfather clock is a mechanical clock that is typically in a clock tower, usually on a porch or on a mantelpiece of a place of residence. The word derives from the French word “grand-père” meaning “old man”. The term was first used in English during the 16th century, and the first clocks of this type were made in England and France during the 17th century.
Below is an example of an antique clock that could be classified as a grandfather clock. Notice that it is a tall case clock with an antique clock design and clock face.