More Uses for Handscrews

IMG_1459This week I worked on the hood details of my tall clocks – the plinths for brass finials. The parts are small. As I worked, I discovered that my handscrew clamps were often drawn into action. These clamps are a great way to hold small parts.

The center plinth had to be shaped with a small radius cut at the front and sides. The first use of the handscrew was to hold the two (one of each clock) plinths face to face so I could easily drill the front radius; one 3/8″ forestner bit cut and created a small 3/16″ radius. I then went to my spindle sander to form a similar radius on each of the two sides of the plinth.

IMG_1462After the radius was created, I had to remove the material left below and sanding away that amount was too time-consuming. Band saw, here I come. At the saw, I wasn’t going to hold the plinth with my hand. Handscrew to the rescue. With the small part locked in the clamp, it was easy to trim the waste.

Two more uses for what should be a staple in the shop. And I find old clamps best, so shop auctions in you’re looking to add handscrews to your selection.

The hood (shown below) is coming along great. I now need to begin final sanding and finish. Below is a look at the hood without the brass finials. I need to get those ordered. At $70 each, I’m not in a big rush.


Build Something Great!

Glen D. Huey


Filed under Methods of Work, Tall Clock

5 responses to “More Uses for Handscrews

  1. Charlie L

    Hi Glen, it’s looking great.

  2. rondennis303

    Glen – I was comparing the original photos to you bonnet. My question centers around the small “divots” that are on the original bonnet.

    What was the purpose of these on the original? . . . and do you intend to replicate them on you reproduction?

    Finally, I was quite taken by the pierced bonnets of the Dunlap Cabinetmakers, a family of New Hampshire fine furniture makers in the mid-1700’s. (The Dunlap Cabinetmakers, A Tradition in Craftsmanship, by Philip Zea, Donald Dunlap and John A. Nelson, pp. 20-21)

    Their approach was a basket weave motif, How do you think that would substitute for the Edgerton piercings?

    • Ron,
      What you’re seeing in the photo on this post is just the top portion of the hood. If you look back through my posts, you’ll find photos of the hood in a more complete state. I have already cut the recesses, or “divots.”

      On the original, the cutouts were there for a reason. Some of the recesses were over holes that went completely through the hood to allow the sound of the bell strike to easily be heard. In fact, a form of cloth, similar to what we know as speaker cloth, covers the scroll board beneath the wood face. That makes the recesses appear black or dark in color.

      Nice call on the Dunlap work. I hadn’t looked at the pierced scroll board on the Egerton clocks in the same light. Dunlap decoration is, indeed, a basket weave design; something quite strongly associated with Dunlap furniture. The basket weave begins with a diamond shape piercing which is then carved in a particular pattern to emulate the weave – it’s quite involved and time-consuming.

  3. rondennis303

    Looking back at the opening photo of your Post of September 8, 2013 · 8:11 AM, there are small grey-looking points that are centered in the solid portions of the pierced bonnet. These are the divots that were the source of my comment.

    Regarding the basket weave, it goes back to Pyle’s discussion of risk and what I consider the creation of perceived value

    • OK, Ron. Now I see what your comment was about. The divots you see are actually the center point of the many small circles that were drawn to establish the pattern. I imagine that whoever did the layout work may have used a spur center bit to lightly mark the lines, or a pair of dividers. In either case, the point left the divot in the work.

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