Sunday, June 11, 2017

Waterbury Miniature Ogee Clock - Part 1

I have had this clock for long enough that I seem to have lost the paper work for it. I bought it as an empty case. Actually I just checked a purchase list, and I bought it in summer 2006! At the time I wanted a miniature ogee clock, and I believe I may have had a spare Waterbury shelf clock movement for it. I had only paid 34$ USD for the case, plus shipping. Not such a great bargain based on today's prices, but mini ogees back then would normally sell for 200-300$ USD.

Anyhow, the case had lots of loose or flaked-off veneer, and it needed work.

A few years ago (early 2015), while I was working on a whole bunch of different veneering repairs ( I had glued down the loose sections of the veneer for this case.

Then a few weeks ago I finished the rest of the repairs. This involved gluing another big section that popped off on the door, and patching the missing sections on the veneer. Before I start showing the patches, this is how the clock looked after the 2015 repairs.

The edge uses curved veneer, so I used some of my pre-curved mahogany veneer stock for the patches. Any of the small chips, I did not use wood, I used putty. This is especially good for small chips along the bottom where the veneer is already really dark.

Putty-filled repairs:

Veneer patch on the corner, putty on the chips.

Again, a mix of veneer and putty. Keep in mind that any putty repairs must be touched-up with paint.

Top left corner:

Top right corner:

All the repairs and patches before stain, paint, and touch-ups.

Stain is applied first. Depending what stains you use, how much sanding you did, and what wood was used, the colour may be too light or too dark. It's kind of difficult to predict how certain spots will turn out. For the painted putty areas, those mainly work best on very dark finishes. This case is quite dark brown, so it's pretty forgiving to mix any "close enough" shade of blackish-brownish-reddish paint, and blend that in. I use one or two small paint brushes, but a lot of it is creative finger painting. Water is used to add transparency.

Bottom chips after painting. There are 4 decent sized chips, and a veneer patch in the left corner.

All the repairs and patches were then coated in several layers of orange shellac. The entire case was then buffed down with #0000 steel wool lubricated in dark paste wax. The wax is left to dry and go dull before polishing.

This shows the wax-buffed case just before polishing (so looking quite dull overall).

Here's just a small bit once you start buffing the wax.

Hopefully I can photograph the finished case soon.


  1. Nice bit of work. Really looks nice once you start buffing.

    BTW How do you apply the shellac - rub on, or paint on?

    1. I use a brush. I lay it on heavier where there is raw wood, and then I'll feather it out onto the existing shellac.