April 11, 2019 – Gandfather Clocks by Randy Jaye

April 11, 2019 – Gandfather Clocks by Randy Jaye

Randy Jaye is the president of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC) He described the process of building a tall case clock entirely from cedar wood. He gave a a brief history of tall case clocks. Early development of these clocks started in Europe around 1660. American tall case clocks started to appear in in this country after 1695. Most tall case clocks were made in Pennsylvania. Boston and New York also were centers of clock making. Many styles and forms of clocks were developed. Modern tall case clocks can take a variety of styles. Very few companies manufacture grandfather clocks today. Amana Clock Company in Iowa and Howard Miller are some the the only companies doing so.

Randy built his tall case clock from cedar and incorporated several styles based on clocks from Lebanon County, PA. Below is an article from the Lebanon Daily Newspaper that describes more about the clock.

Custom-made grandfather clock brings Lebanon County history to life
Standing tall in a corner of the bedroom of Randy Jaye’s home is a grandfather clock — a clock telling perfect time, made of 100-percent red cedar wood, and constructed as an homage to Lebanon County.

Jaye, a Lebanon native now living in Flagler Beach, Florida, decorated the clock to commemorate several historical landmarks in Lebanon County.

“I had this idea in my head a long time, maybe 15 years,” to build the clock, said Jaye, an avid clock and watch collector and a 20-year member of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, based in Columbia. “I grew up in the area. There are hundreds of historical buildings in the area.”

Jaye specifically used the red cedar wood as a tribute to Lebanon County. He laid out a custom hand-painted design for the clock dial that features existing historic landmarks from the county after purchasing a brass English bell movement with a combination of hand-made pieces and factory-produced parts.

The top arch area illustrates workers hanging Lebanon Bologna in a wooden smoke house in preparation for its curing process. Ornate branches, leaves and flower motifs border the circular design to its right and left. The caption reads, “Lebanon Bologna – Since 1700s.”

Also featured on the clock are tributes to the Union Canal Tunnel, Lights Fort during the summer season, the Cornwall & Lebanon Railroad Station, circa 1885, and the Cornwall Iron Furnace.

The central section of the clock includes Roman numeral hour markers, a round 60 minutes track, a round 60 seconds sub-dial with a straight blued steel hand, two winding holes, a semi-circular calendar aperture window, colorful pheasant birds perched on tree branches adorned with leaves and flowers on the right and left of the central arbor, ornate blued steel minute and hour hands. It is signed “Randy Jaye, Lebanon, PA.”

While Jaye enjoys having the clock in his bedroom, he said he is considering lending it for display to the Lebanon County Historical Society.

Jaye builds clocks as a hobby. The Lebanon clock is the first grandfather clock he constructed from scratch. It took him about 150 hours of work to construct, he said.

The complete cedar wood clock case measures 8 feet, 1-inch tall, 19.5 inches wide and 11 inches deep.

All wood parts of the case, including the back, floor, finials and glue blocks are made from red cedar. The outside sections of the case were finished with five coats of clear shellac, and the interior sections and back are unfinished.

Jay said he plans to build another clock, this one from Pennsylvania cherry wood.

The central section of the clock includes Roman numeral hour markers, a round 60 minutes track, a round 60 seconds sub-dial with a straight blued steel hand, two winding holes, a semi-circular calendar aperture window, colorful pheasant birds perched on tree branches adorned with leaves and flowers on the right and left of the central arbor, ornate blued steel minute and hour hands. It is signed “Randy Jaye, Lebanon, PA.”

The custom-made arch dial of the Lebanon County grandfather
The custom-made arch dial of the Lebanon County grandfather clock built by Randy Jaye.

While Jaye enjoys having the clock in his bedroom, he said he is considering lending it for display to the Lebanon County Historical Society.

Jaye builds clocks as a hobby. The Lebanon clock is the first grandfather clock he constructed from scratch. It took him about 150 hours of work to construct, he said.

The complete cedar wood clock case measures 8 feet, 1-inch tall, 19.5 inches wide and 11 inches deep.
All wood parts of the case, including the back, floor, finials and glue blocks are made from red cedar. The outside sections of the case were finished with five coats of clear shellac, and the interior sections and back are unfinished.

Jay said he plans to build another clock, this one from Pennsylvania cherry wood.

Joe Kunzman

Joe is a retired CPA and Sr. IT Data Storage Architect. He resides in Lake Helen, FL with his wife Marie. His woodworking interests include cabinetry and building 18th century reproduction furniture. He is also the Florida Chapter President of Society of American Period Furniture Makers. When not making sawdust, he also spends his time building embedded systems with microprocessors, such as Arduino.

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