We have a brand new Masonic Square and Compass Wall Clock listed in The Birch Cottage Shop on Etsy!
It Started as a Handmade Gift Idea
If you have followed The Birch Cottage blog, you may recall that a year ago I shared with you that we had made a Freemason Wooden Clock from Reclaimed Wood. My husband is a member of the Grove City Lodge and he wanted to gift one of these clocks to the Lodge. I was thrilled to be able to help him create this gift!
We’ve talked numerous times since then about the feasibility of making and selling Masonic Clocks. We even went as far as to list some in our Etsy shop last year and received so many orders we had to put our shop in vacation mode to get caught up! It was a good problem to have – but very unexpected.
Clock Making: Two Unforeseen Problems
We actually ran into two unforeseen problems with the large rustic wooden clocks we made. One, they were very expensive to ship. (Sometimes the shipping cost more than the clocks!) Secondly, because the clocks were made out of wood and exposed to shipping conditions (heat, temperature, humidity) beyond our control, some of the knots seeped. If you know anything about woodworking, this would all seem normal. But from a customer service perspective (and my husband’s Type A personality), they were issues we just found unacceptable.
Back to the drawing board.
Clock Making: Two Problems Resolved
It’s been over a year since that experience. Lenny has been practicing his techniques and turning out prototypes of clocks until he finally thinks he has exactly the perfect Masonic Clock. It’s truly been a labor of love for my husband (although admittedly frustrating at times).
The new Masonic Square and Compass Wall Clock is made of wood and measures approximately 11-1/2″ in diameter. This smaller size allows us to ship the clock anywhere in the United States at a very reasonable rate. The new smaller size also addressed the first problem of high shipping costs that we encountered last year with trying to sell our handmade clocks.
To address the second problem of the seeping knots, Lenny now puts a coat of shellac on the wood before the face is applied and then a top coat of polycrylic (which helps to protect the clock face). We’ve made numerous clocks now using this technique and it has, so far, eliminated the problem with seeping. We even shipped one clock across country to someone who had previously ordered a clock from us. They were surprised and thrilled to receive a second clock for free. The clock arrived without any issues and now hangs nicely in someone’s home.
Masonic Square and Compass Wall Clock
The new handmade wooden 11-1/4″ Masonic Square and Compass Wall Clock also features an hourglass at the 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions and small diamonds at the 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 positions. We use a strong clock mechanism that is designed to last at least 6 years (according to the manufacturer). The clock mechanism is also easy to replace and requires the use of one “AA” battery.
Lenny also changed the design of the back of the clock. I haven’t seen anything like this and think it’s just amazing! Instead of having two support brackets that run vertical along the back of the clock and a wire hanger, there’s now one piece of wood attached to the back of the clock that has a place routed out for the clock mechanism (for easy insertion, replacement and battery replacement) and another place routed out for hanging the clock. It’s quite ingenious!
Did I mention my husband’s an incredible woodworker?!
You know, there’s something quite gratifying about hand-making something that someone else likes enough to include in their home, let alone to actually purchase the item so they can gift it or include it in their own space. It’s a little unnerving to put yourself out there and ask people to buy something you handmade. Quite humbling, actually!
Speaking of unnerving, this past Christmas was exactly that for Lenny and me. Although we had been gradually moving towards all handmade gifts for Christmas, this past year was truly our first all handmade Christmas. Can you guess what our children received as gifts? Clocks!
We made clocks for each of our seven children and our grandson. Each clock was a little different and customized with that particular child in mind. My two favorite clocks were a Harry Potter themed clock and an Army themed clock. The Harry Potter themed clock turned out better than I expected! I even painted the face of the clock using liquid gold leaf paint. Morgan absolutely loved her clock!
One of the things I hope to do here through The Birch Cottage blog, is to encourage you to give a little of yourself through handmade or homemade gifts. They say, when you give someone a handmade gift, you’re giving them something invaluable – a piece of your time. That time belongs only to them and in the making of that gift. Priceless!
How to Order
The Masonic Square and Compass Wall Clock is listed in The Birch Cottage Shop on Etsy. You’ll find the clock here! We quote two weeks for production and delivery, but we fully expect the process to take just a couple of days. It does take some time to make the clocks due to the multiple steps involved and having to wait for the finishes to dry appropriately.
If orders pick up, then we’ll certainly try to have more clocks readily available instead of completely making them to order. But for now, we’ll have to see how it goes! These Masonic Square and Compass Wall Clocks will make great gifts for anyone associated with the Freemasons, Masons, Freemasonry or for the Lodge itself! You know, Father’s Day will be here before you know it!
Thanks for letting me ramble on about these clocks. I’m just really proud of my husband and I hope he gets so many orders that he has to hire someone to do all the packaging and shipping! Wouldn’t that be grand?!!
Til next time…