Ideas keep ticking for clock maker

CLOCK MAKER: Warren (Wally) Ford has been doing wood work for years and makes all sorts of things, from clocks to cutting boards to signs.
CLOCK MAKER: Warren (Wally) Ford has been doing wood work for years and makes all sorts of things, from clocks to cutting boards to signs. Philippe Coquerand

THREE generations of woodwork run through the Ford family.

Family members have created handmade clocks, signs, cutting boards and tables.

Recently placed first and second for his clocks at the Mundubbera Show, Warren Ford said his passion began when he was just a kid.

"It started with me watching my grandfather make bowls and he was a wood carver so he'd use the hand chisels to make picture frames so I just studied what he did,” Mr Ford said.

"You've got to use your imagination to try something new that nobody else has done, have a bit of handy work and co-ordination.”

Making a clock requires great skill, precision and patience, he said. It can take up to a year for a slab of timber to dry, so it is important to ensure enough is stored away.

"First off you have to get yourself a piece of timber, then you have to get it slabbed up, cut into whatever thickness you want,” Mr Ford said.

"You don't want the timber to be too thick otherwise it'll be heavy.

"I have a mate who slabs it all for me and then I bring it home and dry it, it may take a year to dry some of it and I stack it away in the sheds and then rotate it every six weeks sort of thing.

"I then turn it over to aerate it and to make sure there's nothing wrong with it.”

Once this is finished, the process of clock making can begin.

"You then sand it down and then you drill your holes through to make sure your clock mechanism goes into it,” Mr Ford said.

"You then stick all your numbers around and then you can either put something like a picture around it to make it look good or you can have a natural clock.

"I then put a glass finish, it takes 24 hours to set, and then you blow torch over it to get rid of the bubbles and then you let it sit for the first three to four hours and then it's done.”

Mr Ford made the sign for the Picky Packers Hostel. He also teaches horticulture and agriculture at the Mundubbera State School.

You can purchase a clock off Mr Ford.

Topics:  community feature story mundubbera

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