Motorcycle Wanderings, General Travel, and a Weird Mix of Other Stuff

Grandfather’s Clock

There’s been some secret stuff going on around here for a while. Since January, to be exact.

That husband of mine has been working on a very special gift for his Mom. A clock. But not just any clock. A grandfather clock with a very interesting back-story.


Grandfather’s Clock (click on the image for a closer look)

That talented Hubby of mine built this clock completely from scratch, using black walnut harvested by his grandfather.


The story is inscribed on the plaque above the clock face.

I’ll tell you more about the process and share some other pics, and a video of the presentation, in a later post.


The Story (text added below in case that’s too hard to read)


This clock began as a black walnut tree in the mid-1800s in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. The tree was harvested in the 1930s by Clair Hallock, who then had the wood milled and stored for a future project. Initially kept in Clearfield, he eventually moved the lumber to his then-home in Baltimore, Maryland. Clair, having decided that the wood was suitable for a clock case, purchased a clock movement from Keininger (one of Germany’s renowned clock makers) during an early 1970s vacation in Germany. The movement was stored along with the wood. Periodically, Clair talked about the clock and how he’d never found a plan that he liked. In time, he returned to his hometown of Clearfield for retirement. He passed away in 2008, never having realized his goal of completing the clock. The lumber and movement were passed on to Clair’s daughter Jeanne, who selected the plan that I used, along with Clair’s materials, to build this grandfather clock. I present Grandfather’s clock to my mother Jeanne, with much love and respect, Mike Kirkpatrick – May 2014.



A very happy and proud Mom with her son, Mike.

Today was truly a Mother’s Day to remember.


  1. Aunt Janet's Gravatar Aunt Janet
    May 11, 2014    

    Mike you are truly a gifted man. Pop would be so proud of your work to create such a beautiful grandfather clock from wood that others could have disposed of in trash or fire. But your vision of what Pop’s dream was, could only have been completed by someone that has gifted hands and special love and knowledge of wood. Of all the grandsons Mike you are that one that has that gift! In fact I think Pop would isolate you for days asking about every detail and how you did each step! You gave your Mom a gift money cannot buy and how befitting for that clock to take place of honor at 5015! I am so proud of you and so happy for your Mom! The engraved history, what a wonderful touch! 100 years from now our ancestors will be talking about Mike and Clair!

  2. Annelies's Gravatar Annelies
    May 12, 2014    

    That is amazing, even by Mike’s standards. I remember seeing that wood; what a beautiful history this clock has! Such a wonderful mother’s day gift.

  3. ToadMama's Gravatar ToadMama
    May 12, 2014    

    Aunt Janet, that was such a lovely comment. I imagine Pop would be very proud of Mike. He amazes me with his skill. Wait till you see it in person.

  4. ToadMama's Gravatar ToadMama
    May 12, 2014    

    Annelies, it really is an amazing piece of work.

  5. Dottie's Gravatar Dottie
    May 12, 2014    

    The clock is simply gorgeous! I especially the plaque that you made to reveal it’s history to future family members, great idea!

    • ToadMama's Gravatar ToadMama
      May 12, 2014    

      Thanks! All Mike’s idea.

  6. May 12, 2014    

    So beautiful. Your hubby is indeed talented.

    I got goosebumps as I read the history on the plaque.

    • May 12, 2014    

      Thanks, Brandy. He amazes me. It was quite touching to see the clock being presented.

    • shan's Gravatar shan
      May 12, 2014    

      I second what Brandy says about goosebumps. Everyone that I shared this with had the exact same sentiments.

  7. May 12, 2014    


    It’s an amazing piece of family history brought to life by Mike. He is truly a craftsman to be able to turn the wood and movement into a family heirloom to be cherished for generations. You must be so proud . . .

    Happy Belated Mother’s Day to you and Mike’s Mom too

    A weekend photographer or Riding the Wet Coast

    • May 12, 2014    

      Thanks, Bob. Yes, I am very proud. He really is an artist. 🙂
      Thanks for the Mother’s Day wishes, too.

  8. May 12, 2014    

    That hubby of yours is quite gifted. What a beautiful piece and a touching story. I just watching the video as well. Amazing ~

  9. ToadMama's Gravatar ToadMama
    May 12, 2014    

    Fuzz, that’s the little project he was finishing that kept him from riding with us in WV.

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