stevenbunn Sat, 04/13/2019 - 20:44

Working on a base for a Gottschall Tall-Case Clock Case


A tall-case clock case based on a design published by Franklyn Gottschall
I thought I would take a break from working on hand planes. So for something completely different I decided to built the lower clock case for the Gottschall hood I built several years ago. When I started out looking for an apprentice position years ago, I visited the Irion shop in Paoli, PA. At the time I did not know of that shop's reputation for creating reproductions of classic Philadelphia Chippendale furniture. While there I saw eight tall-case clocks, all the same, all presold for $12,000.00 each not including the clock works or the painted dial faces, under construction. What I saw blew me away. The show room had a display of the different styles of tall-case clock hoods mounted like art on the walls around the room. That visit has stayed in my mind ever since.
With the economic down turn of 2008-2009 I was lucky to have a back log of orders which carried me along for several years. Building Windsor chairs is the core of my business, but the slow down in new orders made me think long and hard about other market niches to explore. Unfortunately, the entire antique business and interest in reproduction clocks hit the skids as the economy cratered. Why buy a reproduction clock case from me for $12,000.00, when you could walk into an antique store and buy a real 1770 turban top tall-case clock made in London for $5,000.00. And even then no one would touch it dispite the give away price. Not a good time to start building tall-case clocks. Which of course was what I did.
I built several clock hoods to display in the shop to include one based on a Franklyn Gottschall design. Long story, but I have had this beautiful hood hanging in the shop. It lacked the rest of the lower cabinet. I will post pictures as this project progresses.
Thanks for stopping by. STB