Clock Kits for individual hobbyists and craftsmen who want to make grandfather clocks themselves have been a part of the grandfather clock market landscape for the last 50 years. Grandfather clock kits can come in many forms, from those which are simply wood plans and may not even include the grandfather clock movement, to those that are more or less simply put the pieces together with screws or nails. In between are many variations, of course, including those which come with all the clock hardware, including the grandfather clock dial, grandfather clock movement, the clock’s pendulum and of course the hands and key for the grandfather clock.
One of the challenges are the trade-offs between the grandfather clock builder, their skill level and their desired effort vs. how much work is involved, not to mention how much talent of varying types are required, vs. the quality of the grandfather clock assuming all of the grandfather clock assembly, design, cutting and finishing specs are followed to the letter. We see 7 key factors that anyone who is serious about making their own grandfather clock either “from scratch” or with an almost ready-made kit needs to consider carefully before deciding which path to follow:
1. Grandfather Clock Assembly Effort Desired
2. Grandfather Clock Craftsman Skill Level
3. “From Scratch” to “Simple Assembly” of Grandfather Clock
4. Quality of Wood and Grandfather Clock Case
5. Quality of Grandfather Clock Movement
6. Tolerance for and Ability to Adapt to Mistakes in Making Grandfather Clock
7. Quality of Overall Grandfather Clock Desired
One irony is that in most instances, one will get more for their money by purchasing a brand new already made grandfather clock, such as a Howard Miller Grandfather Clock, or one of the Ridgeway Grandfather Clock Collection, or one of the great Made in the USA Hermle Grandfather Clocks. Kieninger grandfather clocks too. Having said that, many people understandably want to build one that they can consider came more from their own hand.
Which leads to the question of who are the best of most reliable makers of grandfather clock kits today? The landscape has shifted dramatically, with old industry stalwart Mason & Sullivan having been out of business for decades, and Kuempel Chime Clock, which used to make great grandfather clock kits, and which we used to partner with and sell their high-quality kits, having gone out of business several years ago. The are grandfather clock kit makers out there, many of whom we would recommend staying far away from And there are others who are worth taking a look at, but we do not think they reach the level of quality that was offered historically with Kuempel Grandfather Clock kits.
The subject of grandfather clock kits is critical enough that we will devote at least one post to the current makers of grandfather clock kits, along with any impressions as to their quality and workmanship, and what is involved regarding effort and skill level to get the grandfather clock you want, as well as getting the quality grandfather clock you should expect and desire.