November 20th, 2006 : Dash Clock
I just won the bid on this 1955 Buick dash clock on eBay:
Ron's Cool Clock Tips!
It's bothered me for a long time ... getting in the truck and not knowing what time it is (I don't wear a watch) and I've been meaning to do something about it. So last week I finally went on eBay and started researching what was available and what kind of prices were being paid for vintage dash clocks.
Once I saw this particular dash clock, I knew it was time (pun intended). I mean, this clock-face really hit home for me ... it's the exact look I've wanted and I have seen absolutely no other dash clock that even comes close! People usually wait until the last few hours to do their bidding on eBay and when there was only one day left, and no one else had yet placed a bid, I decided to place a bid and lock this item in as mine. I placed a maximum bid of $60.00 ... I figured if anyone was willing to bid more than that, they wanted this clock in a very bad way. So the bidding began at $25.95 ... in the last hour, while I was sleeping, one other person came in on the bidding with a maximum bid of $35.00 ... not good enough. I won the clock for $36.00.
Now comes the challenge of fabrication and placement ... where do I put it and how?
November 22 | Update: The clock arrived today and I can hardly believe my eyes! I mean, this thing looks brand spankin' new! All I can say is, if you're buying a vintage dash clock on eBay, buy one from Ron | aka MrSawdust ... he cleans, lubricates and tests every clock he sells. I turned the chrome knob to move the hands and it started ticking! You know, I actually forgot that clocks use to tick? And I forgot what a beautiful sound that is, too! HalleluYah!
When installing the clock, it's best to use "Star Washers" on the mounting bolts/screws where a good ground is needed.
Try not to let the battery run down with the clock connected (example: Winter Storage) because with low voltage, the "contacts" inside the clock may have a tendency to burn up. It's best to disconnect the battery.
November 24 | Update
: Today I started a very basic beginning to getting this clock in the truck and enjoying the use of it. After looking carefully at this clock's face, it becomes obvious that it was designed to be viewed from below eye level ... so I've decided it will be most favorable to place it in a center console below the dash. But first, I want to get it hooked up, check it's accuracy, make any needed adjustment (fast/slow) and be sure it's keeping good time ... and I also want to be able to experiment with it's physical location and be sure of where and how I need to position it in order to have a good clear view of it at all times. That means creating a simple and easy mount ... so, for now, I'm just going to hang a piece of plywood under the dash with the clock mounted in it and see how I like the location and angle.
November 25 | Update
: I went out today and bought some black vinyl to cover the wood faceplate with and while I was at it I decided to cover the faceplate I made for my radio 3 years ago as well -- what a nice difference it makes!
November 26 | Update
: Today I wired the clock up ... and here's a great example how cool it was to install the EZ-Wire Kit
and to have all the extra circuits that come with it. I reached up under the dash and brought down all the coiled-up, unused wires ... separated the 12-gauge Power Door Locks
wire (which gets power when the ignition is off as well as on) and used that to power the clock.
Next, I needed to secure a ground wire for the clock and while I was in the back-breaking position required to get my head under the dash and wondering where on earth that ground wire was that I secured to the firewall 3 years ago, I noticed this coiled-up wire with a red tag on it ... I grabbed the tag and saw "Spare Ground"
written on it! Perfect! I had forgotten that I did that but what a cool thing to do! That little forethought 3 years ago saved me a half hour, not to mention the joy of discovering it and simply hooking up my clock's ground wire effortlessly!
Finally, I removed my headlight switch and ran a wire for the clock-light ... put a fuse in the fuse box for the Power Door Locks
and immediately heard the clock start ticking. Success is a sweet thing.
Once I'm sure of the angle and location, I'm going to begin fabricating a center console that goes in front of the shifter, from the bottom of the dash to the floor. I've had this idea buzzing around in my head ever since I installed the Gennie Shifter:
The illustration above is truly a crude rendition of my plans but it presents the idea well enough. This is going to be a pretty intense project for me because I'm going to attempt doing something I've never done before. You've probably seen some of these shows (like "Pimp My Ride") where they fabricate speaker cabinets by stretching fleece over a set of wooden styles, paint it with resin, sand it smooth and then cover it with vinyl, right? Well that's what I'm going after with this console.
My next step, after I'm sure about the position and angle of the clock, will be to construct a rough outline of the console-styles out of cardboard ... then a serious console-style will be built out of wood framing and once that's installed and I know it fits properly I'll remove it, stretch fleece over it, coat it with resin, sand it smooth, cover it with leather and install it. After this project, the rest of my projects to finish the interior fabrication will be a walk in the park.
NOTE: PHASE TWO
of this project is HERE
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