Chilliwack handyman takes beading to the extreme

Eighty-year-old Chilliwack man spent nine years building a six-foot-two inch grandfather clock from beads, which he completed last month.

Chilliwack senior Bob Peel spent nine years building a grandfather clock with beads. He completed the six-foot-two inch project last month.

Chilliwack senior Bob Peel spent nine years building a grandfather clock with beads. He completed the six-foot-two inch project last month.

Nine years, 20 miles of fishing line, hundreds of thousands of beads, and tired hands – that’s what will get you a six-foot-two beaded grandfather clock.

“It was so nice to finally see that pendulum going back and forth after nine years,” said 80-year-old Bob Peel.

Peel started making his “one-of-a-kind” six-foot-two beaded grandfather clock in 2003. He finished it last month.

“I don’t think you’ll see another one like it,” he laughed.

When Peel retired from pipelining in 1998, his common law wife told him he needed a hobby, he couldn’t just watch the tube all day. She suggested he take up beadwork.

Now, Peel, a former serviceman and pipeliner, never imagined he’d be threading beads for hours on end, “but once you get into it, it’s hard to get away from,” he said.

“It’s fascinating what you can do if you’ve got the beads.”

He started out small, creating beaded mantle clocks and picture frames, and gradually moved up in skill with a replica of Big Ben and three to five feet tall clocks.

“Just small ones,” he smiled.

And then, he had a vision: a towering grandfather clock of red, amber and crystal coloured beads. The clock would rise up six feet, two inches tall. It would weigh nearly 100 pounds. It would have a custom-made quarter inch steel frame, and wood box at the top to encase the clock face, which would be trimmed in glowing red beads. Inside it would feature Westminster chimes. All the rest would be beads.

Hundreds of thousands of beads.

Vertical rows of beads, horizontal strips of beads, beaded diamonds, beaded borders.

“I’d guess there’s at least 300,000 beads in there,” Peel said. “There’s 15-20,000 just in the trim alone.”

He doesn’t know the total hours he spent working on the project, but admitted to spending several hours holed up in his shop in the basement.

“There was no going down there for just one hour,” he said. “You don’t get nothing done in one hour.”

But would he build another?

Not in this lifetime, he chuckled.

Just Posted

Rohan arul-Pragasam, Chilliwack School District’s interim superintendent, has been appointed superintendent of schools effective June 15, 2021. (Chilliwack School District)
Interim position becomes permanent for Rohan Arul-pragasam at Chilliwack School District

Arul-pragasam said he was ‘humbled to continue as a steward’ in new role as superintendent of schools

PlanCultus was adopted in 2017 as a guiding document for Cultus Lake Park. (Cultus Lake Park Board)
More affordable housing options could be coming to Cultus Lake Park

Online survey opened on June 14 to gauge opinion on plaza redevelopment eyed for Village Centre

The Abbotsford International Airshow is back for 2021 with the ‘SkyDrive’ concept.
Abbotsford International Airshow returns for 2021 with ‘SkyDrive’

New format features a drive-in movie type experience, show set for Aug. 6 to 8

A young couple walks through the Othello Tunnels just outside of Hope. (Jessica Peters/Black Press)
Hope’s Othello Tunnels fully open to the public

Geological testing proved the area safe enough to open for the first time in more than a year

Raeya Evie Duncan was the 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital for the month of May. She is seen here with her parents Alysha Williams and Andrew Duncan on June 12, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Baby boom in Chilliwack as record number of infants born at CGH in May

‘COVID babies are coming out,’ says dad of 100th baby born at Chilliwack General Hospital last month

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says re-opening B.C.’s border to the U.S. ‘is not in our best interest’ right now. (B.C. Government photo)
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry (B.C. Government photo)
B.C. records 113 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, four deaths

Vaccination of young people rising quickly, near 75 per cent

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

Most Read