Draper Retiree Spends Days As A “Clockaholic”

Dec 23, 2018, 9:48 PM | Updated: Dec 24, 2018, 6:18 am

DRAPER, Utah — If you ask Lamar Noorda, idle hands are his worst enemy. He’s been retired for a quarter century, but has never stopped punching the timeclock.

“I’ve always loved work,” he said. “Hard work.”
You’ll occasionally catch him filling his living room with the sounds of an Irish folk tune on his organ, but that’s just a hobby — the real labors of retirement take place out back.

Six hours a day, Noorda’s hunched over one machine or another in the shed that sits in his backyard.

He’s got a bit of knack for this type of work — with a brief interruption courtesy of the Korean War, Noorda spent his life working in, and later running his own machine shop.

“The first thing I got into was making lockers for schools,” he said. “I had every locker job in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.”

His youngest son ended up taking over the business, and Noorda looked to retirement — but never once stopped working. Instead of metal, he turned his mind to wood.

“These are my cutting boards, and these are my cheese boards,” he said, gesturing to a large stack of wooden boards, each made up of pieces of interlocking wood. “I never make the same pattern twice.”

Noorda creates a wide variety of wooden art — everything from tables to plaques, and right down to objects meant as a joke.

“You know what that is?” he asked, showing off a little wooden mallet that strikes a quarter. “A Quarter Pounder.”

But in Noorda’s mind, there’s one item that’s always up on a pedestal — one item he makes out of scraps.

“I’m a clockaholic,” he said. “I love clocks.”

It’s not often one can say they’ve met a “clockaholic.”

“Well, you’ve met one now,” said Noorda.

He makes mantel clocks and wall clocks — clocks with bark, and clocks without.

“I get a piece of wood that looks interesting, and I think, ‘I’ll make a clock out of that,'” Noorda said. “I’m addicted to clocks. I can’t leave them alone.”

Noorda doesn’t make the actual clock mechanisms himself. He selects a piece of scrap wood he thinks is interesting, chooses a dial the thinks will fit, and finds a way to fashion it all into a clock. He estimates he’s made five or six hundred over the years.

He’s sold most at craft shows, mainly around Brian Head. His business is essentially a one-man operation, and since he doesn’t want to deal with shipping, he only sells in person. But as for the clocks he hasn’t sold…

“My wife keeps saying ‘Don’t bring another clock in this house,'” Noorda said.  “I must have two or three in every room.”

Even at the tender age of 86, Noorda has no plans to slow down, and no desire to join other retirees on vacation.

“Never,” he said. “I’ve been on two cruises. I never want to go on another one.”

For him, his shop is his sanctuary, and sweat is his shelter.

“This is my spot,” Noorda said.

And so, for the man with a mind of metal and gears, every time the hands roll around, there’s another clock just waiting to be born.

“Maybe I am crazy,” Noorda said with a laugh. “I enjoy life. I really enjoy life.”

Noorda does not have a website, but says people are welcome to call him at 801-523-3674, before 10 pm.

Noorda says he never uses the same pattern twice when he's making a cutting board or cheese board. (December 18, 2018) Noorda's sold most of his clocks, and says his wife doesn't want any more in their home. (December 18, 2018)  Noorda thinks he's probably made five or six hundred clocks over the years. (December 18, 2018) Noorda shows how he might go about mounting a clock on a piece of wood. (December 18, 2018) Some of Lamar Noorda's mantel clocks sit in his shed. (December 18, 2018) Scraps of wood sit in Lamar Noorda's shed, waiting to be selected for use in a clock. (December 18, 2018)  Lamar Noorda cuts wood in the shed behind his Draper home. (December 18, 2018) Lamar Noorda drills a hole into a piece of wood, preparing it for a clock. (December 18, 2018) Some of Lamar Noorda's wall clocks hang in his shed. (December 18, 2018)  Lamar Noorda points towards a collection of wall clocks, while standing next to his mantel clocks. (December 18, 2018) Noorda says the organ is just something he does about once a week. (December 18, 2018)  Noorda plays the organ in the living room of his Draper home.  (December 18, 2018) Lamar Noorda shows off his "quarter pounder." (December 18, 2018)

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Draper Retiree Spends Days As A “Clockaholic”