Hi everyone! In this Instructable I’m going to show you how I made a tree ring shaped wall clock.
I made this clock to celebrate my first anniversary on YouTube.
Plywood - 21 mm thick (your local hardware store)
Clock mechanism http://amzn.to/2pswt4Z
Colored pencils http://amzn.to/2GNEtG0
Clear fast-drying polyurethane http://amzn.to/2pr3PBM
D-ring hanger http://amzn.to/2psvtxL
Cordless drill http://amzn.to/2FTtiKn
Dremel high performance rotary tool kit https://amzn.to/2E873Ay
Forstner drill bits http://amzn.to/2HPeI7e
Router bits http://amzn.to/2G8091l
Sanding block http://amzn.to/2IDpQVW
Let's get started!
Step 1: Making the Shape of the Clock.
This clock is made out of 21 mm thick plywood. This large plywood board is pretty heavy, so I cut it 60 by 40, which will make the drawing of the shape easier and faster.
Now, I can start drawing the shape of the clock. I wanted to make a tree ring shape, and I hope I achieved the goal.
In the beginning I drew total of 6 rings, with a nice transition between them. Actually, my plan was to make each ring a different layer, and all of them to be 3 mm high, only the smallest one to be 6 mm high. Later, I realized that I needed to make 7 rings, all with 3 mm height, which will improve the look of the clock.
But, let’s go back to the shape. Once I was done drawing, I cut with a jigsaw, following the outline of the largest layer. So, I got the final size of the clock, which is 55 by 35 cm.
Step 2: Creating All the Layers With a Router.
Now, I can rout out all the layers with a router. I already shaped the first layer with the jigsaw, so, I’ll start with the second one. The thickness of the plywood is 21 mm, which means that I need to set the cutting depth of the router bit to 18 mm in order to get 3 mm high layer.
Removing 18 mm of the thickness was pretty slow, but doable.
To make the third layer, I set the cutting depth of the router bit to 15 mm. And so on until I got to the last layer.
While outing out the sixth layer, I made a change in the plan. I decided to make one more layer, and that way all the layers will have 3 mm height.
Now all 7 layers are 3 mm high. You can notice some imperfections and knots all over the surface, but I like how they give a character to the clock.
Step 3: Making Space for the Clock Mechanism.
After I found the center of the clock mechanism, I drilled a hole for the threaded shaft to pass through.
Then, I placed the clock mechanism on the back side to trace its outline. There, I made 18 mm deep opening with the router, and when I install the mechanism, it will stay flush with the surface.
But, before using the router, I enlarged the hole with a Forstner bit.
Step 4: Drawing and Engraving the Numbers.
Once I was done with the opening, I inserted the clock mechanism. Here, I wanted to use the clock hands to mark the points where the numbers will be created.
Then, I drew the numbers in an interesting order. Numbers 3, 6, 9 and 12 are larger than the other numbers.
Engraving the numbers was very easy and fast process. I took a Dremel rotary tool, installed the flexible shaft, set the appropriate engraving bit, and engraved all the numbers.
Step 5: Sanding the Surface of the Clock.
Next, I moved on to sanding. The top layer of the plywood face was much brighter than the rest of the layers, so I wanted to remove that part and get uniform color.
First, I took 80 grit sandpaper, and then continued with 180 until I got smooth surface.
You can notice that when I sanded down the first layer, a knot appeared below number 12. I didn’t like it in the beginning, but then I realized that it actually gives the clock a special touch.
Step 6: Adding Some Color to the Numbers.
To emphasize the numbers and make them more visible, I decided to darken them.
The first thing that came to my mind was wood burning. But, after doing some tests with my soldering iron, I realized that the tip of the iron doesn’t reach the appropriate temperature, and it doesn’t burn the wood. So, I needed to find another solution.
After a while, I figured out that the best way to darken the numbers is to simply color them with colored pencil. I chose the most suitable brown color, and colored all the numbers.
It turned out amazing. The numbers got nice, uniform brown color, and I think the goal here is achieved.
Step 7: Applying Finish to Protect the Wood.
I sprayed one coat of clear fast-drying polyurethane to protect the wood, and to keep its natural color at the same time.
Step 8: Attaching a D-Ring Hanger and Installing the Clock Mechanism.
The spray has dried, so I found the center on the back side, pre-drilled a hole, and attached a D-ring hanger.
After that I installed the clock mechanism, and placed the hands in order. First I placed the hour, than the minute, and finally the second hand.
Step 9: Mounting the Clock Onto the Wall.
This clock turned out pretty good.
Be sure to watch the video placed in the beginning of this Instructable for more details.
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