Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Large DIY Wood Clock from Fence Posts or Pallet Wood

I am so excited to finally be able to share my DIY clock with you all.  I have been working on the clock for the better part of the month - not that it took that long to make - it really didn't take long at all.  I was trying to find cheap DIY clock parts and that was a bit of a struggle.  The whole point of me making a large wooden clock myself was to keep costs down, but DIY clock kits combined with shipping can be kinda pricey.   All the details on where I found the cheapest clock hands and movement in a minute, but first let's get to how I made the clock.

I started with three fence posts (or are they fence panels?) that were just sitting in the back area of my basement.  Pallet wood would also work...or you can buy lumber at the hardware store, of course. 

You can see I also had a little helper....who helped me measure and cut all of my boards to 24".

Then I screwed one piece of narrow scrap wood right across the center of the back of the fence posts to keep them together.    (You'll add two more after you cut out the circle.)

Is it starting to look like a clock yet?  No? Yeah, I don't think so either...but don't worry....just go get a big round something.  I used my Christmas tree stand.  If you can't find anything you can always cut out a circle on a piece of paper and then trace it.

After I traced my circle on the face of the fence posts I used my jigsaw to cut around the circle.   Now, it's starting to look like a clock!

Now, go ahead and add two more supports on the back to keep your fence posts from moving around.

Next, I sanded down the edges before painting the face and edge of the clock.   I used white latex wall paint that I had on hand, but feel free to use whatever you want - even chalk paint or spray paint would work.

Once the paint was dry I distressed it a little and added the sure to measure carefully or you clock won't tell time properly.   Just measure to find the exact center and then line up the 3 and 9 and 6 and 12.  I debated about roman numerals, all 12 digits and just the four and ended up just going with the quarter hour numbers.   There are several ways to stencil the numbers on the clock face.  I simply printed the numbers out, cut them out to make a stencil, and traced around them.  You could also use the these different methods to transfer inkjet prints to the painted wood surface.

After the outlines were drawn on I used a black sharpie paint marker to 'color' them in.

This is how (and where) my clock sat for days...weeks...more than a I searched for cheap clock parts.  I needed a high torque movement (to power extra long hands) with an extra long shaft due to the thickness of the fence posts.  I also needed clock hands that were at least 9" since my clock was about 20" in diameter.  All the clock kits I could find were around $15-$20 plus shipping.  I came across KlocKit and noticed that if I signed up to get their catalog I would get a discount code.  More waiting...finally the catalog came and I was able to order the high torque movement for about $7.50 plus the clock hands for $2.00...and I got free shipping!  This was by far the cheapest deal on DIY clock parts that I found.

Once my clock parts arrived I used a paddle drill bit to drill a hole through the exact center of my clock face...

....then I just followed the directions that came with the kit to install the hands.

My clock wasn't keeping accurate time at first and I think it's because the clock face was just too thick - even for the extra long shaft.   I finally got it working just as I was about to chisel out the area where the movement sits in the back of the if you run into this problem just create a little bed for your clock movement to sit in so the shaft can sit further into the clock and extend further through the face.

Originally I was making this big wood clock to hang on outside on my patio, but when I put it on my mantle for a few pictures, I fell in love with it there.   I guess I'll have to make another to hang outside...

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