spiral clock hands

I want to make a desk clock as a small project for myself.

What I am looking to create is a slim clock with a spiral hour hand. The time would be told by graduated marks on the back-plate i.e. as the hour hand turns, the spiral increases and the correct hour is reached by the spiral, hard to explain, can't upload a photo as instructable server maintenance is under-way, hopefully I'll be able to upload the brief sketch I did in paint which might help!!

What I am looking for is suggestions on a material which could be used for the hand, it needs to be thin so as to make it as easy as possible to tell the time and also strong enough not to distort under its own weight.

Haven't decided whether it's going to be a normally incrementing spiral or a Fibonacci spiral (or similar logarithmic spiral)

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Kiteman3 years ago

From the Daily Mail, several weeks ago:

johnnie98765 (author)  Kiteman3 years ago

I actually saw similar to what I want to make on a street stall. I don't read the newspaper so I'd not seen this one. I was going to split the hours between above and below the centre I.e. 1 o clock to 6 o clock above and 7 to 12

You could print out an actual nautilus shell onto the acetate, and use that.

Or you could be really cool and use a slice of a real nautilus shell:



Kiteman Kiteman3 years ago

(If you click it, it moves)

iceng3 years ago

How about a plex circle with your curve painted or etched in and an led to make it glow on your marks.

Kiteman iceng3 years ago


Just what I was thinking, except "acetate sheet" as the material. A full disc could have its edges hidden behind the frame of the clock.

iceng Kiteman3 years ago

Did you choose "acetate sheet" because it can be thinner ?

Kiteman iceng3 years ago


Overhead projector sheets can be photocopied onto, or printed onto with a laser printer (read the instructions on the packet!).

How big do you want it. I say find a spring in the size you want to help ensure a consistant spiral.

johnnie98765 (author)  mpilchfamily3 years ago

able to upload the sketch now.

It'd probably be a diameter of about 6 inches, maybe a little more. probably only one and a half revs as in pic so only one part of the spiral overlaps the numbers


Now that is an interesting idea. I think a wire coat hanger would do the trick nicely. If you think thicker will be better you can hit your local Home Depot or Lows. Get some copper tubing you can easily form to the spiral of your choice.


Then you can either keep it shinny or have it weathered and patina for a nice rustic or steam punk look.