Introduction: 3 Ways to Make a Superman Clock
Second Prize in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016
In this write up I show how to make a Superman logo clock using three different ways. One method is a very easy and the others are slightly harder. These are going to be Christmas presents and figured I would take the opportunity to show different methods to getting similar results using different tools.
Here is the link to the build video:
First step was to find a Superman logo online and print it out. I printed it out on 4 pages so that it would be roughly 10-1/2 inches tall this is going to be the template for the clocks. Most printers can enlarge prints by adjusting the "poster" or "tiling" setting. Each one is different but most of them list this under the Options menu or Advanced Properties menu. For a set of detailed instructions on how to enlarge a picture and print it out using Microsoft's Paint program check out Step 1 of this other Instructable I wrote.
So back to the Instructable once I printed out the 4 sheets I taped the four pages together. Then using a utility knife and my cutting board I cut out the shape of the Superman emblem.
Next I took the template and taped it on to the wood I would be using, in this case it was some scrap 1 inch x12 inch pine. Next trace the template on to the wood.
For this step make sure to secure your work piece to your work surface, I used a couple of bar clamps. I used a hand saw to cut out the shape of the Superman emblem on this first clock.
Or alternatively you could use a jigsaw to cut out the shape of the Superman emblem. That's what I used for this second clock.
Yet another option would be to use a circular saw to cut out the shape. That's what I used for the third clock.
Here is a picture of all three clock blanks ready to move on to the next step.
Using my utility knife I cut out all of the yellow pieces of the Superman emblem.
Next I secure the template on to the wood with some blue painters tape and trace the emblem on to two of the blanks. The third blank will get a different treatment that I will cover later.
With my utility knife I score all of the pencil lines. Pine is relatively soft so making a good cut in the wood isn't very difficult. This will serve as a guide for carving out the background portions (the yellow sections) of the emblem.
Let me start by saying I am not a wood carve but I thought I would give this a try to see how difficult it would be. It wasn't too hard I just had to get used to gauging the depth consistently on all the different sections of the emblem. The first picture shows the wood carving tools that I bought from Harbor Freight along time ago. Its been a long time since I used them. They have a larger set now that sells for about $10. I use the utility knife to carve out the perimeter and the chisel to carve out the meat of the material.
The first picture shows the emblem after completing the rough carving. Next I move on to sanding starting with 150 grit and sanding up to 220 grit.
I got a little ahead of myself here. I wanted to see how the clock mechanism would look so I marked the center of the emblem and drilled a hole. I bought the clock works from Amazon and made sure to buy one that had a shaft that was 3/4 inches long so that it would be long enough to go through the thickness of the wood. This worked for most of the blanks I made; I'll talk more about what to do if your clock shaft is too short in a later step.
On the second clock blank I repeated the process of tracing the logo on to the wood and then using my utility knife I scored all of the pencil lines. This time though I cut out a groove around all of the perimeter following the pencil lines. You can see the effect I was after in the second pic it leaves a sort of "V" shaped groove.
Instead of using chisels I used a trim router to remove most of the material. I bought this trim router for $20 at, yup you guessed it, Harbor Freight. I already had the 1/4 inch straight cut router bit. The grooves I carved serve as the perimeter or rather my boundary for the trim router. As I routed out the material I made sure not to go passed that "V" groove. At times I noticed that it was hard to see some of the sections tat needed routing so I shaded them in with a pencil, which made them more visible. Needless to say the trim router makes quick work of removing the wood.
The first picture shows the aftermath of the rough cut with the trim router. There is some clean up left to do with the a chisel and the utility blade but not a whole lot, this goes fairly quickly since most of the material has been removed.
As always more sanding again starting at 150 up to 220 grit. The last pic shows the piece after sanding.
The next process is by far the simplest. There is no carving but will yield a similar result. I bought this 12 inch by 48 inch iron on veneer several years ago for a project and had a lot left over so I decided to use it for this project instead.
Using the same template as before, I tape it down and trace the design on to the veneer with a pencil. When you trace the design on to the veneer add a little extra space about 1/8 of an inch all around the perimeter so that you have some room for any errors when you apply the veneer. I didn't do this but got lucky when I adhere it to the wood blank.
I use my utility knife to cut out the shape.
Then following the instructions on the veneer box I iron on the symbol on to the clock blank. I use a hard straight piece of wood to press down on the veneer and smooth out any air bubbles. Using my utility knife I remove the excess veneer.
And of course more sanding. I used the belt sander for the edges and hand sanded the veneer. It's already pretty smooth out of the box so just a light sanding with 220 grit will do.
Here are all three emblems ready for paint. They have been sanded up to 220 grit and wiped clean. I don't have a picture of it but I drilled the holes for the other two blanks as well. I found the center of each emblem and used a brad point drill bit to make the hole. Make sure the hole is large enough for the clock works shaft to fit through but not so big that its loose in the hole.
Earlier I mentioned the length of the shaft when purchasing the clock works. This piece of wood was a little thicker than the rest so I had to remove some of the material from the back so that the shaft would have enough exposed thread to attach the nut to it. I traced the shape of the clock on to the back of the emblem and then used my trim router to remove the necessary material. You can see in the last pic the shaft is now long enough for the nut to screw on to it.
Time to move on to paint. I used spray paint for all the colors. I first sprayed the front and backs with black spray paint to act as a base coat. Once it was dry I lightly sanded the surface with 400 grit sandpaper and wiped away any residual dust.
I didn't mask anything off here I just tried to concentrate the yellow paint on the areas that are supposed to be yellow.
Once the yellow paint was dry I used some blue painters tape to cover the yellow areas and trimmed the excess tape with my utility knife. The second pic shows what the masked off yellow portions look like.
Next I sprayed about three coats of red spray paint. I had to do multiple coats because the yellow paint was still visible after the first coat. So I applied a couple of more coats until it was an even red color. Once the paint was dry I removed the masking.
Here is a shot of each of three finished clocks. The first one is the hand carved one, the second one is the trim router one and the last one is the veneer. I hope you all find this helpful and perhaps give one of these methods a try. Thanks for reading this and comments are always welcomed and appreciated.
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.