Introduction: Archery Face Clock

Picture of Archery Face Clock

In this instructable, I'm going to show you how to make a clock based on an archery face for a friend who likes archery or just to keep for yourself. It reuses a couple of objects from archery (a face and some fletchings). It's very simple, cheap and can be made in about 2 hours!

Step 1: Gather Stuff

Picture of Gather Stuff

Go and get your materials!

You will need:
1 Analogue Movement Clock unit
          You can get lots of fancy clock hands but I went for the simple ones
          about £0.25 - £2 depending on how many you buy

1 Small (28cm) Archery face
          £0 - I had one lying around
          You can find them quite cheaply here

Some arrow fletchings (the feathery bits)
          however many you want for your clock - I used 3
          £0 - I had some broken arrows lying around
          A dozen for about £1 - £2 here - bulk buy discounts again

A thin sheet of wood (about 3mm depending on how much your clock unit can take) on which to base your clock
          £0 - I had some cheap stuff lying around
          Root around in your garage - you'll be sure to find something in there if your garage is anything like ours!


Tools you will need:
   Drill
   Drill bits
   Miscellaneous scrap wood
   Craft/Stanley Knife
   Glue (PVA or wood)
   Clamps (G shape or springy clips)
   Nail
   Hammer
   Spanner (for clock mechanism) - get the right size

Step 2: Mark Your Wood

Picture of Mark Your Wood

This step is pretty self-explanatory.

You need to mark out a square of wood that's minutely smaller than your paper (or card) face. The piece of wood that I used had relatively rounded corners so I started from the most right-angled corner. That corner also happened to not be a perfect right angle but with a bit of sanding later on, it was fine.

Remember to use a T-square or similar implement to make sure that your lines are perpendicular to the edges (again, this was a bit off for me as the sides of my pieces of wood weren't too straight). Test fit the face - remember: Measure twice, cut once (or in my case measure once, try once, guesstimate again and try again)

Step 3: Cut Your Wood

Picture of Cut Your Wood

Again, another pretty self explanatory step that can be quite difficult and dangerous if messed up.

As usual, don't cut your fingers, or anything else that doesn't need cutting. I wouldn't recommend it. Blood doesn't mix well with workshop tools (especially not with power tools).

Cut a bit to the outside of your line. As the saw blade has a certain amount of thickness (about 2mm), if you cut dead along the middle of your line, you'll go 1mm into what you want to cut (this can be quite useful if you marked out an exact fit square for the face but want it a bit smaller for better clearance). I used a tenon saw - the jigsaw stayed in the cupboard. The low quality plywood I had lying around splintered quite badly on the bottom sheet and kept jamming the blade. I managed though. When you have your rough square, test fit again. Small bits will be sanded off in the next steps but major lumps can be removed now.

Step 4: Sanding

Picture of Sanding

Get some sandpaper - I used medium grit but depending on the level of sanding your wood needs, you might want to choose something else. I have no idea what exact grit it was.

Clean up any splinters with the sandpaper and then work around the edges, smoothing them so they're less sharp and gritty. You can also slightly round the corners if you wish, which makes it a bit smoother to the touch.

There's an eHow page here about sanding wood that might help if you're totally clueless.

Step 5: Glueing

Picture of Glueing

Now it's time to stick the face onto the board you cut. A wood glue or PVA should work fine. I used whatever I could find in the cupboard. Apply the glue evenly but thinly with whatever implement you wish. You don't want too little, because it's going to peel but too much with saturate the paper and ruin the face. Place the face glue side up onto a flat surface. Place the wooden sheet on top of it (because it's probably smaller, this way round is easier). Put a sheet of scrap on top and weight it down to make sure that the face doesn't curl. As the temperature was in the mid 30s (celsius) here, I put it outside in the sun. After about 10-15 minutes, the glue had set.

Step 6: Drilling the Face

Picture of Drilling the Face

You now need to drill a hole in the face for the clock spoke and hands to poke through. My mechanism needed a hole of 8mm. I think that's standard size.

Get your drill. Find a drill bit of the correct size. I used a woodworking bit (for obvious reasons). Use a nail or other sharp implement to make a starter hole straight on the centre mark. A hammer is useful for this.

Once you have a small starter hole, drill away with the drill bit of your choice. The paper face may come up a bit but you can clean that up later. If you're really worried, you can sandwich it between another layer of scrap (make sure you know where to drill) to reduce the amount of paper ripped up. A stanley knife or craft knife is useful.

Step 7: Embellishing

Picture of Embellishing

Grab your broken arrows (or bought fletchings).

If you have broken arrows, you'll need to get the fletchings off. Carefully use a craft knife to remove any visible blobs of glue and then slowly slice / prise the fletchings off. A paint scraper / spatula can also be useful for this step. Be careful not to lift up the wood of the arrow as well as it's really difficult to get off. As the arrows I used were quite old, they had real feather fletchings. More modern ones are usually made of plastic. 

If you've bought fletchings, you've just saved yourself a bit of trouble. Decide how you want to stick them on. I used 3 of them at 9, 12 and 3 o'clock. The 6 on the archery face was conveniently placed where 6 o'clock was going to be!

After a dig about again, I found a suitable glue. Again, PVA would probably have been adequate or even the wood glue from earlier but I needed something with a relatively small nozzle to apply the glue.

Some fletchings have a big base where they're glued on to the arrow. You may need to dissect them to make them glue-down-able. Mine were ok on one edge but not the other so I glued them down with the good side down.

Step 8: Installing the Clock Mechanism

Picture of Installing the Clock Mechanism

Most modern clock mechanism units seem to be built to the same specification. All the ones I've used have been 55x55x15mm, with an 8mm screw piece in the middle sticking through the face onto which the hands are mounted. The order in which the pieces go on also appears to be uniform.

The order is: (from bottom to top)

- Clock mechanism
- Hanging bracket (if there isn't one built into the mechanism)
- Rubber washer
- Clock face
- Metal washer
- Metal nut
- Hour hand
- Minute hand
- Second hand

The rubber washer supplied with my unit was a bit deformed. I had to find another one from those I had around. Again, the nut wasn't great - it didn't appear to be a uniform size but I managed in the end.

When putting the hands on, it's important to remember to straighten them before you put them on as they can be very difficult to get off. They need quite a bit of force to push them on properly. Start with the hour hand, then the minute and then the second hand (you guessed it!). When you put them on, it's best to have them at 12 o'clock as this means that the hands will align properly all the way around the clock later.

Step 9: Mounting on the Wall

Picture of Mounting on the Wall

In order to mount your clock on the wall, you need some sort of object sticking out from the wall from which you can suspend your clock. A screw (or nail) is the best sort of object for this purpose. This is pretty self-explnatory for anyone who has ever put anything on the wall but here's how I did it anyway:

Stone Wall
Drill a pilot hole and then fill it with a rawlplug before screwing in a screw. When drilling into a stone wall, it's best to have your drill in the hammer setting. Stone is slow to drill but you'll get there eventually!


You can skip this step if you're going to give it or if you're going to use it as a shelf/table clock.

Getting the clock to hang correctly may take a bit of trial and error but once it's done, it looks great!

Step 10: You're Done!

Picture of You're Done!

Now you've finished, you can step back and admire your handiwork!


Update 1 year on:
- The clock still still works!
- The spiders in the garage seem to like to use the clock as an anchor point when making their webs when we're not around. You could consider this when deciding where to place the clock.
- The hands do get a bit bashed about and a little bent when having to take the clock down to change between standard and daylight-saving time or when replacing a battery.
- I have a small 1.2v solar panel lying about. The clock requires a 1.5v AA battery but if I get it to work with the solar panel, I'll post some more pictures!

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Bio: I'm a teenager in England who likes to do all things creative. I love tinkering with electronics and I happen to be one of ... More »
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