Instructables
Picture of Clock Cabinet
Finished Product.JPG
I've been interested in books for as long as I can remember. I just recently began to look into clocks and how they function with all their various p arts and gadgets. After a ton of research and studying other peoples clock projects (and also disassembling many clocks around my house ), I finally discovered many of their fascinating secrets. I then decided to create some of my own functional artwork from the information I had gained. And what better way to show off my creativity and brains than creating an instructable for everyone to share in the fun?
While beginning to write these instructions I came to the conclusion that not everyone has top of the line tools or every single machine and tool out there (myself being one of these people), so in many of the steps I will include alternate tools that can be used to create this project, as well as useful tips that I discovered along the way.

Take into consideration that having friends with their own tools can be a big help too. I didn't have many tools or the space to work in really, but I was conveniently allowed to take over my friends work space

Please Take note that this has potential to be a lengthy project ( or maybe it just seems that way because i created it?) but even so it is a very doable one that will bring great satisfaction and enjoyment at the end.

I had to deal with little children and annoying cats through much of it's creation. So i wish you luck in avoiding distractions

 
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Step 1: Gathering Materials Needed

Picture of Gathering Materials Needed
-Google Sketchup http://sketchup.google.com/
-Plenty of workspace (helps to be clean)
-Over needed amount of lighting (the brighter the better!)
-Sketchup files

Hand tools needed-

-Pencil
-Sharpie
-Eraser
-Cheap not-so-great-sticking tape (no, its not a joke)
-Tape Measure
-Ruler (preferably metal edged)
-Square
-Exacto Knife (a couple extra blades helps)
-Wood glue
-Spray-On Adhesive (Or Elmers Glue, Spray-On works better)
-Acrylic paint (red pops out well)
-Rubber Mallet
-Small Point Punch
-Stain Rags

Power Tools Needed-
-Drill
-Jigsaw (Or Radial Arm Saw, cuts more accurately)
-Sander/s (mouse sander for large surface smoothing, Belt sander for evening out edges)
-Table Scroll Saw
-Dremel Tool (Or short dowels with sand paper glued around them)
-Router Table

Raw Materials Needed-

-One 2x4x6
-Five 1x2x 6
-One 1x4x 6
-Two 1x12x6
-Two 1x10x6
-luon board (for back)
-Four 3/8, 4 dowels
-One , 4 dowel
-Stain of your choice (multiple colors if you want)
-Clear Coat
-Chain (8 feet should do)
-Hinges

Step 2: An explanation of things

13. Side to Side 1.JPG
15. Side to Side 3.JPG
**BE SURE TO READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY, IT CONTAINS METHODS FOR MEASURING. LOOK AT ALL PICTURES!!!! THEY HAVE EXPLANATIONS IN THEM FOR STEPS!!!!**

-The first three pictures explain how i measured out the dowel spacing throughout the entire project. Basically I measured out one piece, putting marks at even intervals, then by placing one board next to the board it will be joined to, I could then mark the holes evenly with each other. By doing this it cuts measuring time in half. Use your best judgement when deciding

The only thing to watch for is cracks between joined pieces.

-In the fourth picture a 3/8ths dowel is measured at each inch interval then cut at each. you'll cut up two 4 ft dowels

-Once ready to secure the dowels, roll them in glue on wax paper and put into place, also coat surface to be joined with glue

-The last two pictures explain how to mark positions for holes, using the paint and inserted dowels, place a dab of paint on the end of the inserted dowel, then holding the piece in front of it's final position, puck the two pieces together. After pulling them away from each other your hole positions should be marked.

If you find out you misplaced a hole you drilled, you can simply take a dowel and push it into the hole, then mark with a pencil the depth to which it went in, then trim that piece off and glue it into the misplaced hole.

Step 3: Cutting Out the Legs

One: Mark out the feet on a 2x4 ~pictures 1-3

Two: place a board under your 2x4 to allow for clearance of blade. Then using your jig saw,cut out horizontal lines and sides ~picture 4

Three: Remove leg from board ~pictures 5-6

Four: Cut notches in sides

Five: Using radial arm saw, or hand saw, cut out notches where the front boards and back will rest following the Sketchup reference pictures ~pictures 7-8

Step 4: Cut Out Boards

Picture of Cut Out Boards
Door.JPG
Cut out your boards using the Cabinet sides picture and Cabinet Door picture. (Be sure to follow notes in pictures)

The dowel holes I made are shown in the picture are shown in the pictures.
I recommend putting two or more in a board with even spacing, the larger the piece, the more dowels you put in it. try and put the dowels an inch or more from the edges when possible.
There aren't any specific positions for them I just used what looked like it would work best.

Use these pictures as references throughout the project (printing them out works well, then you don't have to keep switching between files)

Step 5: Assembling Cabinet Base

Begin by marking out base boards (pieces in reference Cabinet Sides- 1a, 2c, 3c, 4d)
Do this by place all the pieces along their appropriate sides, and make sure that legs are in the right places (a's to the front, b's to the back)

Second:Mark out and double check hole positions

Third: mark hole positions with paint method, then using your point punch and rubber mallet, mark centers of hole positions (this will give your drill tip a place to begin and keep it from sliding)

Fourth: drill holes making sure they go straight(I used a slightly larger bit to give the dowels a little more freedom for adjusting. the bit size was 21/64ths)

Fifth: place dowels in holes that were cut from step 2 dry, put pieces together to make sure they all fit correctly

Sixth: glue ONLY LEGS to the base. be sure that all edges are even or as close as possible to it.

Seventh: Clamp down legs and let dry

Lastly: Measure all legs and finding the shortest, mark off all other legs at this length, using a belt sander or similar, sand off legs equally (this step is important if you don't like wobbly cabinets!!!)

Step 6: Glue Sides Together

Picture of Glue Sides Together
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34. Mark shelf holes and use point punch to indent starts.JPG
(Pieces to used in this step from Cabinet Sides Reference: Right Side-2a, 2b, 2c; Left Side-3a, 3b, 3c)

-Measure out holes for sides and drill them using point punch and reference pictures

-Place dowels and check the fit

-Using the router table to cut a grove, put in a 1/4 inch bit, check the height of your router bit, then placing your ruler flat on the table and against bit, measure out the distance from guide to the bit, and distance from guide to table edge. Then measure out distance from guide to edge of table on both sides of table (pictures 1-3)

-use on center piece, and only cut grove 1/4 inch into ends(this is to allow for false back corners)

-After cutting groves, glue and clamp down, making sure that pieces are not bent while gluing

-Also cut grove in reference picture and drill appropriate holes for top board (1b)

-Cut out Luon, one piece 16 3/4" x 48 1/2", second piece 51 1/4" x 18"

-Begin measuring out holes for door

Step 7: Assemble Cabinet Frame

First: Measure out holes, mark and dril
Check fit of pieces before gluing

Second: Place side flat on floor, Insert base and false back board

Third: insert top board

Fourth: insert side board

Fifth: Carefully stand up and clamp together making sure edges are squeezed together well

Step 8: Assemble Door

Picture of Assemble Door
43.Using square check that corners are straight and even, clamps can be tightened to twist door.JPG
67.without glass.JPG
68.with glass.JPG
69.Door.JPG
Measure out pieces and drill holes

Check assembly dry

Glue and clamp pieces together, using square to check the sides and make sure they are even. If sides aren't even, the clamp can be adjusted individually to twist the door frame

Lastly place center divides ( without glass, divides can just be cut in half. with glass divides can be cut into three pieces, removing the width of the glass)

Step 9: Make Templates

Using Google Sketchup, open gears file provided in step one.

Set the following things in the pop down menus:

Camera- Parallel Projection
Camera- Standard Views- Front
View- Face Style- Wireframe

Next select print

In the print menu set the following

-Uncheck Fit To Page Box
-Check Use Model Extents Box
In the printout to 1 inch
In Sketchup to 1 inch

Click ok

Next trim the edges of the printed templates and tape together with tape making sure all points match up. It helps to use a tape that doesn't stick well as it can be pulled off and moved around multiple times.

Next trim out each gear leaving a small amout of excess

Now using The spray on adhesive or watered down Elmers glue, coat the boards you will be using to cut out your gears.

Making sure to avoid knots place your gear templates one at a time ( if using Elmers glue, using a ruler, slide across template to evenly apply to board)

Step 10: Cutting out gears

**MAKE SURE YOU PAY ATTENTION TO THE CENTER HOLES AS SOME HAVE X'S AND SOME HAVE ONLY LINES. X'S YOU CUT ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE CIRCLE, LINES YOU CUT ON THE INSIDE. THIS IS BECAUSE SOME GEARS MOVE FREELY WHILE OTHERS ARE ATTACHED TO SHAFTS***

Use your scroll saw to cut out gears

One: Cut outer circle of gear at the tips of teeth (picture 1)

Two: Make cut one stopping at base of tooth then pulling back out of cut (Picture 2)

Three: Make cut two by going to base of tooth then carefully turning gear and removing the section when you reach the end of cut one (pictures 3-5)

Four: When finished cutting out all the teeth drill holes in center and between spokes to place scroll saw blade

Five: Use your router to smooth out the spokes of the gears on both sides

Step 11: Clock face

***MAKE SURE YOU PAY ATTENTION TO CIRCLES AS SOME HAVE X'S WHILE OTHERS HAVE ONLY LINES. THIS IS BECAUSE SOME HAVE MOVING PARTS AN MUST BE WIDER THAN THE DOWEL THAT IS IN THEM WHILE OTHERS HAVE SOLID PIECES. X'S ARE TO BE CUT OUTSIDE OF THE CIRCLE WHILE LINES ARE CUT INSIDE***

First: Print out templates titled Random bits using setup steps from step 10
Make sure you place templates so the longer portions go with the grain of the wood

Second: After cutting out pieces, begin assembling the bottom of the clock face starting with the supports and two circle pieces, glue pieces like shown in picture 1

Third: Next, place the circle over over a ruler lining up the supports against it, then glue circle piece together

Fourth: After glue dries take Board 4a and over lap the circle as you did with the ruler in the center and draw the curve. Then cut out curve that clock face bottom rests on

Fifth: Next continue to glue the remainder of the face pieces together starting with the circle pieces

Sixth: adjust straight supports by sanding down in small amounts until all four pieces fit snug then glue

Step 12: Assemble Front Of Cabinet

Mark, drill and check fit of front pieces (pieces in Cabinet sides diagram 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d)

Place dowels and glue in place then clamp down

After front has dried, place clock face, glue and clamp down

Step 13: Begin Placing Clock Gears

Using Sketchup open the clock cabinet file in step one.

Using the the orbit tool you can look to see where pieces are positioned by rotating around the model (sketchup can be tricky when you first start out using it so play around with it a bit and get a feel for it)

The green numbers are the gears, you can see which gears are connected to each other by clicking the select tool then clicking on a gear(gears are also labeled as a and b meaning that there are two gears on the shaft, or just a number meaning it's only one gear on an axis). Sketchup will then highlight that gear and the gears in which they are connected to. Use this feature to help you understand the placement of the gears.

The red letters represent mounting posts. If two mounting posts are labeled the same they are identical

The yellow numbers represent all the other clock pieces (ex: pendulum, chain wheels, etc.)

The gears aren't placed at any specific distance from one another, they are at about one inch apart.

Cut the shafts out of 3/8ths, these are not any specific length either

First: Begin with the minute gear set (1a, 1b)

Using the 3/4ths dowel begin drill a hole(picture1)

Since the dowel will get hot when you drill it you should clamp it down and drill the center out. this will make a hollow shaft about 3 and a half inches long. these pieces will go over the hour hand shaft. (picture 2)

Second: Cut a 2 inch piece of the hollow shaft and glue to one side of gear 1a, cut a 1 inch piece of the hollow shaft and glue to the other side of gear 1a. glue gear 1b to the 1 inch shaft

Third: using Sketchup place the remainder of the gears on their shafts and posts, BUT DO NOT GLUE DOWN!!!!

Gears should mesh well. Some adjusting will be required as some teeth may stick. to do this use a piece of sand paper and sand the sides of the teeth NOT THE TOPS. After you have the positions of the gears set check to make sure none of the parts get stuck on on shafts or posts.

Fourth: trace post bases with a pencil and remove them, draw dowel marks and begin drilling holes.

Lastly:

Step 14: Begin Staining

Picture of Begin Staining
79..JPG
***DO NOT STAIN TOP OF CABINET!!! YOU WILL REMOVE YOUR MARKS OR MAKE THEM NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE!!!!****

First: Stain the cabinet body and door with your preferred color scheme.

Second: Stain your gears and shafts (use as little stain as possible on shafts as it will make them fit tighter the more you put on)

Step 15: Reposition Clock Parts and Attach

Picture of Reposition Clock Parts and Attach
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Use Hollow dowels as gear holders. These must be place on two sides of a post so that the gears do not slide out of mesh.

Using the marks you drew before you stained reposition gears and DOUBLE CHECK THAT ALL GEARS MESH WELL AND NO OTHER PARTS INTERFERE WITH THEIR ROTATION BEFORE GLUING!!!

After you are absolutely sure that your gears move freely begin gluing posts

Follow the Pictures below and use sketchup for tips

Step 16: Place Pendulum and Weights

The pendulum is made by cutting out two 3" x 1" , and two 1"x10 inch pieces and gluing together as shown in the pictures. After the pendulum dries, the weight can be moved up and down the shaft to adjust the time. it can be held in place by wedging a thin piece of wood in between the dowel and weight. Raise the weight to shorten the swing, lower the weight to lengthen the swing

The weights are two boards, one 2"x 10" and the other 2" x 5".

When measuring the length of the chain, the bottoms of the weights should come half way between the height of the cabinet.

Step 17: THE FINISHING TOUCHES!!!

Attach your door, hinges, Adjust your pendulum by checking with a digital clock, attach the back of your cabinet with small 1/4 inch screws around edge (can be taken back off to adjust time. and finish staining top of cabinet and back.
Make your clock hands, the hollow shaft is the Minute gear and the smaller is the hour. Be creative with your hands! they are your finishing touch!!!


AND YOU ARE FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

now celebrate and sleep for five days
Topcat20213 years ago
You have made a very nice clock, my compliments on your hard work and attention to detail. I have one unrelated question though in some of your pictures I noticed some to the wood clamps used were made from Uni-strut, where can I find the kits (or plans if homemade) for such clamps as they would be far superior to the average "pipe" clamps for long reach clamping. Thank You very much for your help and keep up the good work Dan
blkhawk4 years ago
Have you considered making gears of metal like aluminum?
rftran5 years ago
After you get the parts cut out, how do you peel the paper off if it is glued on? I"m working out my plans on making this project. I appriciate all the sketchup files BTW. Those are a ton of help
 Hi Rftran

I just used a hairdryer and the work well.
traeman20005 years ago
Truly Fascinating! Sry, get to excited. Very Nice.
KEUrban5 years ago
Congratulations on becoming a finalist in the Craftsman Workshop of the Future contest! Good luck!
dncngthrghsunday (author)  KEUrban5 years ago
Haha Thanks! I'm definitely excited!!!
chrisrocks5 years ago
I've never seen anything this amazingly cool!its like a grandfather cabinet!It should be in #1
Sandisk1duo5 years ago
Very well detailed, and a very nice product!
foobear5 years ago
magnificent! does it actually work? I want to make a metric clock that tells time in metric time, e.g. 100 minutes to an hour, etc. Don't have any idea what the gear ratio would be. a procrastinator's dream!
dncngthrghsunday (author)  foobear5 years ago
Yes it actually works. They take a bit of fine tuning though, being made of wood and all. but that's the beauty of them I think. Not many people are willing to put time into anything anymore, they just want everything done quick... and that way usually doesn't work. The gear ratios are simpler then they appear, if you just stick to the same number groups, 10, 30, 60(all factors of tens). I suggest steering away from switching the numbers to all different groups ( you can end up with half minutes, 10ths of minutes, it just gets confusing that way haha). If you need any help with it I'll be glad to give you some :)
fultron895 years ago
Nice. Stick with watchmaking-don't become a nuclear physicist just because your father wants you to...
omnibot5 years ago
Cool clock and amazing ible .. the most complete clock-project I've seen. Great work.
jeff-o5 years ago
One way to avoid knots, and make cutting the gears far more pleasant in general, is to use some high quality baltic birch plywood instead of solid wood.
iamthemovie5 years ago
Nice clock. ( :
Toasterbot5 years ago
THIS CLOCK IS THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey, this is pretty cool. Very steampunk-ish. I'm giving you a vote.
Great use of sketchup!
gmjhowe5 years ago
Nice work, the final thing looks great. I love the cogs on the top.
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