Instructables
Picture of Dr. Who Inspired Desk Clock
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I've done quite a few clock related instructables lately and I find that when I'm working on one clock I get an idea for another one (at this rate I'll have a home full of clocks).  So the latest idea I had was to make a back lit desk clock.  The idea was incubating for a while and I guess while watching an episode of Dr. Who I decided to that I wanted to use Gallifreyan text (because it looks so cool).  I needed a container of sorts to hold the clock and came across a small treasure box at the dollar store.  I put the clock face in the lid and and put some random bits of junk in the base (much like what you would find in the Tardis console). 

Just so we are clear this is not meant to be a replica of anything on the show itself.
 
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Step 1: What you will need

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Materials:
  • Small clock (I found mine at a dollar store)
  • Box or container to hold you clock (I found a little treasure chest at a dollar store)
  • Transparency sheets colour printer
  • Clockpanel.pdf file
  • White LED Christmas lights -preferably battery powered
  • Shiny paper or foil
  • Drinking straw, clear vinyl tube and jewelry headpin (the straw must be able to fit into the vinyl tube -you could use a larger straw instead of the vinyl tube)
  • Cardboard
  • Random assortment of bits and do-dads to place on the bottom control panel
Tools:
  • colour printer
  • Scissors
  • Glue (I use Super glue and Removable Glue Dots)
  • Needle nose pliers

Step 2: Print and cut out panel

Picture of Print and cut out panel
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I designed the clock panel using bits of images that I found on google for the two symbols on the side and on the second hand.  The image on the second hand is from the Master's fob watch (it was hard to find the original source of those images to give proper credit, I believe they came from the BBC) .  The symbols for the hour hand, minute hand, twelve, three, six and nine are translations of those words from Loren Sherman's Gallifreyan Translator program.
  • Print out the clockpanel.pdf file on a transparency sheet.
  • Cut out each of the pieces.
  • Don't cut out the inside of the circles yet.
  • Cut a hole in the centre of the clock panel circle large enough to fit the vinyl tube through.

Step 3: Prepare hands: hour

  • First of all you need to take apart the clock so that you have the clock mechanism and the hour and minute hand (the rest we don't need).
  • I wanted to have space between the clock mechanism and the clock hands so I used the straw, vinyl tube and head pin to create some distance, it is important that the straw fits in the vinyl tube and can move freely.
  • Take the hour hand and place it on a square of cardboard, place the vinyl tube over it and cut the hand so that it fits within the tube.
  • Glue the hour hand to the cardboard and glue the end of the vinyl tube over it (make sure it is centred over the hand).
  • Once the glue has dried, trim the cardboard around the tube.
  • Take the larger circle (this is the hour hand, of course if you were fluent in Gallifreyan you would already know that) and cut a hole in the centre large enough for the straw to pass through.
  • Measure an cut the length of the vinyl tube that you will need by placing the clock mechanism on the back of the chest lid and the clock panel on.  (The hour hand should be flush with the face of the clock panel).
  • Glue the vinyl tube to the hour hand circle.

Step 4: Prepare hands: minute

  • Take the minute hand and place it on a square of cardboard, place the straw over it and cut the hand so that it fits within the straw.
  • Glue the minute hand to the cardboard and glue the end of the straw over it (make sure it is centred over the hand).
  • Once the glue has dried, trim the cardboard around the straw.
  • Take the middle sized circle (this is the minute hand) and poke a hole in the centre large enough for the head pin to pass through.
  • Measure an cut the length of the straw that you will need by placing the clock mechanism on the back of the chest lid and the clock panel on.  (The hand should be flush with the face of the clock panel). Add about half a centimetre to the length so you can fold the edges back to make it easier to glue.
  • Cut several half centimetre long slits in the end of the straw, fold the edges back and glue the straw to the minuter hand circle.

Step 5: Prepare hands: second

  • Poke a hole in the centre of the second hand circle.
  • Paint the head of the pin black so that it blends in.
  • Measure and cut the length of the pin that you will need by placing the clock mechanism on the back of the chest lid and the clock panel on.  (The hand should be flush with the face of the clock panel).

Step 7: Control panel

I place a piece of cardboard into the bottom of the chest, glued some crinkled foil and the keyboard sheet over it. Then I arranged the other random bits and glue them on.  I cut a hole in the panel for the on/off switch and a slot for the wire for the lights. The control panel can be easily removed to replace the batteries.

Step 8: Lights

The battery pack and switch for the lights are housed in the base of the chest.  I ran them through the coil of the door stop into the clock panel.  I left one light on the base side of the chest and used it to light up the on/off switch.  The light switch consists of a small metal tube with a bead on the end which is lit up with one of the LEDs and glued onto the sliding switch of the battery pack.

To finish up:
  • Arrange the lights in the lid of the chest. 
  • Place the control panel and attach with removable glue dots so that you can access the clock easily if needed.
  • Place the hands on the clock.
  • Turn on the lights.
A few final thought:

I have to say I am a bit disappointed by the amount of light produces, with the room lights off it is bright enough but during the day it is hard to read the time.  I will have to find another brighter source for a back light. 

Also I'm not to sure about the control panel, when I showed a friend he said it was not something you would want to take through airport security (that is not quite what I was going for).  I had considered using a one litre ice cream container instead, perhaps next time. . .

I included a pdf of the clock panel if you want to make this yourself, though it is probably only useful if you use the same size container to hold it, alternately you can modify the image to adjust the size to your liking.
Advar9 months ago
My fez off to you, Sir! Very nice and well exceuted idea. :)
ChrysN (author)  Advar9 months ago
Thanks!
You inspired my daughter to make her own & I have an old 1940's radio that is just gathering dust that will be perfect. Thank you.
fraz752 years ago
It looks like a magic suitcase or something. Maybe a tech sci-fi! Cool!
tbh-11382 years ago
I guess you could call this... *puts on shades*
Clocktor Who.
ChrysN (author)  tbh-11382 years ago
Good one!
rkeyzer2 years ago
Now make one that looks like a timey whimey thing
NateHoy rkeyzer2 years ago
I tried that. It was all wibbly-wobbly and ended up being ball-shaped. :)
wow this is great!
ChrysN (author)  Dusk Shadows2 years ago
Thanks!
it o.k u deserve it=)
techxpert2 years ago
congratulations thats the fanciest backlit clock i've ever seen keep up the good work :)