Picture of Nintendo Entertainment System Cartridge Clock
A while back my friend Carolyn Main made some NES cartridge clocks for friends for Christmas. They rocked.

The awesomeness of the NES Cartridge Clock must be spread all across the lands.

Now, you could go online and buy one... BUT:

1) We all know making your own is more fun than being a consumer whore
2) They take the easy way out and just drill a hole through the whole thing. Less elegant. You'll see.
3) They have limited game selection. Let's face it, Elevator Action just has no demand.
4) This way, you can support your local mom 'n' pop hobby store and/or yard sale.

Let's DO it.

Step 1: Hunting/Gathering Supplies

Picture of Hunting/Gathering Supplies
NES Clock 003_640x480.jpg
NES Clock 010_640x480.jpg
To begin our journey from solid state electronics to time machine, we will need some thingses.


(1x) Nintendo Entertainment System Game Cartridge of Choice
(1x) Clock Innards*
(1x) AA Battery
(?x) Spray Paints**
(1x) Drop-cloth, newspaper, painting surface, etc.
(2x) Smidges of Tacky Glue

*available inside most (all?) clocks or your local hobby store (Michael's et. al. if necessary). If you don't have a "12" of your own, you'll need one of those too.

**you will need as many colors as you want for the hands and/or numbers.


1) Tiny Screwdriver*
2) Power Drill & 5/16" Bit
3) Hot Knife**
4) Inky Pen
5) Needle Nose Pliers (preferable)***

*most likely flathead

**a rotary cutter would probably be preferable over the drill/hot knife combination. I just don't have one...

***you will need to tighten the clock components, so the smaller your grabby-grippy device is, the better.
thedigi3211 year ago

where would the best place to find cheap non working nes games at? and thanks for the tutorial

ninjaben112 years ago
a flat head wont open the case
Derek Vigil4 years ago
Is it possible to keep the electronics inside so you can play the game and have a cool clock at the same time?
yes it is possible. if you have the top loading nes and the game you open up has a smaller circuit board. some circuit boards on games only take up a fraction of the casing.
sadistkitti6 years ago
I made one for my boyfriend for Christmas. It's awesome. Thanks for the idea... and instructions! And yes, the hands are swords. (I'm so cool)
zelda clock.jpg
That's so awesome! haha that's great :) Nice idea about the Sword hands!
you're worse than BeamGolem defiling a Zelda cartridge like that at least it wasn't Battletoads
Iridium7 zitz6 years ago
I am probably gonna make one out of the jaws cartridge I have. It has the dreaded rainbow of LJN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That is sweet! I can't wait to make one for my brother!
BeanGolem (author)  sadistkitti6 years ago
Very nice. Love the swords. Were those custom-made?
I'm not that good haha. I custom-searched the hell out of the internet looking for them.
woweee14 years ago
Cool guide. I am making a Super Mario Bros clock.
woweee1 woweee14 years ago
Awesome guide.
Super Mario Bros. NES Clock.jpg
dylanlarson5 years ago
i found that if i used the nes 101 top loader i could play the game while the clock was still in it needless to say it looked awesome
patrick p f5 years ago
i might make this as a weekend project some time and put it in my locker. i will get a couple of looks from the few people who even know that the nes is the first system not the n64
Great idea, however five out of six games I have here have some kind of rivets holding them together so will have to drill those trough both halves of the case--loved the Zelda one...
RetroNeS6 years ago
I agree your way makes it a lot more hands on. But I disagree on center hole mount. As you can see the clock works allows for ease of hanging. It sticks out from the wall perfectly giving a nice 3-D effect. The back looks clean, the game intact and professional looking. The "12" does fit perfectly but the center mount doesn't distract from the art of the game. The reason why a person would do this. I think both ways are right based on the person's preference.
RetroNeS6 years ago
I did this project and was very happy with it. But I modified it to keep it looking clean. Instead of actually cutting into the game. I simply drilled in the center where the secure screw is at. And added my clock works. It is dead center and it looks great. Took me maybe twenty minutes. Thanks for the idea.
to get the correct tool to open the cart yahoo search or google newelectronx and gamebit 3.8mm. there are 2 types, so dont get the 4.5mm. the 3.8mm is for the cart. also avoid the ones on ebay unless you only plan to use it once or twice. those gamebits on ebay are worthless and only last about 2 times of use. the teeth on those gamebits are all chipped out. the ones from newelectronx are great quality and last a long time. have fun with this instuctable - i did - tick tock. haha lol
poor mario... the original was by far the best version of Super Mario Bros.
sadistkitti6 years ago
I'm pretty sure you forgot to mention you're gonna need a 3.8mm security bit and not just any old screw driver. I figured I had all the supplies to make a legend of zelda clock and I'm like "Ok let's open this baby up... those aren't screws..." Lame.
BeanGolem (author)  sadistkitti6 years ago
I guess it depends on when the game came out. They may have upped their security measures at some point.
goeon6 years ago
Random cat :-O
jnixon6 years ago
Wow, this is really great! I'm making these for Christmas!
Queenpooba6 years ago
This is the coolest idea I have many spare games I no longer use thanks for the great idea and the very in depth easy to read instructions love your kitty pics he is sooo very handsome
adome6 years ago
Cheers chap!!
compacho6 years ago
As cool as this is, I can't see myself looking at this for time. Guess I'm just used to digital time. Continue doing more NES projects :)
bumpus6 years ago
Very well done! I really outta get me some uf dem dur klockzz fur sum projekts Your pictures are pretty good, although when taking a close-up for your cat's debut, you might want to use the macro function on your camera. :D
BeanGolem (author)  bumpus6 years ago
haha. yeah. I was actually taking a photo of the cat and he moved closer while i was pressing the button, so I got the close-up sniff shot. heh.
dsman1952766 years ago
lol i love the reasons "Let's face it, Elevator Action just has no demand." cool, i would do this but i still play with my nes.