Introduction: Socially Confused Clock

Picture of Socially Confused Clock

I was trying to make something not totally steampunk, but "gear inspired", so I decided to take apart a cheap alarm clock, and make it look different. I also wanted everything to move. I realized that I could make the hours move around the clock, instead of the hour hand pointing to them. And so it was done. I also enjoy weird timepieces. Ones that you have to decode in order to read. This one is fairly simple to read, but is different than the regular clock.

This is a simple project that can easily be done in the course of watching a movie, aka, not too much thought.

Step 1: Objects to Gather.

Picture of Objects to Gather.

- Old-Skool Windup Alarm Clock
- Paint (black and red is what I used, you can use whatever you like)
- Craft Knife
- Glue (hot, elmers, and super will all work)
- Basic tools (pliers usually get the job done)
- Packaging Tape
- Scissors
- Pen
- Coathanger (for a stand)

Step 2: Open It Up.

Picture of Open It Up.

Remove the guts from the housing of the alarm clock by whatever means necessary.

Remove the hands and set them aside.

Remove any paper bits from the front as well. We won't be needing these anymore.

If there is an excess metal piece (for support), remove that as well.

Step 3: Create the Gear.

Picture of Create the Gear.

The new clock face will be a gear that rotates around. I created a gear (actually, it was an assignment in school, Mr. Ponchene gave us a gear to draw) in AutoCAD, and transferred it to PDF if you would like to use my gear. If not, you can create whatever you like.

Print out the pdf, and cover it in packaging tape to stiffen it. Then cut it out with a craft knife and paint it whatever color suits your needs. I chose black.

Cut the hour hand from your clock and glue it to the back, so it is pointing upward. Don't forget to paint the back!

Step 4: Add Numbers.

Picture of Add Numbers.

Find your favorite font and print out the numbers for your clock. I used a more victorian font, but they turned out pretty bland.

You will need:
Five 1s One 6
Two 2s One 7
One 3 One 8
One 4 One 9
One 5 One 0

Stiffen them with tape and cut them out, then paint.

Use some glue and paste your numbers to the gear, but counter clockwise. They should count backwards instead of forwards.

Step 5: Create a Stand.

Picture of Create a Stand.

Because there is no more housing to hold it up, a stand is needed.

I bent a the end of a coathanger with some pliers so it would hold the clock up by the screwholes that used to secure the clock.

Depending on the clock you use, you might have to be inventive with your stand! Try other gears, L brackets, etc.

Step 6: Replace the Hands.

Picture of Replace the Hands.

Put the timing gear on first, then the minute hand, then the second hand, and set your time.

Yahargh mateys!


pingirl9 (author)2010-10-12

to make a clock run "backwards", why not just flip the mechanism over. from behind a clock is running backwards....

Goodhart (author)2009-05-20

Now, if you could only get it to RUN backwards..... :-) Otherwise it is still a nice little project.

$ NAB $ (author)Goodhart2009-05-22

I always tried to make a backward moving clock. Somebody must make an instructable on this.

GordieGii (author)$ NAB $2010-05-24

You could buy a barber clock (,42405,42406) and mod the face so the numbers are the right way around.

Goodhart (author)GordieGii2010-05-25
great idea !   or in the spirit of instructables, look inside so one could replicate the movement :-)
CybergothiChe (author)$ NAB $2009-12-18

 I did , and so did Glitchmaker :)

Owlbear (author)$ NAB $2009-05-22

to make a backwards clock use anold,cheap, electric clock and wire it backwards. most clocks that old dont keep time well since they don't convert from 110v to 120v so its no big loss if it doesn't work

the_mad_man (author)Owlbear2009-05-23

why are we changing clockwise? I'm confused enough in life as it is.

alextippins (author)the_mad_man2009-05-24

there are currently two different instructables on the subject although havent gotten a chance to try this it seems pretty simple and straight forward

 I would highly recommend it :P

dagenius (author)the_mad_man2009-05-24

because since the gear is attached to where the hour hand should be, the gear will run clockwise, thus the numbers must be numbered backwards.

Goodhart (author)the_mad_man2009-05-24

Since the numbers are backwards, the clock would be more readable again, but it would still be a bit crazy. :-) Plus it is a challenge ;-)

$ NAB $ (author)Owlbear2009-05-24

I did tried that but it didn't turn out to be good.

Goodhart (author)$ NAB $2009-05-22

You can actually buy one from a novelty shop that runs backwards....

jongscx (author)Goodhart2009-05-25

pretty easy, just don't lose the gears.

Doctor What (author)Goodhart2009-05-20

Thanks! Run backwards? HMMM... *thinks*

Wesley666 (author)Doctor What2009-05-20

I have looked at some cheap clocks and they have a coil that gets pulsed by a little circuit board (if it is not mechanical) that turns the first gear that turns the rest. My question is would you be able to cut the to coil leads and just switch them and it would go backwards?

hiroe (author)Wesley6662009-05-21

no it wouldn't. if it uses I coil that means it uses electromagnets, electromegnets work the same way no matter the polarity. if there's 2 electromagnets then the order they pulse could reverse them but with just one, not so much.

Wesley666 (author)hiroe2009-05-21

Ok thx. I wasn't sure it was just a thought.

omnibot (author)Wesley6662009-05-20

Nope, wouldn't work. Reason being that the coil works as an electromagnet and the part attracted by it is not magnetized so reversing the field changes nothing, also the gears and so on will not turn backwards. There is an instructable for a reverse clock mod somewhere which solves this elegantly, suggest that one but am to lazy to link.

Wesley666 (author)omnibot2009-05-21

Ok thx. I wasn't sure it was just a thought.

tanmanknex (author)Wesley6662009-05-20

it might... the only way to find out is to try!!! and have fun while you're at it!!!

tanmanknex (author)tanmanknex2009-05-20

here's a link to another instructable.

microman171 (author)Goodhart2009-05-20

I was just thinking that

golddigger1559 (author)2009-06-08

you have a binary watch dont you

dagenius (author)2009-05-24

how does the minute hand turn?

finfan7 (author)2009-05-21

Not a bad gearpunk creation seems in need of a little sanding though.

Kaiven (author)2009-05-20

Idk how to read it xD I don't get how to read the minutes?

Doctor What (author)Kaiven2009-05-20

The minute hand! The hours are read backward.

stephenniall (author)2009-05-20

Oo cool but im gonna do this with a old bicycle cog

judith_ou (author)2009-05-20

Wow, I love this project: it's so simple yet I never would've thought of it. Looking forward to giving it a try!

wgrazier (author)2009-05-20

What a cool post. My brain is buzzing with ideas of turning my boring wall clock into something cool, too. Thanks for sharing.

ChrysN (author)2009-05-19

Great work, turning a plain and ordinary clock into something funky and unique, and getting it done in the course of watching a movie. Nicely done!

About This Instructable




More by Doctor What:Socially Confused ClockMan Bag (Murse) made from old pants!Domo-Kun Backpack
Add instructable to: