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.
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Step 1: 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.

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!
Untitled-1.pdf(612x792) 514 KB
pingirl94 years ago
to make a clock run "backwards", why not just flip the mechanism over. from behind a clock is running backwards....
Goodhart5 years ago
Now, if you could only get it to RUN backwards..... :-) Otherwise it is still a nice little project.
I always tried to make a backward moving clock. Somebody must make an instructable on this.
You could buy a barber clock (,42405,42406) and mod the face so the numbers are the right way around.
great idea !   or in the spirit of instructables, look inside so one could replicate the movement :-)
 I did , and so did Glitchmaker :)
Owlbear $ NAB $5 years ago
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
why are we changing clockwise? I'm confused enough in life as it is.
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
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.
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 $ Owlbear5 years ago
I did tried that but it didn't turn out to be good.
You can actually buy one from a novelty shop that runs backwards....

pretty easy, just don't lose the gears.
Doctor What (author)  Goodhart5 years ago
Thanks! Run backwards? HMMM... *thinks*
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 Wesley6665 years ago
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 hiroe5 years ago
Ok thx. I wasn't sure it was just a thought.
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.
Ok thx. I wasn't sure it was just a thought.
it might... the only way to find out is to try!!! and have fun while you're at it!!!
here's a link to another instructable.
I was just thinking that
you have a binary watch dont you
dagenius5 years ago
how does the minute hand turn?
finfan75 years ago
Not a bad gearpunk creation seems in need of a little sanding though.
Kaiven5 years ago
Idk how to read it xD I don't get how to read the minutes?
Doctor What (author)  Kaiven5 years ago
The minute hand! The hours are read backward.
Oo cool but im gonna do this with a old bicycle cog
judith_ou5 years ago
Wow, I love this project: it's so simple yet I never would've thought of it. Looking forward to giving it a try!
wgrazier5 years ago
What a cool post. My brain is buzzing with ideas of turning my boring wall clock into something cool, too. Thanks for sharing.
ChrysN5 years ago
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!