My grandson was about 4 years old and when I thought it was about time to finish some thing(playing ,shower,tv or what ever) I would tell him another 15 minutes and we finish. O.K. he asked me how long is 15 minutes.
I showed him the clock and tried to explain what 15 ..30. 45. 60. mins were. His Mother said . it was too soon to explain the clock ... After an other couple of days I had the idea of building a timer that he could see and understand the conception of time. So I went to my (Work shop) and looked for things that I could use to make a sand timer..This is what came about. BY the way this is a copy of an idea nearly

2000 years old..

Step 1: Materials You Will Need.


Red or brown hard wood,60x60x80 mm.

Hard white (or Bass wood,10x20.mm,width and length x30mm thick

(Base)Mahagony or nice dark brown wood,110 to120x650,mmx30mm thick.

Olive wood(very strong and hard) and glues well with epoxy,

40x40x50 mm long.


Tubeing 8mm x 2 meters as straight as possible,use New or reheated (Let cool and its softer)

3 meters copper wire 3mm thick.

3 meters copper wire 0.5mm thick.

Copper or (Brass)plate,60x60 mm 3 mm thick.


2 square (oblong)(1960;s) 1 litre Milk bottles,(Haveing an opening of at least 35-38 mm.)

or bottles that have a large opening.

Glass Tube 30 mm long,x6 mm thick with a hole of no less than 3 mm.

A small 25 mm sq' piece of window glass.


Sand,enough for 1 bottle.Sand must be clean and DRY.

Felt with a backing ,(that can be glued with contact glue to wood)

Epoxy glue,(can be bought in double tube)

1 dozen 0.5 mm thick,5 or 6 mm long,Brass pins Small head.


Tube cutter,wood chisels, wood saw, use of a lathe (mine is a small English metal lathe)

Elec drill,35mm drill bit (BORROW),pliers,Tape measure, Wood stain, lacquer.

sand paper,120 to 600 (p.p.sq.cm).WET or DRY 400 paper. Metal conical punch,Small hammer.

Step 2: The Most Important Piece to Make.

This first picture shows 3 pieces of wood, the small red piece in the middle is the important

and MAIN part. A..Which is the 1st picture NEEDS a lathe .In the pic"the top ring is 34mm dia" and 5mm deep.

The second ridge is 50 mm dia' depth 8mm, now do the same the other end.

The 2nd picture shows a hole drilled into the side 35mm Dia' 23mm deep. B.

ALSO drill an 8 mm hole right through from end to end for the glass funnel.

Picture 3 &4 DANGER H.H.HOT glass burns fingers BE CAREFUL.

Heat one end of the glass tube RED hot.also heat the punch not red,

GENTLY,push the punch into the hole turning at the same time.You may have to heat the tube a couple of times.

When you have a funnel shape and it's a little over 8mm at the mouth .STOP. air cool .NOT WATER.

When the end is touchable do the same to the other end of the tube.

Using the piece of window glass,under the WET and DRY 400 p.p.cm.put small amount of water on the paper and in a circular motion rub the glass funnels down to 8mm dia'.Push the glass funnel GENTLY into the 8mm hole.IF..need be, rub the funnel a little more on the wet and dry paper.DO NOT PUSH ALL THE WAY IN...

Put a little hot glue round the outside of the last little bit of the funnel and push in

just to come to the end of the wood.

Step 3: The Remaining 3 Types of Wood.

The BASE. Wood 110 to 120 mm x650mm x30mm thick.

Round off both ends and give a curve all round. See pic'1 and 3.

In the centre, drill a hole 8\10mm right through for the pivit ,

in this hole drill another hole 35mm Dia' right through.

Turn the Base over,and the hole needs to be enlarged to 40mm Dia'

But only 10 mm deep.. Drill at each end hole 6mm...100mm from each end in,

to hang the timer on the wall.

BOTTLE HOLDERS.. Pic' 7 shows the white wood to use,

Place the bottom of the bottle in the middle of the wood,and draw round the bottle.

do this to both pieces. Using good sharp gouge chisels.to remove wood so that

the bottles sit in this dip,make the depth the same + minus for both. see pic'4&5

NOW. on the same side of the bottle dips CAREFULLY drill an 8mm hole

HALF way though at each corner to fit the copper tubes into. Now drill all

those holes(Thats 8 in all) a 5mm hole for the 3mm wire.SEE pic' 5.

Cut the felt ,and using contact glue ( let it dry first) place in the dip,pressing

down firmly.Cut off excess felt .

THE PLUG.Pic' 1&2.+8 I made a mistake and didn't take a full photo.

imagine..... 5 half dollars,one on top of each other, then put 15 quarter dollars on top of them. GOT IT??

This piece will have to be done on a lathe. The half dollars must be 40mm Dia'(15mm thick)

The quarter dollars 33mm Dia' .....length ( this will be determind when setting all things in place)SORRY.

Step 4: Joining All Together.

Put the sand into one of the bottles,3\4 full,add the wood that has the glass funnel,

put the 2nd bottle onto the other side.VERY carefully turn over, TIME how long it takes

for the sand to empty into the bottom bottle.REMOVE OR ADD some sand.

NOW twist 3 strands of the 3mm copper wire together,Weave the wire around the neck

of the bottle,over the wood to the other bottle and around the neck of the second bottle.

Turn both bottles over and return the wire back to the first bottle.

DO this pulling tight on the wire all the time. If need be, twist the wire that is over the wood

with pliers as shown in the picture.

Cut with the tube cutter,the copper tube into 4.Thread the 3 mm wire through one of the 2

white blocks,through 1 of the tubes and into the 2nd white block, thread the wire back through

the 2nd white block,through another copper tube and though the 1st white block..

Do this to all 4 tubes,as in the picture. Then knot the wire.

Put the plug, from the back into the middle hole of the BASE.

Put the extruding plug into the middle of the block ( hole is ready).

Turn the timer slowly round,as if changeing the sand flow.If all is well,not too tight,

then remove the bottles. put to one side.... The half dollar size plug should be seen

,from the back of the base,place the brass plate over the plug and hammer. 8\9 brass pins

so that the plug is firmly in place...put epoxy glue into the hole of the middle block,

and put the bottles back onto the 1\4 doller plug.Put a 2 to 3 pound weight onto the bottles .and wait till dry. HANG ON THE WALL ..where it can be turned without touching any thing .GOOD LUCK.

NO..NOT GOOD LUCK>>WELL MADE..If its worth makeing it worth doing WELL.. Jimmy.

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<p>This is so cool! I love the look of it! </p>
<p>Thank u, Looked at your works also cool.:)</p>
It make me inspire
<p>Thank you.I hope you try and good luck.</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: A young 73 year old . worked 16 years in meat trade.10 years making cheese. 25.years making envelopes.A few good friends 2 married ... More »
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