“What an explosive idea!”
“That blows my mind!”
“That’s a real blast!”
Uh-huh… I’ve never heard any of those before…
It’s a hot seller at my craft shows, yet it’s a simple enough project to require minimal tools. Without further ado, let’s put our Acme hard hat on and get to work.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
¾” dowel (48”)
¾” base material (see explanation)
¾” clock material (see explanation)
#8 - 1” Wood screws
Speaker hookup wire (18-gauge red and black)
2 @ 10 x 24 x ¾” brass screws
2 @ 10 x 24 knurled knobs
2 @ 10 x 24 brass nuts
1 7/16” clock insert
Cyanoacrylate glue (aka CA glue aka crazy glue)
Can of red spray paint
* The base and clock material can be anything. I’m using maple for the clock and walnut for the base because I like the colours and I happen to have some around. You could use oak, pine, even Russian birch ply which has very slim layers and looks good when well sanded. It’s your choice.
I will be listing hand tools, portable tools and large tool equivalents. This can be done with any of these tools. The hand tools will just take longer.
Table saw – Power saw – Miter saw – Hand saw
Drill – Drill press
Sander – Sandpaper
1 3/8” drill bit
3/16” drill bit
1/8” drill bit
Countersink bit (or 3/8” drill bit)
Linesman’s pliers or needle-nose pliers (to cut the wire… a pair of scissors will do)
A wire stripper or a box knife (to cut the insulation off the wire)
Step 2: Dynamite Sticks
Step 3: Dynamite Sticks (cont'd)
I use both wood glue and CA glue together to make the bond. I put a bead of wood glue and leave a bit of wood without glue at both ends of the stick and in the middle. In these empty spots, I apply a drop of CA glue and then bring the parts together and hold for 20 seconds. The CA glue bonds in 20 seconds and serves as a temporary clamp allowing the much stronger wood glue to start setting without my having to clamp or hold the assembly, which is difficult with round pieces.
Once the two sticks on the bottom are glued together, I add a third on top in the middle, then the two outside pieces of the middle tier, then the two pieces of the top tier. Wherever two faces of the dowels touch each other, I repeat the wood glue and 3 drops of CA glue to hold, which means some pieces will require two beads of glue and six drops of CA. I know that some parts will touch more pieces, but more than 2 beads of wood glue is overkill in my book. Once the entire dynamite stack is glued, I use a couple of loops of tightly wound masking tape as a clamp. Once you get used to it, it can be done very quickly. Let dry overnight.
Step 4: Dynamite Sticks (cont'd)
Don your rubber gloves and take this outside if you can. Holding the sticks by the screw handle, spray a light coat of paint everywhere. Please don’t try to get it all perfectly covered in one coat because you will make a mess. Three to four light coats will work best. Spray paints of the type I use can be re-coated in 20-30 minutes so the painting should be over quickly. Remove the screw/eyehook when the assembly is dry.
Step 5: Clock Base
Note on finishes: I have traditionally used a wiping varnish to finish these as it is an easy and simple finish. For this instructable, I’m using tung oil which, when dry, will then be finished with a buffed coat of wax. Both these finishes are thin finishes which look better than a thick finish for this project.
Step 6: Clock Face
Step 7: Preparing the Brass Screws
Step 8: Preparing the Wire
Step 9: Assembly
Screw through the centre of the 1 3/4" hole of the clock face until the screw extends a bit out the back. Place the clock where you would like it to be on the dynamite sticks, and press to mark the location of the hole. Drill this hole with a 1/8” drill bit and screw the clock to the dynamite sticks.
Step 10: Assembly (cont'd)
Put a drop of CA glue in the holes drilled into the dynamite sticks, and insert the unstripped end of the wire into these holes. Hold in place for 30 seconds until set, and let stand for 5 minutes to allow to glue properly.
Insert the clock face. Display and wait for the unavoidable "explosion" of jokes and one-liners.