Introduction: Wall CLOCK From Old Hard Drives

Picture of Wall CLOCK From Old Hard Drives

Here's Instructable on how to recycle old computer Hard Drives into very original looking WALL CLOCK.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed

Picture of Materials and Tools Needed

Tools that you will need for this project are:

1. Drill - I would suggest small DREMEL type drill with bench press.
2. Some Drill bits
3. Kit of Screwdrivers, type and gauge of screwdrivers may vary depending on Hard Drives you use.
4. Small Pliers


1. Old computer hard drives, preferably 3.5 inch. The more you can source the better.
For this particular project I used 12.
2. Standard basic quartz clock movement, you can buy this at local electronics shop such as Maplin in UK, or butcher some other wall clock. For this project I have chosen to buy part as it only cost 2.99GBP

Step 2: Disassembling Hard Drives

Picture of Disassembling Hard Drives

First of all you have to undo screws as shown in picture below, after that you'll be able to remove one or two shiny disks (platters) and some thick aluminum washers.

Underneath you'll find Hard Drive Motor, this usually attached to HDD case using 3 screws.
You can also disassemble Actuator Mechanism, there are 2 very powerful magnets for your future projects.

Step 3: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

First of all you have to assemble solid base, for this I have chosen to use Hard Drive Motors.
Join the motors as shown in the pictures to form desired shape of your clock.
I have created a circle, since it's most common shape of the wall clock.

To create the "face" of my clock I have used aluminum washers or spacers that separate hard drive platters. To join them you'll need drill press and small gauge drill bits.
So, hole in each washer and join them using small self-drilling screw as shown in the picture.
The rest is in your hands, create shapes you like, use as many rings as you have, the more you use For my clock I have chosen actually reflect HOURS using rings. For 3AM/PM I've used 3 rings, for 6AM/PM 6 rings and so on....

Step 4: Fitting Quartz Clock Movement

Picture of Fitting Quartz Clock Movement

To attach QUARTZ CLOCK MOVEMENT I have used hot glue. Of course before sticking anything into place you have to measure things accordingly.
I have also sprayed quartz movement with silver car paint...

Step 5: Finishing Touches and Setting TIME

Picture of Finishing Touches and Setting TIME

The last thing you have to do is attach clock arms and set the TIME :)



009agent (author)2013-05-31

How big is this overall as your pictures make it look really big? (author)2013-02-17

They are 3 phaze synchronous motors, i'm tryin' to bring them to life too... Sorry for my bad english.

jspence1 (author)2010-03-14

Do the remnants of the hard drive revolve? And can they be connected somehow?

grybaz (author)jspence12010-03-15

I think it's a bit too optimistic to ask for remnants to revolve :)
I actually had a few ideas to use hard drive motors, but unfortunately I can't figure out proper wiring for them... They have 4 connections, and it isn't like a standard motor...

jspence1 (author)grybaz2010-03-15

Tks for the reply. I was thinking that some kind of belt to turn all drives together, not electrically. 
I guess you'd need a power source for the belt. But can you imagine how cool that would look  ...


grybaz (author)jspence12010-03-15

that would look awesome !

DIY-Guy (author)grybaz2010-11-08

Does anyone know if a hard drive motor is a stepper motor running on 5V?
It sounds like an arduino project could send signals to run a hard drive motor as the clock motor.

Paul Chops (author)DIY-Guy2011-02-17

A Hard Drive moter has your power and speed, and a sensor for the speed. That is why there are 4 connections.

2 are pos and neg power. i think 1 is sensor and other 1 is speed. I asume dont take my word for it.

Nicolas Jara (author)2009-12-07

Esto está bien loco.

stormende (author)Nicolas Jara2010-01-05

Hahaha it is not crazy, it is unusual but very original and cool.


bethopea (author)2009-11-12

that is a nice piece =)
too bad i do not have a dremmel...maybe just some strong glue would hold?

matroska (author)2009-03-28

Wow, this is totally incredible! It's so well done - things like these could be sold in fancy decoration shop for hundreds of dollars, while not being nothing at all. But THIS is amazing, HDD converted into the best wall clock I have even seen! High tech can really be turn into such nice thing!

oktane (author)2008-11-06

OT: I don't recommend that cordless dremel you pictured. I have one and the variable speed failed on it, so its on full speed all the time now. My father had one and exactly the opposite happened, it no longer turned on. I think there is a transistor that is easily fried in it. Stick to the corded ones without the cheap Chinese electronics in them. :)

zetlin (author)oktane2008-11-06

hi I'm not being offensive or anything but i think the slight reference to Chinese electronics (not that i dont disagree with you sometimes) might be offensive to some people sorry if this somehow offends you

oktane (author)zetlin2008-11-07

I'm sorry, I didn't mean it in any kind of racial way if you took it that way. The simple fact is many of the lower priced products we use have poorly designed parts in them made in China. That is just the way the world economy rolls. ;) If they weren't made in China, they would just be made somewhere else, whoever can make them the cheapest. I have nothing against Chinese people. I dislike manufacturers that put poor quality parts in their products to save a few bucks.. in the last 15 years, products have become so lacking in quality that people just throw everything away. My parents generation used to have things repaired when they broke.. the things were actually worth fixing. It is the consumers choice now of course, but often what is on the inside or the quality is not totally obvious.. I thought I was buying a good portable Dremel and instead I got a turd that lasted only a few uses. My old corded one made it thru my whole childhood without failing but this one didn't last 6 months of very sporadic use. But sorry if I offended anyone. I don't like American cars either! ;)

zetlin (author)oktane2008-11-08

hi thanks for your reply personally i have nothing against your comment i was just trying to say that there might be some sensitive people on the net lately that might take that comment negatively.I agree with you though that most of the goods nowadays are seriously lacking in quality but there have been some china made products that have lasted a while... i suppose you could say you get what you paid for.I cant say much bout american cars never tried them i will say something about malaysian cars though based on experience NEVER buy a proton (please tell me if u think otherwise).

DualPhase (author)zetlin2009-03-01

His comment wasn't racial. The FACT is that some Chinese products are generally viewed as sub superior due to their mass production using sub standard methods. On the other hand this lower quality generally translates as lower prices which is why everything we buy is from China.

zetlin (author)zetlin2008-11-08

(please tell me if u think otherwise).i dont mean that to be a challenge but i would like to hear of a proton that actually lasted

grybaz (author)oktane2008-11-07

to be honest, my one have failed too... same thing, speed controller failed and it was running on full speed only. The good thing about it it comes with 2 years warranty, so I have sent broken one back, kept battery, charger and got whole new kit :) On the other hand I think I know how did that happened, and to avoid burning controller you shouldn't overload your tool. In my case I had sanding flapwheel on and was trying to sand hard to reach places on my garage door.I think I kept it under pressure for too long, as before failure it started to smell bad. I think tool isn't too bad at all, I just think it should be used properly an will last forever.

pyro515 (author)oktane2008-11-06

yeah i had one like that and the same thing happend to it then it got to were it wouldnt charge....

nonsense_ice (author)2009-01-25

Super cool, man! Congratulations!

n0cturnus (author)2008-12-03

Witam. Here my watch is.FOTO

jgullo29 (author)2008-11-15

Wow, this is excellent. Nice instructable!

paulpcc (author)2008-11-07

nice one - good solid fun

Madrigorne (author)2008-11-07

get a copper paint pen and hit that red secondhand with it. Beautiful work Grybaz.

oktane (author)2008-11-06

Very cool use of those neat rings.. I love taking hard drives apart to see all the very precision engineered parts. Good job.

technick29 (author)2008-11-02

Wonderful pictures. How do you do it?

grybaz (author)technick292008-11-02

well, I'm kind of trained professional photographer, so it comes to good camera, good studio lights and most important - your skills :)

vitruvian8807 (author)grybaz2008-11-06

Heh, I was about to say, those don't look like regular pictures, but at the same time, they are not right off the internet.

aphrael (author)2008-11-03

wow... we've been saving old hard drives for a colleague for some time b/c he wanted to make a clock out of it. Never imagined it could turn out something as cool as this! I guess I have to start saving some hard drives for myself if he has enough :)

shooby (author)2008-11-02

Great aesthetic, I don't have the hard drives, but this could be attempted with washers and other mechanical odds and ends.

lordofthedonuts (author)2008-11-01

Good instructable, with incredible pictures, good job!

mbudde (author)2008-11-01

This is sweet! I don't have any old harddrives lying around though. Still pretty cool though!

stayputnik (author)2008-11-01

great looking clock... where did you get your hard drives? i'm trying to find some so i can melt down the aluminum housings.

grybaz (author)stayputnik2008-11-01

I've got these HDDs from ebay, I remember few years ago I have purchased 23 pentium 2 PCs for few pounds. On the other hand I work in IT so any kind of computer hardware is not a problem for me. If you don't want to buy whole lot of PCs just search for JOB LOTs of hard drives or something on ebay...

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