Introduction: Arrowhead Clock

About: Hello! Im a maker, a hobbyist, and collector. Here are just a few of my interests-- rocks gems and minerals, woodworking, atlatl throwing, altlatl making, flint knapping, beading, mosaics, whittling, robotic…

This incredible Arrowhead Clock is one of a kind. I have searched everywhere to try to find even something similar and I have found nothing. It is a great project for anyone who is into Native American Decor; history; Flint-knapping; rock collecting; or woodworking.

I'll show you how to take a log and a pile of rocks and turn it into a stunning clock.



Router or CNC
Chainsaw or Bandsaw
Sander (any kind, but not by hand, unless you have a couple of years)
Flint Knapping set (optional)
Drafting Compass


Log (at least 10 inch diameter, preferably bigger)
Clock component box, with hands
Flint pieces or pre-made arrowheads
Mineral oil (or other finish)
1/2 inch nails

Step 1: Log

The type and size of your log is very important. You'll want a log that is at least 10 inches in diameter or bigger. You'll also want it to be a stronger wood.

Most importantly, you should try to choose a tree with a thinner bark vs. a thicker bark, because the thicker barks tend to fall off once they've dried.

I used a log from a friend's farm. I believe it is hickory.

Once you've found the perfect log, you'll need to cut it. This can be done with a chainsaw, or a bandsaw. Cut a slab about 1.5 inch thick.

Step 2: Drying

This step is the longest part. You'll need to dry the slab. Even if the log has been drying for a long time, it'll probably still be wet inside. To do this, take your slab and put it on a window sill or in a basement. This process takes about three months.

You can try other techniques to speed it up and to keep the piece from splitting. I've tried a couple of different ways and they don't seem to work. Plus, I kind of like the split look.

You don't need the slab to be fully dry. You just need it to stop splitting. Keep an eye on it and you'll be able to tell when it's done.

It takes about a year per inch of wood to fully dry. But if you use mineral oil to seal it it will still be able to dry after you put it on.

Step 3: Sanding

Now that it's dry, the first thing we need to do is sand it. You could use any sander you have, but I don't suggest doing it by hand, because it would take a very long time. Palm sanders work okay, but to get it nice and flat you'll have to use a band sander or something similar.

After you decide which way you want your clock to sit, sand the bottom to make it flat.

Step 4: Marking

Now that it's nice and flat, take a ruler and measure the widest part of the face, then mark the center. Next, measure the tallest part of the face, and mark the center again.

Meet the two lines in the middle, and that is roughly the center of your clock.

Then take a drafting compass, and make a circle that is at least half an inch away from the edge.

Step 5: Drilling

Drill a hole in the center of the clock face on the log. Make the hole slightly larger than the diameter of the shaft of the clock box.

Step 6: Routering

This is the tricky part. We'll need to hallow out an area in the back of the slab for the clock box to sit.

If you have a CNC, go ahead and router it out and then skip to step seven.

Most router bases are about as big as the slab that we're using, so you won't be able to clamp the slab down by putting the clamps on top of it.

So, you'll have to get creative. You'll need to secure the log without anything on top of it or taller than it.

I used large pieces of wood with triangles cut in them. I put one on each side and clamped them to the table with the slab in the middle. This worked out really well, and it could work for almost any size slab.

You'll need to make sure the surface of the back of the slab is parallel with the surface on the front of the slab. If it is off, then the router will cut at an angle, thus it will go through the face of your clock.

Take your clock box and put the shaft in the back of your slab. Then trace around the outside of the clock box on to the back of the slap.

Put the slab in your makeshift clamp.
Make sure to router the hole a bit bigger than the clock box.

I routered the hole by eyeballing it. It worked out pretty well. If you want to make a template you can, but I didn't find it necessary.

Make small passes, only about 1/2 inch or less.
This will take awhile. You'll probably need to do about eight passes.
The first pass over is the most important. You'll need to make sure it's lined up as best as possible. It will kind of act as a guide for the next pass. Keep going until the clock box shaft is able to come out through the other side, just enough for the clock hands to not rub against the wood.

This will make that area quite thin, so be extra careful not to go all the way through.

If you have successfully done this step give yourself a pat on the back, this is a very tricky step.

Step 7: Putting on the Finish

Now is the fun part. It's time to put a finish on it.
You can use any finish you want. I personally used mineral oil.

I like mineral oil because it's easy to find, brings out the natural colors, safe to touch, non-toxic and most important for this project, it will let the wood dry after you coat it. But be careful, because it will stain clothes and carpet.

To apply mineral oil, all you have to do is take a paper towel or soft rag and carefully put a little oil on it, then rub it onto the wood.
After that, wipe the access oil off with a dry rag. It's that simple. Make sure that you get all of the raw wood that is exposed, including the routered area.
I suggest to do at least three layers, with at least an hour of drying time in between the layers.

Step 8: Adding the Numbers

Now it's time to add the arrowheads.
You could really put anything that you want for the numbers if you don't want to use arrowheads.

Some other ideas you could try are:
*print images from online and mod podge them on
*use coins if you're a coin collector
*woodburn numbers on with a pyrography pen
*rocks if your rock collector

I knapped (the process of making arrowheads) all of the arrowheads with just basic tools. If you don't know how to knap arrowheads it's okay, you could buy them from a local rock shop, or buy online, or learn to make them from YouTube videos.

We will be attaching the arrowheads with 1/2 inch nails. DON'T NAIL THEM YET.

First, lay arrowheads in the # 12 and # 6 spots on the face, then lay more on the # 3 and # 9 spots. Make sure they're lined up. Then add the rest of the arrowheads in between evenly.
Take a picture of the arrowheads in their places.

Without moving them make a mark inside the notch of the arrowheads where the nails are going to go. Then remove all the arrowheads, and erase what's left of the circle that we made in step four. But do not erase the marks we just made.

Now very carefully put nails in the marks we've made for the arrowheads. After you nail both of them make sure the arrowhead will fit.
Use the picture you took to remember where they go.
It should be snug but you should be able to get them in and out.
Do this for all 12 arrowheads.

Step 9: Attaching the Clock Box

Now we're ready for the last step. We need to attach the clock box into the routered area.

I used hot glue, because I wanted to be able to take the clock box out if I ever needed to in the future.

After you do this, take the hands and *gently* bend them in a way that they won't hit any of the arrowheads.

Step 10: Bragging

This is the best step.
You need to brag to all of your friends that you made an amazing one-of-a-kind Arrowhead Clock.

AAND make sure to tell them that you learned how to do it from this incredibly amazing, wonderful, great, awesome, outstanding, glorious instructable.

Additional Variations:
You could use different things for the numbers instead of arrowheads, as I said in step eight. Or you could use a dremel router or CNC to make designs on the front of the clock's face. The possibilities are endless.

Thank you for reading my instructable! If you liked it, please vote for me, and if you tried it at home, please send me a picture.

I'm going to do more arrowhead projects in the near future, so be sure to follow me.

                      THANK YOU!

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