Introduction: From Firewood to Watch

About: Just a German student who loves to build very different things from very different materials, especially those that other people have no use for.

Other people write a huge story here why they are building this or cooking that. But I don't really have a reason for this watch. Sometimes I just wake up with an idea on my mind. Especially now when I have much time in the morning to think about how I can best implement it and just start. So here is the process of me making a watch out of firewood.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

  • a piece of hardwood firewood (i used beech) without any cracks
  • old watch
  • stapler nails
  • double flanged spring bars
  • 6 magnets (5mm diameter, 2mm thick)
  • super glue
  • two-component adhesive
  • Installation glue ("Kleben statt Bohren"='gluing instead of drilling')
  • glaze & gloss varnish

  • bandsaw
  • fretsaw
  • rotary tool
  • needle nose pliers
  • pointed tweezers
  • drill stand/ press
  • drill stand for rotary tool
  • sandpaper
  • X-acto knife

Step 2: Disassemble Watch

While I destroyed the original plastic watch, I tried to figure out of what different parts it consists and made a plan in my head how I wanted the wooden version to be. Then I took photos of the watch body and print them out in original size (for the next step)

Step 3: The Main Part

For the bandsaw cuts you want to have at least two straight sides. In order to get them, stabilize the wood with glued-on extra pieces (hot glue). Then make the first cut. Now you can create a 90° angle and slice the wood. Trace the outline and cut it out with a fretsaw, but before drill one big hole and one smaller one in the middle. I first sawed it out and build a bracket to hold it, the better way would be drilling first and sawing after that. Take away a few millimetres from the top and leave a ring and bevel it Drill a hole and saw a ring out. Sand it so it fits around the beveled ring. I just used the snap mechanism for the back from the original watch. Later, I filled the gap with glue (I used installation glue which doesn't shrink while drying). Also drill a hole where the winder is going to be.

Step 4: Band

The band is made out of rounded pieces. I put two holes in each one and then I drilled 2 extra holes in each of the small ones because they were too close to each other. So, you just have to make two with a good distance in-between. Drill these holes just to the half. I build a tool with which it is very easy to do this step. It is just a very simple design of a drill press for a rotary tool with materials I found lying around at my shop.

To connect them you will need to cut the stapler nails to size. Simply clamp the piece of the nail you want in the pliers and press at the other end. The nail just breaks off. Glue one in each left hole.

Step 5: Look

Since I only used one type of wood it looked not very special, so I brought in some contrast with glaze. I applied a linseed oil-wax mixture wherever i didn't use the walnut glaze. After that, I painted everything with clear varnish. The parts which connect the band with the watch are held in place with spring bars. I drilled the holes with my hand-made tool. The clasp consists of two wood pieces and 3 magnets per side. I did not expect the magnets to be so strong, but now I will never lose the watch. For the clock face I chose cooper foil. The hands were very simple to remove because they were just stuck on. I sanded off the original face and used super glue to install the new one. In the metal back-cover I put a piece of paper so the clockwork isn't wiggling back and forth. I also sanded off the adverisement logos from the cover and the winder and polished it afterwards.

Step 6: Final Assembly

In this step I looked which length is perfect for me. I made the first half five and the other one four segments long, now it fits exactly around my wrist.

The whole build took about 50 hours. Maybe this doesn't sound so extremely long, but I made it in the last ten days and worked two up to eight hours a day. It is definitely my longest project so far, but also one of my favourites. It was fun to just start and see what happens, what problems arise, to find out how to solve or even prevent them next time.

Thank you for clicking on my instructable!

Clocks Contest

Participated in the
Clocks Contest