Introduction: Geode Slice Clock
I believe you can never have enough clocks in a room so today I would like to show you how to make this geode slice clock from scratch.
The use of natural stone mineral mica powder gives the resin geode a beautiful natural shimmer when it catches the sun and also wont fade after a while like artificial colourants.
Although it's intended as a clock nothing is stopping you from leaving out the clock mechanism all together and placing a tea candle behind it to give off a soft glow or even just displaying it as is on a shelf!
Let's get started...
Step 1: What You Will Need:
To make this Instructable you will need the following:
*I have included Amazon links as a reference.
- 2-part Casting epoxy resin
- Natural mica powder in the colors you want
- ~3mm Bronze rod
- Clock mechanism
- Silver solder with flux
- a Release film for the epoxy resin
- Butane torch
- Modeling clay
- Sanding paper ( 220,400,1500+ grit )
- Automotive compounding polish
- Protective gear
Step 2: Bronze Frame:
To make the frame for the clock that the resin will be poured into we are going to need a flat bronze bar, unfortunately I'm not able to find anything like that readily available so we are going to need to make it ourselves.
To do this you will need to don some leather safety gloves as things are going to get hot!
Now you are going to take a piece of bronze rod (the length will depend on the circumference of your clock) and start heating it up with butane torch until it reaches a nice dull red.
Once it has reached the desired color you need to place it on your "anvil" and hammer it flat, I do this in about 10cm segments until the entire length is flat and roughly the same thickness throughout.
Now you can place your bar on its side and just gently hammer down the entire length to just get rid of any spots that might be slightly wider. The goal is to get the bar as uniform as possible.
Time to grab some pliers and put some kinks into the bar. Remember we want this to resemble a natural cut geode slice with a rough edge, you can also put some strategically placed kinks to indicate specific times.
Next we need to make the stand.
I chose a simple triangular stand but you can go wild here.
You can also attach a small loop on the back instead of the stand to make it wall mountable.
Once you are happy with the clock surround and stand we can braze them together...
Step 3: Brazing:
Now on to brazing...
There are some great Instructables available to give you some help with brazing metals like:
First we'll braze the clock frame together.
Bend it into a circle to bring the two ends together, try to get the two ends to align as best they can.
I like to do my brazing on an old press drill table this allows me to hold the pieces in place with some old magnets.
Now apply some silver solder flux and start heating up the joint with the butane torch.
Once the bronze reaches a nice bright red I take the silver solder and touch it to the joint, your silver solder should seep into the joint creating a sturdy permanent joint.
Next we need to place the stand ends against the frame and braze them into place one at a time like above.
Now sand away any excess silver solder and imperfections with some 400 grit sanding paper.
Step 4: * Alternative: No Metalworking *
If you prefer you can skip the above two steps by simply making a mold for the resin in the shape of a geode slice from modelling clay and then just glue a stand to the back of the clock using some epoxy glue.
Step 5: Resin Casting:
Now the fun part.
Start by preparing the clock frame.
I laid it flat on a piece of stretched release film ( you can buy this from resin suppliers but I found that most thick plastic sheet will work, you can also smear on some petroleum jelly to make sure it won't stick ).
Next build a barrier around the frame with some plastacine clay (play-doh) this will hold the frame in place and prevent any resin from seeping out.
Now you can mix your epoxy resin according to the manufacturers instructions, casting resins usually take 24 hours to cure so there is no need to rush this step.
Make sure you weigh out Part A and Part B EXACTLY, and mix it thoroughly.
Now split your resin in two or more glasses depending on how many colors you want.
I had four: Pink, brown, white and a small amount of gold.
Mix your Mica powders into their respective cups.
Now we can pour the resin into the frame, I started with the white in the middle then poured the pink around the white, next the brown was poured around the edge and finally I drizzled some gold in between the brown and pink.
Now you're going to need a soft pointy object to pull the different colors into each other, I like to use a hot melt glue stick that I just shaped a narrow tip with some heat.
With this one I just pulled the resin back and forth from the centre with a bit of a wiggle, experiment until you get a design you like.
Just be careful not to mix the colors too much
If you have air bubbles on your resin you can use a heat gun or a butane torch (low flame) to pop them.
When you are happy with the results leave it undisturbed for 24 hours to cure.
Step 6: Sanding and Polishing:
Now after 24 hours the hard work begins...
It's now time to remove the release film and start sanding.
I started with 220 grit sanding paper to remove any imperfections and some overflow resin, then with 400 grit this is the most important grit to remove as much scratches as possible and finally 1500 grit before polishing.
Another option is to sand it well with 400 grit and then maybe 600 or 800 and leave it matt which also looks REALLY good.
Now take a clean soft cloth with a dab of compounding polish and start buffing away.
Wax on...Wax off...
The epoxy resin luckily doesn't take too much elbow grease to get a super glossy finish.
Now we can attach our clock mechanism....or you can display it as is!
Step 7: Clock Mechanism:
First we need to drill a hole in the centre of the clock.
I used a small 4mm drill bit for the initial hole and then just used a step drill to enlarge it to the size of the mechanism.
Push the mechanism through the hole and tighten with the included nut and washer.
If your mechanism is very loose you can place a small piece of double sided tape on it before putting it in the clock.
Now attach the clock hands, throw in a battery and set the time.
That's it, your masterpiece is done!
Step 8: Enjoy!
I hope you guys enjoyed this Instructable and if you have any questions please feel free to leave me a comment bellow.
Please share your own creations with us.
Participated in the
Stone, Concrete, Cement Challenge