How to Make a Retro Wall Clock

Introduction: How to Make a Retro Wall Clock

About: Come spend some time in the shop. I'm a hobbyist woodworker and professional computer geek in Northern California. I guess my projects will vary widely, and I have no clue what I plan to make next...

I recently melted down some milk jugs and bottle tops to make a colorful block of material. I began pondering what I could do with it! This was the first I idea that grabbed me. A HDPE wall clock!

Step 1: Begining

I started by cutting my panel to a pleasing shape at the band saw. The design was suppose to look like those 50's and 60's retro signs. Think the maple coupled with the bright colors of the HDPE sorta called for it

I thed drilled 1" holes at the 12, 3, 6 & 9 O'clock positions.

Step 2: Lathe

Then it was off to the lathe to spin up my block and get it into round
It turned very nicely and was a pleasure to work with! I then snuck up on 1" so that it would fit correctly in the wall clock!

Step 3: Adding Inlay

Next was the tricky bit! Since you cannot glue HDPE to wood (the glue will not adhere) you need to attach it with metal fasteners. which I did.
I then melted a thin slice on top of that to hide the screw from view.

This is were things got complicated. The wood was burning during the melting process.

But when sanding out the burns I was sanding the HDPE enough to show the screw. More melting, then more sanding, then more melting.... it was a vicious circle and I was getting frustrated!

Step 4: Completed

So I did as best I could and moved on... I drilled then chiseled an opening for the clock movement, added a poly finish and called it done.
It is not what I had in my head, but still not a horrible project. Next time? I'd just screw in the HDPE from the back and plug those hole with a dowel, instead of trying to be all clever....

Wood Contest

Participated in the
Wood Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Origami Speed Challenge

      Origami Speed Challenge
    • Trash to Treasure Contest

      Trash to Treasure Contest
    • Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge

      Tinkercad to Fusion 360 Challenge


    Found out about this website from one of your youtube videos.Im starting to get into so many little hobbies, Leatherworking, Wood Working, Metalwork and more. Thank you so much Mr. Brown :D


    7 years ago

    Nice job


    7 years ago

    that's awesome. I was wondering what you'd do with your plastic!!