Introduction: How to Put a Clock Into a Book

About: Swiss expat in Germany, husband, father, teacher, cyclist, tinkerer, former theatre propsmaster 🇨🇭 🇩🇪 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦 👨‍🏫 🚲 🛠️ Heimwehschweizer in D, Ehemann, Vater, Lehrer, Radfahrer, Bastler, Ex-Requisiteur

Hi folks, this is a quick one, in fact writing this instructable (1h) took longer than making the clock (45 min)... ;-)

A while ago, my wife trashed our (cheap) kitchen clock. It hung over the door and she hit it by accident with the door from the overhead cupboard next to it. Accidents can happen...

So I got rid of the broken pieces and kept the inner parts along with the hands. Like this it sat on my desk for weeks now. Then one day, while searching for something completely different I got my hands on my book projects stash. It's a bag full of small books without pages and complete books with interesting design, but noninterresting content. I put it aside to make covers for smartphones (no instructable yet, maybe with the next one then) or custom notebooks.

Together with some leftover screws and magnets from other projects, I was ready to start....

If you like what you see, vote for me in the contests, if you make your own, drop me a line and leave a picture... :-)

Step 1: Decisions and Hole Punch #1

First I had to decide where the center of the watch had to go. Not to far down, because the longer hand should stay within the books cover area, not to high, so the star on the front cover could act as "high noon". The center of the star gave me the vertical centerline.

Luckily I had a hole punch at hand with just the right diameter (one of two punches I own...). Put a solid block of wood underneath. I would recommend hardwood, I used just a leftover piece of pine I had at hand. I t did it's job, but it is way to soft...

Ba the way, make shure to punch not only through the cover, but also through the first pages of the book. This will come in handy with the next step.

Step 2: Make It Hollow

Now open the book, so that that the holes align, place the clock in it's designated place and mark its position. Then carefully cut out the resulting square. Now you can turn the first few pages back right and you have the perfect reference for hollowing out the space for the clock.

While working your way downward through the pages keep another book or a wooden block or something similar underneath the cover, so that the pages stay in the right alignment as if the book was closed. Use a metal ruler to guide your knife and press the pages firmly down as you cut. Check frequently the depth of the cuts to avoid cutting into the back cover and to check if the it's already enough room for the clock.

The sharper the knife, the nicer the cut! So use a fresh blade!

Once done it's time to turn the book around and work on the back...

Step 3: The Backside

To be able to put the clock/book up on the wall it needs a kind of hook on/in the back. So I punched another hole (same size as in front) through the top middle of the back cover.

Then I hollowed out a small space right underneath, so that the head of a screw or nail could sneak in an hold the book on the wall...

Step 4: Fixing the Block Together

To be able to hang on a wall or stand on a shelf, I needed the inside of the book, the block, to live up to it's name and become a solid block. I did similar work before, mainly for theatrical purposes, so I knew, tha glue would make the pages warp and drilling a hole into the book was neither a good idea. The best way to do this is to screw in some thin screws from both sides. Screw in tight until the pages start to warp, then turn them back a little. Ad as many as you see fit.

Be careful to leave the first to pages off the block, as you need them later!

Than you can glue the back cover to the block....

Step 5: Magnet Magic

Now it's time to close the front. As the clock is battery operated, I needed a way to close the front firmly, but still be able to open it for a battery change. So this is, where the neodymium magnets come in. I usually have some of these on stock, as the come in handy all the time. especially the little 4x4 mm ones.

I cut to small holes int the front of the block, just underneath the first two pages (see, I told you will need them later), put the magnets in an fixed them with some painters tape, to distribute the "load". Then I glued the first to pages onto the block.

Step 6: Wrapping It All Up

For the next step I used this great doublesided tape "Orabond". It's thin, narrow and sticks to almost everything.

While sitting on the book and waiting for the glue to cure I prepped some small washer and the clockwork with the tape. placing the washers is straight forward: place them on the magnets (taped side up of course) close the book, press firmly and reopen it, done.

The clockwork should work the same, I messed up the alignment a bit, but as long as the axles don't touch anything it should be fine.

Now you just have to reattach the hands (maybe you need to bend the a little to clear from the cover) and yu are done.

You can now either hang the clock on to the wall or just place it in your book shelf... enjoy!

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