Introduction: Keeping Up With the Times

About: Computer Engineering Undergrad. My parents like to do diy so I know a little about A LOT. DFTBA.

This project was inspired from a few months ago when I found a stash of old watches that were cheap and whose batteries had died. I have an aversion to throwing away things that still work but I didn't want to spend the money replacing batteries because I mainly use a fitbit now so I decided to make a clock with the hours being represented by watches.


- Old Watch Faces

- Wood (I used a reclaimed piece of 2x6)

- Clock mechanism (I bought a $4 clock and stole the parts)

- Wood glue

- Hot Glue/ Other Adhesive


- Stain

- Polyurethane

Step 1: Take Watch Faces Off Their Bands

To start you take the watch band off of the watch. I put the double flange spring bars (yes, I did have to look up what the thing that holds the watch to the band was called) back because I thought it looked better, you do you though.

I then arranged them in a circle-ish design to see what pattern looked best and set the time of each clock to the hour they represented because I'm extra like that, the more attention to detail the better.

Step 2: (Optional) Disassemble the Clock You Bought

If you bought a clock mechanism not pre-attached to another clock, skip this step.

The clock I bought had screws that held a plastic backing to the frame of the clock. I took those out and was left with the plastic backing that had a the box with the gears on one side and the hands on the other. To remove the hands of the clock and the box you gently pull on the center of the second hand. It will come off pretty easily but be careful not to bend any of the clock hands. The minute and hour hands are snugly fit into their grooves, but should come off without much effort. The box that held the gears was attached by a built in hook of sorts which I just had to pull back with my thumb to release.

(Protip for those who like to repurpose stuff- Use the old clock frame and glass as a unique picture frame)

Step 3: Make the Clock Base (Sub-tutorial)

For the base of the clock you can do whatever you want. I considered doing mild metal working or a simple wooden box, but decided I'd add an extra level of fun to my project by making a herringbone design. There are several good tutorials on how to do this (like this one, or this one) but to be honest, I just went for it.

To start I cut thin (around a half inch) slices of 2x4 and probably cut about 30 of them. I then laid them out in the herringbone design.

I didn't have the patience that day to piece them all together individually and decided to use some thin, long pieces of scrap wood (about 1"x6"x1/2") and wood glue to attach them. Basically I made the design, put some wood glue on the backing wood and placed them, put some boards on the side of the design so I could clamp the ends together and decrease gaps and then I placed weight on top so the backing pieces would firmly attach. It wasn't the most perfect way to go, but I embrace the imperfections and like the individuality. Cut the edges down to a square (or in whatever design you wish). Make sure that your base will be large enough to accommodate the hands of the clock as well as the watch faces.

The next part of this process was to cut out a hole for the clock mechanism to go in. The shaft of the clock wasn't long enough to attach the hands through the wood and I wasn't crazy about having to add more wood to the back in order to accommodate the extra space needed for the box. It was pretty difficult to cut out the box without breaking the wood and I ended up using a drill bit to score along the trace out of the box and then using carving tools to get the square cut out.

Then I had to create a cover for the box. This was a challenge because there is about 1/4" gap between the bottom of the shaft and so the pieces have to be quite thin. I cut 3 of these and then used a drill bit to create the hole for the shaft. I used wood glue along their edges to attach them and clamped them together to dry. Once that is done make sure it fits with the clock mechanism box in your design and glue your additional square to the base.

Next I sanded everything down, be sure to remove all the wood glue, it changes the color of the stain if you decide to go that route. I did stain it and put on a coat of poly to give it a bit of a shine. I also decided that the black clock didn't stand out enough against the dark stain and decided to spray paint them gold

Nice work so far! We're almost done.

Step 4: Attach Clock Hardware and Old Watch Faces

The hands went on easily onto the base in the same way they came off. When you are attaching them, make sure that they are fully seated in their notch to ensure they continue working as planned.

Arrange your watch faces and ensure they don't hit the edges of the hands. Attach using an adhesive.

Note: I just eyeballed the circle and spacing and chose to use hot glue so that if I attached something wrong I could have a second chance. It came out pretty well, but there was one that I had to take off and reapply because the hand got caught. I'll let y'all know if the hot glue doesn't work well over time, but so far it's done me well.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Unique Clock

I attached a picture hanging hook to the back of the clock to hang it on the wall and now I can easily tell the time in my room.

Thanks for reading, let me know if you have any questions!

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