Introduction: Making a Clock Out of Recycled Materials

This instructable will show you how to make a clock out recycled materials, in this case they are a black walnut slab, two Stihl chainsaw bars, and a Husqvarna bar.



- A slab or scrap wood you'd like to make your clock out of

- Two old Stihl bars and a Husqvarna bar

- Clock motor and hand set


- Inkscape software

- CNC router

- Chop saw

- Belt sander

- Semi-gloss poly

- Steel wool

- Poly brush

- 5-minute epoxy

- 240 and 280 grit sandpaper

- Palm sander

- Needle-nose pliers

Step 1: Creating the .svg File

I first measured the slab and cuts of the bar I wanted to use. I then roughed out the general shape of the bar segments. To get the shape of the slab, I took a picture of the slab and overlaid it into Inkscape. I used the Bezier tool to trace the rough outline of the slab, then made sure the measurements all matched.

This will give you an idea of how the clock may look and give you the cut lines for the CNC machine and the laser engraver.

Step 2: Cutting the Bars

I measured out where I wanted the to cut the bar segments off at, then used the chop saw to cut the bar segments off. I then repeated this process 3 more times, until I had all 4 bar segments. Since the Husqvarna bar was harder than the Stihl bar, it had to be cut standing vertical.

Step 3: Sanding and Removing the Burrs

The cut bars had some large burrs on them that could not be filed off. I used the belt sander to remove these burrs. I do not know the grit of the sandpaper that was on the belt sander at the time.

If you have a dust collection system, remove the sander from the system so you do not start a fire. Sanding metal, especially harder ones, can produce large sparks that could start fires.

Step 4: Test Fitting

I used the CNC router to cut out the recesses for the bar segments. This first piece didn't work as desired, so I then remeasured the segments, then cut the recess in the second piece. So i wouldn't have to chisel the corners into the black walnut slab and risk cracking it, I smoothed the corners of the bar segments in this step until they fit well into the recesses.

Step 5: Sanding and Fitting

The recesses were engraved into the slab using the CNC machine. I made sure the bar segments fit the recesses by sanding the bar segments down and checking how well they fit, then sanded the slab down with 240 and 180 grit sandpaper until the slab felt smooth.

Step 6: The Poly Process

After the slab was sanded smooth, I used 5-minute epoxy to secure the bar segments to the slab. After the bar segments were epoxied in, I applied the first coat of semi-gloss poly. The next day, after the poly dried, I used steel wool to smooth out the bubbles from the first coat of poly. When the poly felt smooth, I blew off the dust from the poly using the air compressor. After that, I applied the second coat of poly. The second coat of poly produced the perfect color with the wood. So, I then proceeded to add in the clock motor.

Step 7: Putting in the Clock Motor

After the poly was dried and the recess in the back cut in, I could finally put in the clock motor and assemble the hands. I felt these red hands contrasted well with the darkness of the black walnut and were a good length as well. The hands were put on in the order of hour hand, then minute hand, then finally to second hand. Each hand was secured by a little nut which I tightened with a pair of needle-nose pliers.

Step 8: Hanging the Clock

This is the final step. To hang the clock, I used 4 little screws and some copper wire. I first used a straight edge to draw a straight line on the back of the clock, I then used a small drill bit to drill pilot holes in the slab for the screws. I wrapped the copper wire around the screws, then proceeded to screw them in.

Step 9: Why We Should Recycle

Recycling is important because without it, all the trash we produce would still be sitting around, while recycling allows that trash to have another life as something else.

Recycling can help reduce waste production, for example buying a reusable water bottle, up cycling what could be considered trash like using a cut up milk jug as a scoop or a piece of foam for storing sewing needles.