Introduction: Pallet Block Clock

One day I found a pallet near a garbage bin. Since the Internet is full of pallet projects I took it until I have a good idea. Shortly, that idea came up and was time for it to be done. Actually I got inspired from a Youtube video, that someone made a similar clock from pallet blocks. It was a nice and cheap project, as the main material was for free and the rest of the hardware was about 5 to 10 EUR including the amount of glue and finish.


  • Pallet blocks
  • Scrap of plywood
  • Clock mechanism
  • Set of clock hands
  • Screws
  • Triangular picture hangers
  • Nails
  • Stain
  • Spray varnish
  • Woodglue


  • Crowbar
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Palm sander
  • Sandpaper (80, 100, 150 grit)
  • Rasp
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Rotary tool with cutting disc
  • Foambrush

Let's do it!

Step 1: Prepairing the Blocks

With a crowbar I took apart the pallet into pieces. In this project I used only the cubic blocks. The rest of the pallet will be used for the BBQ Firewood Cabin Doors project. I removed all the nails with the tip of the crowbar, but some of them were very wedged into the cubes, that their heads broke off. I trimmed them flush to the blocks surfaces with a Dremel-like rotary tool.

The blocks that were at the corners of the pallet had a big chamfer at the outer edge. Since I coudn't get rid off them, I rasped the blocks to make all the front outer edges of the whole clock to have the same chamfer.

Then I sanded all the blocks with 80, 100, 150 grit sandpaper progressively to smooth every surface and pop out the grain pattern. I left the cracks and any tear offs just to give character to the clock.

Step 2: Central Block

The central block will host the clock's mechanism. To do this I had to make a cavity. With a saw I cut off a slice and marked the center out. I drilled a hole the same diameter as the clock's axis. Then, I marked the hole to the rest of the block so I can mark the clock's mechanism shape at the center. With the rotary tool I cut the little triangle to give the mechanism a rectangular shape.

With a large spade drill bit I drilled a large hole to the block and with a rotary rasp I scraped the inside of the block to the marked shape. Unfortunately I did all this because the blade of my jigsaw was short for the block's dimensions. After the rectangular hole was opened, I glued the previous slice back to the block.

I had a scrap of plywood to make the clock's base. I marked the center and with the jigsaw (finally...) I cut a hole same as the block's.

Step 3: Finishing and Glueing

First I glued only the central block to the plywood. I stained all the blocks with a waterbased dark brown custom colour stain to match the other furnitures in the room that the clock will be. After the first coat, I gave a light sanding to each block and then I applied a second and final coat. I left the bottoms clean to have stronger gluing to the plywood.

At the plywood piece I stained four thick lines, like a tic tac toe shape, which will be visible between the blocks. The reason that I didn't stain the whole plywood, was for gluing the blocks on every unstained spot. After the second coat was dry, I glued all the blocks on, trying to align the outer surfaces of each block and form a nice rectangular shape. I fliped it over and applied one coat of stain on plywood edges, as it will be barely visible.

I sprayed one coat of varnish at the back, just to not be bare wood. At the front and the sides, I sprayed two coats of varnish and did a light sanding at the front and outer surfaces between them.

Step 4: Final Touches

Now that the structure had a shape, it was time to put the hardware. I added a couple of screws in each block, just to be sure they will stay in place. I nailed two triangular picture hangers to hang the clock to the wall (Captain Obvious strikes again). Finally, I put the mechanism into the cavity and handtighted the nut to the axis. I placed the clock hands and set the time. I inserted a battery to the mechanism and... voila! The clock worked flawlessly.

I hanged it at my parents bedroom as they didn't have any in the room. I hope you liked the post and please vote.

Reclaimed Contest 2017

Participated in the
Reclaimed Contest 2017