Introduction: Perpetual Calendar

About: I'm an inventor / maker / designer based in the Bay Area. My background is in residential architecture, film set design, animatronics, media arts, exhibit design, and electronics. I use digital design and fabr…

Instead of buying an unsightly paper calendar every year, take the time to make a classy one that will last the rest of your life.

Step 1: Tools and Materials


  • Saws: Table saw for making long cuts, chop saw for making cross-cuts. You could also use a circular saw with guides in place of these.
  • Sanding: I used a belt sander to clean up the cuts and did all the finish sanding by hand.
  • Templates: I made the templates by etching masked wood on the laser cutter, but this could also be done by printing the templates on an inkjet and spray gluing them. The etching saved me the soldering iron burn step, which would be done by tracing out the text with a soldering iron to burn in the text. Another option for the text would be to use letraset transfers or just exacto out the text and use the template as a stencil for acrylic paint.
  • Wood: I used some leftover maple I found in the shop, but any hardwood would do nicely.

Step 2: Cut Out the Pieces

Having etched my templates into the wood, I used the table saw and chop saw to cut out the pieces. If you're using a soldering iron or stenciling paint, I would recommend doing so before you cut out the pieces- It's easier to do delicate work on larger pieces.

The sticks are just over 18" wide, so the calendar takes up a lot of space on a wall- it may be worthwhile to scale it down a bit depending on the wall you intend to place it on.

Step 3: Assemble the Mounting Piece

The base has 3 layers: The base piece, the spacers (same thickness as the sticks with the text) and the top chevron pieces that point to the text at the center.

There's no end grain touching here, so just carefully align and glue the parts together. The most important thing is to make sure the sticks fit snugly between the spacers while still being able to slide back and forth.

Step 4: Keyholes

To hang the piece on the wall, I decided to make some quick keyholes. I started with disc shaped cutouts on 1/8" plywood, cutting them out on the band saw. These give the screw in the wall something to hold on to.

Next, I drilled holes using forstner bits to make cavities for the screws. After gluing the discs on, I drilled another hole below the top of the slits in the discs to allow the screws to enter the keyholes.

With a little filing to get enough of a hooking action, this worked really well.

Step 5: Finished Piece

With this quick and easy project (about 4 hours total without glue drying time), watch the passing of the days in style.

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