Introduction: Rustic Wooden Clock

About: Hi, my name is Ulrich Retief. I am currently working as a junior doctor in South Africa. Although I am very busy with my work and extracurricular activities, I love taking my mind off work and relax by doing …

This project is not too difficult, a confident beginner should be able to complete it. I made this clock as a birthday gift for my girlfriend.

My design is very similar to the one found in this instructable (, but I made a few changes and decided to go even more simplistic.

it is made from wood that used to be an apple crate giving the nice rustic look. Pallet wood should have a similar effect if you want to recreate the style I made.

What you need:

  • Wood
  • Glue
  • Screws
  • Wall hook
  • Drill
  • Router
  • Cutting tools (I used a band saw and a table saw, but you can use a jigsaw or whatever you have)
  • Sander
  • Clock motor and hands
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Paint and a sponge
  • Varnish and a brush

Step 1: Preparing the Design and Materials

I started by deciding what size I wanted the clock to be, then I made a paper square that I could use as an template.

I then collected all of the pieces of wood I wanted to use. The planks I was using had rounded edges and were very broad, so I started by using the table saw to remove the rounded edges. I then used the table saw again to split them down the middle (because I wanted the compound look, not just 2 or 3 pieces stuck together) and cut them to the correct lengths to fit over the paper square when placed diagonally. I cut enough pieces to cover the whole square.

When all my pieces were the right size, I lightly sanded them to get rid of splinters while still keeping the rustic look.

Step 2: Touches Before the Glue

I decided to be a little artistic and paint one of the pieces white. I used an old sponge, because I did not want the paint to be a thick layer, just a touch of white. While I waited for the paint to dry, I sanded down the corners of the planks to emphasise where the separate pieces are coming together.

Once the paint was dry, I lightly sanded the paint to prevent it from being too white and to bring out the grain of the wood. I also sanded the corners down as with the other pieces.

Now that all the pieces were ready, I placed them together and checked that the square was still completely covered by wood.

Step 3: Glue the Wood Together

After generously applying glue to the sides of the planks, I placed them in clamps. I always put newspaper or something beneath my wood when gluing it like this to prevent glue going onto to clamps or falling on the floor. You will see that once the glue dries there will be pieces of paper stuck to the wood, but this will get sanded down later.

Step 4: Cutting the Square

Place the paper template on the wood and decide exactly where you want to cut. Be aware that even a slight change of the position of the template can drastically change the appearance of the final product.

Once you have finalised the position, draw lines along the edge of the paper template.

For the cutting, I first used a band saw to cut just outside of the red lines i drew. After this I angled my table saw slightly (5-6 degrees) to cut the sides neatly with a bevel to the back. I have two reasons for doing this.

  1. For aesthetic value. It looks very neat when you look from the front, but don't see any rough edges sticking out on the sides.
  2. For practicality. This slight bevel allows you to place the clock on a tabletop against a wall or something while still standing on the table properly, not just on the corner.

Step 5: Making Space for the Machine

I used a piece of plywood (because my ruler was too short) to draw lines from corner to corner to find the centre of the square. I then found a drill bit that matches the size of the machine head and drilled a hole. I made a rookie error here and drilled from the back to the front. You will see the damage on pictures in the next step. Luckily it did not ruin the project, but make sure that you always drill from the side that will be visible (so draw your lines on the front).

I then placed the machine and drew an outline on the wood. Using a router, I cleared an area for the body of the machine. I systematically went deeper until the machine head could pass through far enough.

Step 6: Adding the Wall Mount

Go up from the centre of the square to find your position. Drill a small hole in the wood that is just big enough for the head of a screw to fit into the plate.

Now you must just attach the plate to cover the hole.

Step 7: Guide Holes for the 12, 3, 6 and 9 Markers

Use the ruler to find the centre of each of the sides and drill a small guide hole for the screws that will be the time markers.

Step 8: Finishing

After applying varnish to the wood and waiting for it to dry I screwed the screws in place. All that was then left to do, was attaching the machine and hands.

Thank you so much for reading my instructable! I hope it was informative and inspiring! If you deem me worthy, please vote for me and please go and have a look at the rest of my instructables.

Have a nice day!

PS. my girlfriend loved it!

Remix Contest 2016

Participated in the
Remix Contest 2016

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Wooden Toys Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Wooden Toys Challenge 2016