Introduction: Twin Bell Alarm Clock From Soda Cans

About: Hello - I am the scientist formerly known as Naegeli and of course I was inspired by the artist formerly known as Prince. But in contrast to his royal badness I do not want be become the king of pop but the ki…

This Instructable shows you how to make a twin bell alarm clock from soda cans.

The project uses soda cans where the ink was removed (Link: Ink Removal from Soda Cans). To make this alarm clock fully functional a DIY Quartz clock module was integrated. Since the Quartz clock module is too big to fit into the soda can directly it had to be reshaped. Therefore an explanation is given how to open up the Quartz clock module and integrate an external battery box. Furthermore it will be shown how to relocate the buzzer outside the housing. In addition a support box was made from Depron (sort of Styrofoam) so the reshaped Quartz clock module fits inside the soda can.

The clock face is made from flattened aluminum sheets (Link: Flatten Soda Cans). From the internet I downloaded various clock face designs and modified them with the free software GIMP. The file with the clock face designs can be downloaded here: Link: The chosen design is then printed onto water-based ink-jet transfer paper. The paper is transferred onto the aluminum clock face using a water bath. In the end all components are combined.

Hope you like that project and please vote for me in the clocks contest.

Step 1: Parts List and Tools



  • Knife
  • Piece of plywood with a thickness of 14 mm
  • Scissor
  • Pliers
  • Can opener
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Pressure cooker
  • Nail polish remover or Acetone
  • Cotton pads and steel wool
  • Single-use glove
  • Drill, Drill bit, Cutting disc
  • Low melt hot glue gun
  • Computer and Ink jet printer
  • Water bath
  • Soldering station
  • 3 mm of Depron (sort of styrofoam)
  • Double sided adhesive tape
  • Circle cutter

Step 2: Alarm Clock Main Structure

    1. Use a knife to make a groove into the top of the lid of the larger soda can
    2. Then cut out the lid along the groove with a can opener
    3. Remove the lid with pliers
    4. Cut the soda can in half
    5. Remove the ink from the soda cans. I already posted an Instructable how to remove the ink from soda cans. You can find it here (Link).
    6. Reduce the size of the soda can to 67 mm with scissors.
    7. Drill four holes in to the main structure. The holes for the legs are in a distance of 25 mm from the front an 55 mm apart from each other. Whereas the holes for the screws to mount the twin bells are in a distance of 35 mm from the front an 50 mm apart from each other.

    Step 3: Twin Bells

    1. The twin bells are made using the soda cans with a diameter of 53 mm.
    2. For easy separation of the bottom and the lid a jig from plywood with a thickness of 14 mm is used.
    3. Use a knife to mark a groove around the can. Hold the knife on the jig at a level plane and then rotate the can around. It is not necessary to cut through the aluminum. Apply some pressure with your fingernail near the groove to separate the top and the bottom part (see video).
    4. Take the bottom part and make a strong groove on the inside.
    5. With pliers start to separate the aluminium to release the dome.
    6. Trim the dome with scissors so the dome forms a perfect circle.
    7. Make a hole in the middle of the lid until you can turn the screws through.
    8. Place the dome on top of the lid and fix it with glue.
    9. Through the hole in the middle of the lid drill also through the dome.

    Step 4: Clock Face

    1. Download the clock face designs from here (Link).
    2. Choose your favorite.
    3. Print it on water-based ink-jet transfer paper.
    4. Cover the print on the transfer paper with a clear colorless lacquer spray. This is used as a protectant when you place the transfer paper in water. Only in this way the ink is not washed off.
    5. Then cut a circle (outer diameter: 64 mm inner diameter: 7 mm) out of flattened soda cans. I already posted a video how to do this (Link).
    6. Then cut out the clock face with scissors
    7. Place the ink-jet transfer paper with the clock face in warm water. As soon as you can transfer the film to the aluminum circle. Remove excessive water with a tissue and let it dry.
    8. As soon as everything has dried, remove the transparent film in the inner circle of the clock face with a knife.

    Step 5: Quartz Clock Module Reshaping

    1. Remove the clock hands and the black knobs on the reverse side
    2. Lift the 4 flaps with a knife and then open the reverse side of the clock cover
    3. Remove the gears from the clock work
    4. Take out the buzzer an cut off the cables
    5. Bend the battery contacts back to the inner side
    6. Cut of all edges of the black clock frame and the lower part of the battery box like shown in the picture
    7. Cut also a small notch in the transition between the battery compartment and the clockwork to provide a passage for the cables that we will solder on later.
    8. Also carefully remove the blue circuit board with the quartz.
    9. Now solder two cables to the power supply of the blue circuit board as shown in the photo or video.
    10. Place the blue circuit board back in place including the gears for the clockwork.
    11. Replace the reverse side of the clock cover.
    12. Remove the edges of the clock cover.
    13. Extend the wire to the buzzer and solder it back to the blue circuit board.
    14. Solder the external battery box to the power supply on the blue circuit board.
    15. Test if the alarm clock is still working.
    16. Glue the cables from the buzzer to the reverse side of the clock cover with a hot glue gun.
    17. Glue the buzzer to the reverse side.

    Step 6: Support Box

    1. Cut a circle with a diameter of 64 mm out of Depron (sort of Styrofoam)
    2. Place the circle inside the main structure and mark to position of the screws
    3. Hold the clock face made out of flattened aluminum sheets on the front side of the quartz clock model. With a Geo triangle determine the distance between the end of the battery box and the outside of the clock face radius. In my case the distance was around 21 mm.
    4. Cut two segments out of the Depron circle with a height of 21 mm. One segment as the marks of the screw positions included.
    5. Cut out the marked positions for the screws.
    6. Mark the position of the external battery holder on the segments.
    7. Glue two distance holder (45 mm) in between the two segments.
    8. Glue reinforcements at right angles on both sides.
    9. Cut an opening in the reinforcement to allow the cables for the external battery box to pass through.
    10. Cut an opening for the external battery box on the opposite side of the segment with the slots for the screws.
    11. Close the battery compartment with another Depron piece.
    12. Glue the support box with a hot glue gun to the quartz clock module.

    Step 7: Combine Everything

    1. Fix the clock face to the quartz clock module with double sided adhesive tape.
    2. Add the clock hands to the quartz clock module. Adjust the position of the clock hands so that the alarm is active at the correct time.
    3. Screw the four screws into the main structure. Use countersunk screws for the twin bells and regular screws for the legs. The cap of the screws for the legs protrude slightly on the inside of the main structure. This is intentional, because in this way the clock face with the support box don't fall out of the case. It is fixed.
    4. Press the quartz clock module into the main structure.
    5. Screw on the twin bells.

    Now your twin bell alarm clock from soda cans is finshed.

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