Introduction: Wooden Wall Clock

My mother wanted a wall clock for the cellar. It is where she has all of her sewing stuff. She often spends whole afternoons there and needs a way to control the time she stays. Also I though a clock will fill some of the emptiness of the room.

Having some free time and some scraps of wood, I made this as a present for my mother. And now you can also make a hand-crafted present for someone (or for yourself) with a few woodworking tools and little skill.

Step 1: Materials

You will need the following materials:

Wood, I used 22 millimeters thick scraps
Thin plywood, about 3-5 millimeters thick
Wood glue
Paint for the clock face
Finish of your liking
Clock mechanism, you can get it at crafts stores
Pendulum for clock mechanism (Optional)

And the following tools:

Drill bit of enough size for the jigsaw blade to pass through and other of enough size for the clock mechanism shaft to pass.
A mean of joining two pieces of wood together, I used a biscuit jointer because I have access to one but you can use alternatives like dowels, a pocket hole jig or other joinery.
A sander, I used a belt sander

Step 2: Marking and Cutting the Wood

First you should mark the outline of the front on the wood. You just have to draw the decoration of one side; you will mark the other one with the leftover wood of the cut. That way you can assure the symmetry of the piece. To draw the hole for the clock face you can use a compass or a round object like a pot lid.

Then you mark the sides of the clock. If you want to add any cut-out ornamentation to them make sure you begin it where the front ends to achieve a better effect. Also make sure you leave enough space for the top. The decoration is marked in the same way as the front.

Now you measure the wide of the side and the wide of the front and outline a part of the same dimensions.

With all the pieces outlined in the wood, cut them with the jigsaw. For the straight cuts you can use a straight edge to guide the saw. For cutting the clock face hole drill a hole in the circle, then insert the jigsaw blade in it and start cutting the inside.

Step 3: How to Use a Biscuit Jointer

I will write here a short guide on how to handle a biscuit jointer, in case you have access to one but you don’t know how to use it.

A biscuit jointer is a power tool with a small circular blade that penetrates into the wood to make a slot for an oval piece of compressed wood, called biscuit. The join it makes it´s like a dowel join but instead of using a dowel to that purpose, it uses biscuits.

First you lay together the pieces you want to join and mark the spot where the biscuit will go. Grab the biscuit jointer and make the slot, use one hand to control the tool and other to turn it on and push it into the wood. Repeat with the other part. Now put some glue in the slot of one piece, insert the biscuit and apply more glue then fit the part with the biscuit to the other one. Clamp it and wait for the glue to do its job.

Step 4: Joining the Pieces

Join the top to the sides with biscuits, or whatever pleases you, and then the sides to the front. Clamp it.

While you wait for the glue to dry, measure the wide of the inside of the clock and cut a piece of thin plywood with that wide and long enough to cover the clock face hole and a bit more. Check if it fits and do a mark in the clock frame and in that piece to remember its position also mark the outside of the clock face hole in it.

Step 5: Painting the Clock Face

That plywood piece you have cut is going to be the clock face. You can leave it plain or paint something in it. If you decide to paint something remember that you will only see what is inside of the clock face hole.

I suggest you to trace your design with pencil, not with a pen like I did, so you can erase your traces after it’s painted. Also I suggest you to paint the numbers, not make them with a permanent maker, it looks better.

To mark the position of the numbers you can eyeball it, use another clock or do it with ruler and compass.

Step 6: Sanding and Finishing

When everything it´s dried, sand the clock frame and round its edges. Don’t sand the clock face or you will make the paint disappear. Drill a hole in the middle of the clock face for attaching the clock mechanism but don’t attach it yet.

Apply the finish of your choice and wait for it to dry.

Step 7: Attaching the Clock Mechanism

With the finish done nail or glue the clock face to the clock frame and then attach the clock mechanism to it.

With that last effort you have finished your clock, now hang it on the wall and admire the beauty of your work.

Woodworking Contest

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest