Abbey Road Record Clock




About: Majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Interests include collecting vinyl records and vintage cameras.

Are you a Beatles fan and vinyl junkie? Are you looking for "Something" unique, easy, and inexpensive to make? "Imagine all the people..." staring at this clock that you can create! So let's "Come Together" and make this iconic clock step by step.

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Step 1: Supplies and Tools

You will need to acquire the following supplies:

  • Inexpensive vinyl record (I advise against using an actual Abbey Road record due to its high value)
  • Glossy or matte 4" paper print out of the center Abbey Road label
  • White glue
  • MINWAX Polycrylic Clear Satin Finish
  • Clock Kit which includes: clock gear box and clock arms
  • One AA battery


  • Adobe Illustrator program
  • Laser Cutter
  • Exact-O-Knife

Step 2: Virtual Technical Drawing/Cutting Out

Initially, my intent was to manually cut out the silhouette using a standard Dremel cutting wheel. The high speed of the Dremel causes the vinyl to melt and adhere to the bit, resulting in a disastrous outcome. Other forms of sawing result in the vinyl cracking and shattering randomly.

A much more precise and quick method would be to use a laser cutter.

  • Google search "Abbey Road Silhouette" and chose whichever version you prefer. Larger images are recommended for Illustrator
  • Using the program, Adobe Illustrator 64 Bit, you can drag and drop an image from the downloads bar at the bottom of Google Chrome and create a virtual technical drawing.
  • By changing the page dimensions to 13"x13", you can chose the ellipse tool to make a 12"x12" circle (vinyl size).
  • A step-by-step Adobe Illustrator tutorial will be available soon to show the somewhat more complicated method of tracing this silhouette and sending the information to the laser cutter.

Until then, these YouTube videos explain how to use the program to prepare files for the laser cutter:

Step 3: Applying the Center Label

In order for the clock to look authentic, it is important to carefully apply the center label.

  • Google search "Abbey Road center label" and chose an image that can easily be cut out
  • Using any program of choice (I used Microsoft Word), change the image dimensions to 4"x4"
  • Print on either glossy or matte paper (I used regular paper), whichever is preferred and cut the circle out neatly
  • Thin glue paste slightly with water to avoid having the paper bubble up
  • Apply a thin, even coat of glue to the paper and/or the record label
  • Once dry, flip record and cut away excess paper
  • Apply a thin clear coat finish on the center label

Step 4: Clock Application

The clock kit that I am using has a step by step tutorial on the reverse side of the package to set up the clock. In this case, neglect the "clock surface".

  • Place rubber cushion over shaft
  • Insert shaft through clock face (5/16" hole)
  • Place dial plate (gold washer) over shaft
  • Attach dial fixing hex nut
  • Attach hour hand, pointing upwards and press down lightly
  • Attach minute hand, also pointing upwards and press down lightly
  • Lightly screw minute nut in place
  • Place second hand in place and press down firmly
  • Insert AA battery, set time, and it's complete!

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    16 Discussions


    3 years ago

    use hot knife or heat in oven @ 250 when soft take out and exacto will have to repeat a few times. than one last time in oven than take out and put a pan or such on top to ensure flat flat. will not shrink up.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Did you apply any glue to the mechanism body to secure the album or are you using only the tension of the washer/ nut?

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    For this instructable, I did not use glue however you can use glue if necessary. You could also adjust the laser cut silhouette so that it does not cut the center vinyl hole


    4 years ago on Introduction

    The facilities director for the laser cutter I have access to does not allow the use of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) in the machine. Most vinyl records are made from PVC.

    The cutting process releases chlorine fumes which damages the components.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, this is awesome! Now I just need a laser cutter...


    4 years ago

    I love this concept! I'm part of the "younger" generation on here but I love retro tech and I have such find memories listening to my father's old records. Great 'ible!