Introduction: Clock Cabinet
I've been interested in books for as long as I can remember. I just recently began to look into clocks and how they function with all their various p arts and gadgets. After a ton of research and studying other peoples clock projects (and also disassembling many clocks around my house ), I finally discovered many of their fascinating secrets. I then decided to create some of my own functional artwork from the information I had gained. And what better way to show off my creativity and brains than creating an instructable for everyone to share in the fun?
While beginning to write these instructions I came to the conclusion that not everyone has top of the line tools or every single machine and tool out there (myself being one of these people), so in many of the steps I will include alternate tools that can be used to create this project, as well as useful tips that I discovered along the way.
Take into consideration that having friends with their own tools can be a big help too. I didn't have many tools or the space to work in really, but I was conveniently allowed to take over my friends work space
Please Take note that this has potential to be a lengthy project ( or maybe it just seems that way because i created it?) but even so it is a very doable one that will bring great satisfaction and enjoyment at the end.
I had to deal with little children and annoying cats through much of it's creation. So i wish you luck in avoiding distractions
Step 1: Gathering Materials Needed
-Google Sketchup http://sketchup.google.com/
-Plenty of workspace (helps to be clean)
-Over needed amount of lighting (the brighter the better!)
Hand tools needed-
-Cheap not-so-great-sticking tape (no, its not a joke)
-Ruler (preferably metal edged)
-Exacto Knife (a couple extra blades helps)
-Spray-On Adhesive (Or Elmers Glue, Spray-On works better)
-Acrylic paint (red pops out well)
-Small Point Punch
Power Tools Needed-
-Jigsaw (Or Radial Arm Saw, cuts more accurately)
-Sander/s (mouse sander for large surface smoothing, Belt sander for evening out edges)
-Table Scroll Saw
-Dremel Tool (Or short dowels with sand paper glued around them)
Raw Materials Needed-
-Five 1x2x 6
-One 1x4x 6
-luon board (for back)
-Four 3/8, 4 dowels
-One , 4 dowel
-Stain of your choice (multiple colors if you want)
-Chain (8 feet should do)
Step 2: An Explanation of Things
**BE SURE TO READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY, IT CONTAINS METHODS FOR MEASURING. LOOK AT ALL PICTURES!!!! THEY HAVE EXPLANATIONS IN THEM FOR STEPS!!!!**
-The first three pictures explain how i measured out the dowel spacing throughout the entire project. Basically I measured out one piece, putting marks at even intervals, then by placing one board next to the board it will be joined to, I could then mark the holes evenly with each other. By doing this it cuts measuring time in half. Use your best judgement when deciding
The only thing to watch for is cracks between joined pieces.
-In the fourth picture a 3/8ths dowel is measured at each inch interval then cut at each. you'll cut up two 4 ft dowels
-Once ready to secure the dowels, roll them in glue on wax paper and put into place, also coat surface to be joined with glue
-The last two pictures explain how to mark positions for holes, using the paint and inserted dowels, place a dab of paint on the end of the inserted dowel, then holding the piece in front of it's final position, puck the two pieces together. After pulling them away from each other your hole positions should be marked.
If you find out you misplaced a hole you drilled, you can simply take a dowel and push it into the hole, then mark with a pencil the depth to which it went in, then trim that piece off and glue it into the misplaced hole.
Step 3: Cutting Out the Legs
One: Mark out the feet on a 2x4 ~pictures 1-3
Two: place a board under your 2x4 to allow for clearance of blade. Then using your jig saw,cut out horizontal lines and sides ~picture 4
Three: Remove leg from board ~pictures 5-6
Four: Cut notches in sides
Five: Using radial arm saw, or hand saw, cut out notches where the front boards and back will rest following the Sketchup reference pictures ~pictures 7-8
Step 4: Cut Out Boards
Cut out your boards using the Cabinet sides picture and Cabinet Door picture. (Be sure to follow notes in pictures)
The dowel holes I made are shown in the picture are shown in the pictures.
I recommend putting two or more in a board with even spacing, the larger the piece, the more dowels you put in it. try and put the dowels an inch or more from the edges when possible.
There aren't any specific positions for them I just used what looked like it would work best.
Use these pictures as references throughout the project (printing them out works well, then you don't have to keep switching between files)
Step 5: Assembling Cabinet Base
Begin by marking out base boards (pieces in reference Cabinet Sides- 1a, 2c, 3c, 4d)
Do this by place all the pieces along their appropriate sides, and make sure that legs are in the right places (a's to the front, b's to the back)
Second:Mark out and double check hole positions
Third: mark hole positions with paint method, then using your point punch and rubber mallet, mark centers of hole positions (this will give your drill tip a place to begin and keep it from sliding)
Fourth: drill holes making sure they go straight(I used a slightly larger bit to give the dowels a little more freedom for adjusting. the bit size was 21/64ths)
Fifth: place dowels in holes that were cut from step 2 dry, put pieces together to make sure they all fit correctly
Sixth: glue ONLY LEGS to the base. be sure that all edges are even or as close as possible to it.
Seventh: Clamp down legs and let dry
Lastly: Measure all legs and finding the shortest, mark off all other legs at this length, using a belt sander or similar, sand off legs equally (this step is important if you don't like wobbly cabinets!!!)
Step 6: Glue Sides Together
(Pieces to used in this step from Cabinet Sides Reference: Right Side-2a, 2b, 2c; Left Side-3a, 3b, 3c)
-Measure out holes for sides and drill them using point punch and reference pictures
-Place dowels and check the fit
-Using the router table to cut a grove, put in a 1/4 inch bit, check the height of your router bit, then placing your ruler flat on the table and against bit, measure out the distance from guide to the bit, and distance from guide to table edge. Then measure out distance from guide to edge of table on both sides of table (pictures 1-3)
-use on center piece, and only cut grove 1/4 inch into ends(this is to allow for false back corners)
-After cutting groves, glue and clamp down, making sure that pieces are not bent while gluing
-Also cut grove in reference picture and drill appropriate holes for top board (1b)
-Cut out Luon, one piece 16 3/4" x 48 1/2", second piece 51 1/4" x 18"
-Begin measuring out holes for door
Step 7: Assemble Cabinet Frame
First: Measure out holes, mark and dril
Check fit of pieces before gluing
Second: Place side flat on floor, Insert base and false back board
Third: insert top board
Fourth: insert side board
Fifth: Carefully stand up and clamp together making sure edges are squeezed together well
Step 8: Assemble Door
Measure out pieces and drill holes
Check assembly dry
Glue and clamp pieces together, using square to check the sides and make sure they are even. If sides aren't even, the clamp can be adjusted individually to twist the door frame
Lastly place center divides ( without glass, divides can just be cut in half. with glass divides can be cut into three pieces, removing the width of the glass)
Step 9: Make Templates
Using Google Sketchup, open gears file provided in step one.
Set the following things in the pop down menus:
Camera- Parallel Projection
Camera- Standard Views- Front
View- Face Style- Wireframe
Next select print
In the print menu set the following
-Uncheck Fit To Page Box
-Check Use Model Extents Box
In the printout to 1 inch
In Sketchup to 1 inch
Next trim the edges of the printed templates and tape together with tape making sure all points match up. It helps to use a tape that doesn't stick well as it can be pulled off and moved around multiple times.
Next trim out each gear leaving a small amout of excess
Now using The spray on adhesive or watered down Elmers glue, coat the boards you will be using to cut out your gears.
Making sure to avoid knots place your gear templates one at a time ( if using Elmers glue, using a ruler, slide across template to evenly apply to board)
Step 10: Cutting Out Gears
**MAKE SURE YOU PAY ATTENTION TO THE CENTER HOLES AS SOME HAVE X'S AND SOME HAVE ONLY LINES. X'S YOU CUT ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE CIRCLE, LINES YOU CUT ON THE INSIDE. THIS IS BECAUSE SOME GEARS MOVE FREELY WHILE OTHERS ARE ATTACHED TO SHAFTS***
Use your scroll saw to cut out gears
One: Cut outer circle of gear at the tips of teeth (picture 1)
Two: Make cut one stopping at base of tooth then pulling back out of cut (Picture 2)
Three: Make cut two by going to base of tooth then carefully turning gear and removing the section when you reach the end of cut one (pictures 3-5)
Four: When finished cutting out all the teeth drill holes in center and between spokes to place scroll saw blade
Five: Use your router to smooth out the spokes of the gears on both sides
Step 11: Clock Face
***MAKE SURE YOU PAY ATTENTION TO CIRCLES AS SOME HAVE X'S WHILE OTHERS HAVE ONLY LINES. THIS IS BECAUSE SOME HAVE MOVING PARTS AN MUST BE WIDER THAN THE DOWEL THAT IS IN THEM WHILE OTHERS HAVE SOLID PIECES. X'S ARE TO BE CUT OUTSIDE OF THE CIRCLE WHILE LINES ARE CUT INSIDE***
First: Print out templates titled Random bits using setup steps from step 10
Make sure you place templates so the longer portions go with the grain of the wood
Second: After cutting out pieces, begin assembling the bottom of the clock face starting with the supports and two circle pieces, glue pieces like shown in picture 1
Third: Next, place the circle over over a ruler lining up the supports against it, then glue circle piece together
Fourth: After glue dries take Board 4a and over lap the circle as you did with the ruler in the center and draw the curve. Then cut out curve that clock face bottom rests on
Fifth: Next continue to glue the remainder of the face pieces together starting with the circle pieces
Sixth: adjust straight supports by sanding down in small amounts until all four pieces fit snug then glue
Step 12: Assemble Front of Cabinet
Mark, drill and check fit of front pieces (pieces in Cabinet sides diagram 4a, 4b, 4c, 4d)
Place dowels and glue in place then clamp down
After front has dried, place clock face, glue and clamp down
Step 13: Begin Placing Clock Gears
Using Sketchup open the clock cabinet file in step one.
Using the the orbit tool you can look to see where pieces are positioned by rotating around the model (sketchup can be tricky when you first start out using it so play around with it a bit and get a feel for it)
The green numbers are the gears, you can see which gears are connected to each other by clicking the select tool then clicking on a gear(gears are also labeled as a and b meaning that there are two gears on the shaft, or just a number meaning it's only one gear on an axis). Sketchup will then highlight that gear and the gears in which they are connected to. Use this feature to help you understand the placement of the gears.
The red letters represent mounting posts. If two mounting posts are labeled the same they are identical
The yellow numbers represent all the other clock pieces (ex: pendulum, chain wheels, etc.)
The gears aren't placed at any specific distance from one another, they are at about one inch apart.
Cut the shafts out of 3/8ths, these are not any specific length either
First: Begin with the minute gear set (1a, 1b)
Using the 3/4ths dowel begin drill a hole(picture1)
Since the dowel will get hot when you drill it you should clamp it down and drill the center out. this will make a hollow shaft about 3 and a half inches long. these pieces will go over the hour hand shaft. (picture 2)
Second: Cut a 2 inch piece of the hollow shaft and glue to one side of gear 1a, cut a 1 inch piece of the hollow shaft and glue to the other side of gear 1a. glue gear 1b to the 1 inch shaft
Third: using Sketchup place the remainder of the gears on their shafts and posts, BUT DO NOT GLUE DOWN!!!!
Gears should mesh well. Some adjusting will be required as some teeth may stick. to do this use a piece of sand paper and sand the sides of the teeth NOT THE TOPS. After you have the positions of the gears set check to make sure none of the parts get stuck on on shafts or posts.
Fourth: trace post bases with a pencil and remove them, draw dowel marks and begin drilling holes.
Step 14: Begin Staining
***DO NOT STAIN TOP OF CABINET!!! YOU WILL REMOVE YOUR MARKS OR MAKE THEM NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE!!!!****
First: Stain the cabinet body and door with your preferred color scheme.
Second: Stain your gears and shafts (use as little stain as possible on shafts as it will make them fit tighter the more you put on)
Step 15: Reposition Clock Parts and Attach
Use Hollow dowels as gear holders. These must be place on two sides of a post so that the gears do not slide out of mesh.
Using the marks you drew before you stained reposition gears and DOUBLE CHECK THAT ALL GEARS MESH WELL AND NO OTHER PARTS INTERFERE WITH THEIR ROTATION BEFORE GLUING!!!
After you are absolutely sure that your gears move freely begin gluing posts
Follow the Pictures below and use sketchup for tips
Step 16: Place Pendulum and Weights
The pendulum is made by cutting out two 3" x 1" , and two 1"x10 inch pieces and gluing together as shown in the pictures. After the pendulum dries, the weight can be moved up and down the shaft to adjust the time. it can be held in place by wedging a thin piece of wood in between the dowel and weight. Raise the weight to shorten the swing, lower the weight to lengthen the swing
The weights are two boards, one 2"x 10" and the other 2" x 5".
When measuring the length of the chain, the bottoms of the weights should come half way between the height of the cabinet.
Step 17: THE FINISHING TOUCHES!!!
Attach your door, hinges, Adjust your pendulum by checking with a digital clock, attach the back of your cabinet with small 1/4 inch screws around edge (can be taken back off to adjust time. and finish staining top of cabinet and back.
Make your clock hands, the hollow shaft is the Minute gear and the smaller is the hour. Be creative with your hands! they are your finishing touch!!!
AND YOU ARE FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
now celebrate and sleep for five days
Finalist in the
Craftsman Workshop of the Future Contest
Participated in the
Homemade Holidays: Holiday Gifts