If you browse around many gadget shops, you will have invariably seen CD clocks for sale, usually in the $20 range, and thought, "nice, but too much money". Or, if you frequent memorabilia stores you'll see Elvis CD wall clocks. These use the same mechanism, but have a picture CD of Elvis on them instead, retailing in the $40 range. If either sound appealing, but both sound overpriced, here's a quick makers guide to creating your own.
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Step 1: Preparing the Mechanism
First, buy a cheap clock mechanism. These are easier to find than you think. Visit any thrift or pound store and you'll probably find some garish clocks for sale with perfectly good mechanisms, but flimsy and unappealing surrounds. I live in the UK, and bought one going cheap for a pound just after England had been knocked out of the World Cup. Again. Hobby stores and electronics shops will probably sell you the exact same mechanism for $5-8. Get one with the longest hands you can find.
Step 2: Dismantle
Second, dismantle the whole unit. Removing the hands first will allow you to slide the surround off easily, as it is often glued to the mechanism itself. The surround often has the screw hole for mounting, which the mechanism lacks. But don't worry about lose such vital functionality because, without this hulking piece of plastic, it can be secured very effectively with just blu-tack. One of the clocks in my house is still going strong since the last World Cup!
Step 3: Completion - Plus an Alternate Idea
Lastly, re-assemble the clock by placing the last CD you coaster-d (or one of the free online trial discs) over the mechanism spindle and fixing with a couple of dabs of glue or blu-tack. Be sure to place the glue away from the inner clear circle, to avoid spilling into this window, and becoming visible from the other side. Then replace the hands, painting them first with model paint if you prefer. Fit the battery, and stick it to your wall.
Voila. It's done! For a custom version, you can buy a cheap music CD with a picture on it from the same pound shop to create something more personal. If you already have a colour printer and CD printer labels, this is obviously unnecessary.
To make the "Elvis version", buy a simple A4 picture frame (costs around $5-8) and create a picture of your favourite star in the GIMP and stick this printout into the frame, and glue the clock in the centre. Instant personal idol worship.
Blimey, is that the time? I'd better go!
Taken from CD Clock