My most passionate hobby is collecting and fixing antique Japanese clocks. I am crazy about clocks!
A couple years ago I started building my own clocks from scratch using my own trademark. It's a pretty easy project to do and nothing compliments a room better than a gorgeous clock on the wall.
Step 1: The Movement!
First you'll need to get a movement. I recommend:
I live in Japan and shipping rates are ridiculous! The movements pictured above are from Aliexpress and they are fantastic! Aliexpress also has free shipping to Japan! YES!
A quartz movement runs on a battery and a mechanical movement winds up. Both quartz movements pictured above run on one AA battery with the pendulum being moved by a magnet.
Also pictured is a melody box movement. You'll find these and other chiming movements on the websites above.
It's better to build your clock around the movement, especially if you're a beginner. This way, you won't make any mistakes when you build the clock body.
Step 2: My Trademark!
I love Japanese trademarks.
My trademark is Karasuki. In Japanese 'karasu' is crow and 'ki' is tree. The word means absolutely nothing in Japanese.
Step 3: Building the Clock Box!
It's hard for me to make a materials and tools list for this project, because I go in with no plan.
Build a rectangular box using plywood and trim. This is where it starts. Have your movement first! The door comes later.
If you don't have the tools to cut your own wood, look for a lumber yard that will do it for you. Some charge something like 50 cents a cut. Lowe's offers free wood cutting too. Don't be shy about asking for help. If the staff is rude, just start serving up knuckle sandwiches.
You can also buy thin plywood and use a handsaw. If you don't have or want to use a saw, this can be cut with just a metal ruler and boxcutter. There is a large selection of thin types of plywood at your local hardware store. Measure everything out and run the boxcutter along the edge of the ruler a couple times until its cut. Mind those fingers!
For joinery, you don't 'need' to do anything special. You can if you have the experience, but screwing the box together and countersinking the wood screws will work just fine. Use stainable wood putty for all holes and sand when it's dry.
You can use a drill or awl to make holes for screws. I often use trim on the inside of my clock boxes for decoration and to make the box sturdier.
Check out pictures of old antique clocks to get an idea of what you want to create. The possibilities are endless.
If you're not a beginner, I often join joints rabbet or dado style. This is what is used on the antique clocks I own, so I copy it.
Again, all of my clock builds are unplanned. I went moment to moment with this one and used scarp wood I had on hand for the top and bottom molding. They're just simple wavy jigsaw cuts.
Step 4: The Clock Door.
I like to make my clock doors last.
You'll build it like a picture frame, because it'll hold in a piece of glass from the back. My local hardware shop cut the piece of glass for me.
To save money, look for large used picture frames and build your clock door to hold the glass from those. Glass is cheaper than plastic, but plastic can be used too.
You'll cut a window for the face and a window for the pendulum. The glass in my clock is one big piece and is held to the back of the front with trim...does that make sense? I need better instructable writing skills.
You'll make a frame on the back of your door that a piece of glass will perfectly sit in. You'll use trim to hold it in.
This is the most difficult part of the project...to write. It's not too difficult to build this badboy.
Step 5: Clock Face and Hardware!
I made my clock face and logo in photoshop, but you can find free printable clock faces with a quick Google search. You can also draw your own.
You'll need to cut a piece of wood to hold the movement and clock face.
I cut two pieces of wood, because I don't follow my own instructions. One for the movement and one for the face. The movement screws onto the back of the wood and the face printout is decoupaged onto the front.
I have wood installed to the inside of the clock body to hold the face wood. You'll need easy access to the battery for when it's time to change it.
You'll also need hinges and a clasp.
Step 6: Paint and Wax!
I panted the clock body with black acrylic paint and then distressed it with sandpaper.
I sealed it with Annie Sloan clear wax and used Jacobean Briwax on the clock face wood and the decorative wood inside of it.
Step 7: Get More Creative!
I've made a couple more since this and my latest clock has a speaker and plays Ave Maria at the top of every hour.