Laser Cut Pocket Watches

About: I am a technical tutor, focusing on Digital Media and Digital Fabrication. My passion is making, thinking is different materials process and techniques.

I was inspired to do this project after finding some old (Cheap) pocket watches in my Mothers loft. I wanted I see if it was possible to take this traditional moving mechanism and combine these with CAD design and digital fabrication I create something uniques.

Step 1: Dismantling the Old Pocket Watches.

After finding the watches in my mother’s loft I was sure they would be working with battery mechanism and to check this I started dismantling them, and they where all of the watches where basses of the same small dismantling with different faces.

With the knowledge is they when forward to dismantling all the watches, in the end, I ended up with about 10 working watches and 4 of these has matching size faces. With have a selection of watches that had the same size face meant I could design a blank of the mechanism on Fusion 360 then use this to design my watches housing around.

Step 2: Initial Sketches and CAD Design

To start designing the watches before going to Fusion 360 I did some drawing showing the dimensions of the pocket watch mechanism as well as some draft sketches of the initial ideas of the look and function of the pocket watches.

These quick sketches gave the change to get my ideas out of my head so I could start working on how to make them.

Using the dimensions I recorded from that watch hardware I took this and started designing the housings as shown in the video.

Step 3: Collect Laser Cutting

After reserving all the elements of the watches back from the laser cutter I split them into plastic rags so I didn’t end up glue different element form each watch together by mistake.

Step 4: Assembly. (Of One Watch)

after doing a quick dry fit of the watches checking that the mechanics fitted and worked in the laser cut housing, I then when on to glue the different elements together.

(These images are from the assemblage of one of the watches.)

Step 5: Images of Assembly of the Other Watches

I did not document assemblage of the other 3 watches as much as I did with the first watch, this is the design and fiction might be different but they are all still make out of layers of wood glued together.

Step 6: Applying Finish.

To finish the plywood I applied Colron Finishing Wax polish.

Step 7: Final Photos

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    3 Discussions

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    4 months ago

    Fun designs! I really like the one with the many pieced, interlocking door on it :)

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    LauraMelnik

    Question 4 months ago on Step 7

    Are the cad files available? I’d like to make one of these, but I'm not really good in case.

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    Thorondor95

    4 months ago

    Lots of room for custom designs. I like dat.