I had a spare firewood trunk, maybe oak wood, with a nice looking end grain. I took the log to a neighbour to cut it in slices with his bandsaw. Τhe shape of the slices was pretty round and I thought that would be a nice table clock. The next day I bought a clock mechanism, some small hands to fit inside the circle and a bunch of numbers from a local hobby store. The total cost was about 5 EUR.
- Firewood slice
- Clock mechanism set
- 8mm dowel
- Wooden trim
- Gold patina
- Spray varnish
- CA glue
- Dremel type rotary tool
- Miter box
- Fine file
- Sandpaper (80 - 2000 grit)
- Forstner bit
- Straight router bit for the rotary tool
- Drill bits
Let's do it!
Step 1: Making the Cavity
I found the center of the round slice and marked it. I drilled a hole, the same diameter as the clock's axis. I placed the clock in the hole to mark where the cavity needed to be carved. I made the beginning with a forstner bit little by little, to reach the appropriate depth and followed with a rotary tool and a small router bit with a lot of patience. After a lot of "carving" I made a very rough shaped cavity. With a pair of pliers I cut the little triangle to give the mechanism a rectangular shape and fit in the cavity.
At the next step I will cover the ugliness of the cavity.
Step 2: Frame and Stands
I had an old piece of trim aside and I thought to make a frame out of this, was the best solution I could do to hide the edges of the cavity. I measured the dimensions and cut the trim into pieces using a miter box for a 45 degrees cut. I glued the pieces onto the slice to make a frame above the cavity. This frame also hides the mechanism. Win - win situation.
The clock needs to be able to stand. I cut two little dowles at the same size to make the legs. I rounded their edges to look nicer and with a small file I made a flat surface at each leg to touch better on a table. I drilled two holes to the slice and glued the dowels in.
Step 3: Sanding and Number Placement
Time for the boring part. I sanded the back side only with 80 and 100 grit sandpaper because it's... back! It will not be seem. The front sanded with 80, 100, 150, 240, 400, 600, 1000 and 2000 grit progressivly. The result was a very shiny and smooth surface.
Before I put the numbers in place, they needed some preparation. There was a little hoop at the top of each number, maybe to hang it with cord or something. I cut it off with a pair of pliers and filed any excess down. Then I applied some gold patina because the bronze color they had didn't mach with clocks gold details.
I marked on the wood where the "center" of each number should be. I applied a tiny bead of instant glue at two or three spots, depending the number. Very carefully, I put every number in the right position, tried not to squeeze any glue on the wood.
Step 4: Final Step
The final step was to apply some spray varnish. Unfortunately, the grain didn't look as well as before with the varnish. Anyway, it was too late. I sprayed two coats with a light sandning in between with 400 grit sandpaper. After the varnish was dried I assembled the mechanism and put the hands on it.
The clock seems very nice, to me at least, and I gave it as a gift to a friend. Maybe it seems nice to her too. If you also like it, please vote for the clock contest.