Make a Clock Out of a Bicycle Brake Disc




Here is what you can do with all those old/spare bike brake discs you have lying around!

You will need:

- bicycle brake disc
- cheap quartz wall clock
- superglue
- ruler
- 2 long bolts and 2 nuts to fit them (optional)
- brasso
- kitchen sponge + towel

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Step 1: Clean It Up

If your brake disc is an old one and very rusty - like mine was - then get a little 'brasso' or other metal cleaning stuff and a kitchen sponge that you would use for washing up, and give it a good clean. It can get scratched easily if you use the hard side of the sponge, but with the rust being quite bad in my case, i didnt mind scratching it abit to get rid of the brown stuff. After it all comes off, get a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe it all off, it should become nice and shiny, just like new.

Step 2: The Cheap Quartz Wall Clock

Now get your cheap unbranded quartz wall clock, just like in the picture here. It helps that when you are choosing the clock, the length of the minute hand of the clock is a little less than the radius of the brake disc. I went for a clock with metal gold coloured hands, but the black or the silver ones would look as nice i think.

Take out all the screws on the back of the clock that hold the front and back together, normally 3 or 4, so that the front of the clock comes off. Sometimes, the front transparent screen of the clock is held in place by a few little plastic clips, so use a thin flathead screwdriver to get it out.

Now gently remove the clock hands, first the second hand, then the minute one, then the hour hand.

The working body of the clock (the black box that has all the insides in it) is normally held by glue. I ripped it off using a flathead here as well. Go gently on it so you dont crack the body.

Step 3: Head: Measure It - Stick It

Now get the ruler and use it to find the vertical and horisontal middles of the facing side of the clock box, it might help to put little lines through them with a pencil. Now try to fit the clock box to the back of the brake disc and make it level. By level i mean that you can try and arrange the disc top and bottom (depending on how the large holes are placed throughout the disc) so that you have different holes for every different hour marks of the clock. I had to do this as my finished clock will not have any numbers stuck on it, so i would still be able to tell the time! See picture, this might explain it better. For the glueing process, you would align your 1200 with 1800 with the vertical centre pencil line on the clock body, and the 1500 with the 2100 with the horizontal centre line on the clock body.

Now, once you found the way one will fit to the other, get your superglue, make sure all surfaces are dry and free of dust, and start applying the glue, minding the surface of the disc to avoid the holes (see picture notes again). Squish the two together (be careful to do it properly - this is where the pencil markings of the holes come in handy), wait a minute - and its ready!

Step 4: Hands

Now attach the hands to the centre of the clock - Hour hands first, then minute, then second hand. Again, be gentle with them.

Step 5: Legs

You can now either put a large screw through the 12 o'clock hole and hang the clock on the wall, or like me, you can attach the legs to it if you would like it to be freestanding. As you can see, i got 2 long 2.5" bolts and a couple of nuts for them. I chose round cross head bolts, but you can of course try the big fat hexagonal heads too. Ive put them through the 5 o'clock and the 7 o'clock holes. This way, not only they will now tell me when it is 5 o'clock, and 7 o'clock, but i think it gives the it the best angle when it is stood on the table.

Step 6: Heart and Tuning

Now stick the battery into the back of the clock body - the hands will start moving. Tune the clock by turning the little round wheel on the back. Set the correct time, otherwise the clock will be useless.

Step 7: Comments

Please constructive criticism comments only for this one, as this was my first instructable. Also, please post the pictures of the brake disc clocks you made!



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31 Discussions


3 years ago

This looks really cool!


3 years ago

Gosh, that's really a fabulous idea! My brother would be astonished. He loves to make such things on his own, so I'll be waiting for a result! The other thing any men admires is something powerful and military, like knives. I'm going to order my bro one from knife store to make him double happy!


5 years ago on Step 7

Hi there, not sure if you will still be responding to this. But I'm going to pick up my brake disc now and I'm super excited to give this clock to a friend. I want him to be able to hang it on the wall in his garage. I love the idea you had for it to be sitting on a desk, but do you have any ideas about how you could hang it on a wall?


5 years ago

You can buy a clock making kit that has the hands and the time piece and put it in this a little cheaper than you can but a clock


5 years ago on Introduction

This is awesome and I've been looking for a clock for my man cave area, thanks a lot.


6 years ago on Introduction

Great job!! I think I might do this for a friend who rides, then one with a motorcycle disc for myself.


6 years ago on Introduction

Thank you, thank you. I wanted to make something for my partner this year, and this is perfect. He's already used a couple bike brake discs on art projects, so we may have more lying around, but he's anal and would know if I swiped it. I found one exactly like the one above on Amazon.


7 years ago on Step 7

Thanks a ton for this instructable! I had an idea to do something like this, but wasn't sure if it would work out the way I thought... And you proved it could! I work at a bike parking service and we wanted to decorate our area with more biking things, so this is amazing


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

thank you for your inspirations friends :D
I took my unused disc brake from my scooter, If I had time I will post the instructions


I did something like this once. I used a old Fire alarm Phizo buzzer . It runs on 5-10 volts and a 9v batt will really wake you up. A copper strip makes a easy sw or surplus cherry switches. I have used old dimes to switch 50- 100 amps, pennies will work , newer pennies have little copper more zink . Nickles are moe stainless steel than nicker , old nickles were more nickel, and make good switches too. Silver solder is the best switch material. 98% silver .You can coat your old copper contacts with
silver solder and increase the life 50x and it wont corrode., I did and do this with Car starter Solinoids so they last forever. Also transfer more volts and amps so your starter works better and lives longer....... I rebuild classic
corvetts and hi perf cars


8 years ago on Introduction

I think drive sprocket would be nice and more attainable.


11 years ago on Introduction

This is a great idea and it was so easy. It really makes a perfect gift for anyone that likes tech. As for not having these disc lying around, I just bought a new one at my local bike shop. I asked them if they had any worn out ones to give, but these don't seem to wear out that much, so good luck. But a new one off the shelf was just $15 so no big deal for me. I used numbers on mine, they come with most clock kits and the brass look goes nicely with the metal disc. I recommend getting a kit for thinner mounting like 1/4" so the hands don't stick out. I found JB weld worked best to glue it, hot glue was worthless, but epoxy like recommended is probably fine. I couldn't find fully threaded bolts in the length I wanted, so I got partially threaded ones, some acorn nuts and some aluminum tube to space it. I think it turned out great and looks even better. I like the look of cap head screws better too and used all stainless steel hardware just to make sure it stays nice. Best bet for the hardware is bring the disc into the hardware store and test fit some bolts till you're happy.

3 replies