NES Controller Clock




Introduction: NES Controller Clock

This guide will instruct you on how to create a NES controller shaped clock, made from wood and plastic. This was created in a wood tech class, so laser etching was available; however I am sure that other methods of rastering the designs and cutting the button shapes are possible.

Dimensions (mm): 488 x 210 x 14

- 1 block of wood dim. 488 x 210 x 14 or greater
- Black and Red plastic sheet ~2mm thick
- Plastic Glue
- Access to a laser etching machine
- Clock Mechanism

Link for clock mechanism: {link} (Clock numbers included)

Credits: (Nintendo Font) (Button Font)

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Step 1: Create Design

The first step, of course, is to create the design; this will give you an idea of what it will look like, and will come in handy later on when you need to raster on the design. Either create this yourself, or use my one.

I used a combination of Microsoft Word (general formatting), AutoCad (drawing up final design/printing) and Google Sketchup (working out dimensions/original concept)

Tip: try to make sure that the design is not at all pixellated, as this will show when the clock is rastered (I learnt this the hard way!) Also, ensure you make the design in line-art form, with everything as you want it to appear on the actual clock (so no fill apart from the letters)

Step 2: Create Wooden Base

Start by creating the wooden base: the type of wood shouldn't matter, use whatever type you like. I personally used a light pine block. If you can't find big enough pieces of wood, you may need to glue two together, as I had to do.

After this, cut the wood down to the dimensions 488 x 210mm. Width shouldn't matter as long as it's less than 14mm to fit the clock mechanism. However if its too much thinner than this you'll need a shorter shafted clock mechanism.

Make sure to sand the wood down to get a nice smooth surface: this will help when it comes to gluing the buttons and numbers on, and also gives it a nice feel. If you want to use varnish/dye, go for it!

Step 3: Rastering the Design

Now comes the hardest/easiest bit, depending on your access to a laser engraver machine. Obviously, if you have one of these expensive machines lying around the house somewhere you shouldn't have a problem. Chances are that you don't, though. If your local workshop/tech club has one then try to use that, and ask a regular visitor, or other knowledgeable person how to use it.

Using your line-art design from before, raster your design onto the clock, with cutting mode off. Make sure all the dimensions are exact, and make sure the clock is lined up correctly (otherwise the final raster may be off center, or on an angle)

There are probably other ways that you could do this, but rastering is easier and usually gives a better result.

Step 4: Creating the Buttons

You may skip this step if you don't have any plastic avaliable, or if you prefer the raster design by itself.

Now for the buttons! Here you will need to create the designs for the buttons. If you have Vectorworks, use that: the vectors will ensure that there is no risk of pixelation or distortion.

Create 2 circles with a diameter of 46mm (or whatever it is in your design), a d-pad 85 x 85mm and start/select buttons 40 x 17mm. Cut these out of red plastic for the A and B buttons and black plastic for the others, making sure the plastic is not too thick as if it is it will stop the hands from travelling around the clock. Mine were 4mm wide, but this width can vary depending on the width of your clock.

Finally, glue these onto the clock using plastic glue; be careful not to shift the buttons or mis-glue them, if you have to take it off it leaves a horrible mark on the wood!

Step 5: Clock Mechanism

Warning: the clock mechanism itself is not centered; thus using the inbuilt hanging mechanism will make the clock hang on an angle. As a result you may want to change the position of the mechanism, or alternatively add another hanger to the back left hand side or an extra weight to the back right side of the clock.

You almost forgot we were making a clock, didn't you! Don't worry, we're getting to that now!

To start, a reminder; the longest shaft length for the clocks only just fits a clock 14mm thick so check the width of your design! Also don't forget you'll have three hands at different distances along the shaft, so double check that the hands won't hit any of the buttons.

First, order the clock mechanism online, or of course, use one you already have. There are several places you can get these, but I used Carba Tec (Aussie shipping and all). The link to this can be found above in the intro.

Next you will need to go ahead and drill a 9mm hole between the start and select buttons for the clock, and (when it arrives), insert the shaft through the hole. Next, put on the hands, making sure not to turn them too much from starting position, as this is bad for the mechanism. Also ensure the hands are clear of each other, otherwise they will get caught and the clock will stop.

Glueing on the numbers comes next, you can decide to put them all on, but I decided that the main 3 hour intervals should be enough. You can use the length of the clock hands to determine where the numbers should be! On most clocks they sit just  further than the hour hand reaches.

Step 6: Voila!

There you have it! Your very own NES Controller Clock! Batteries aren't included, of course, so you'll need some AA's to get it working, and of course getting it to sit straight on the wall is half of the fun!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy making your own NES-Controller clock !

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    11 Discussions

    I don't know anything on how to do this *please see name* But you could possibly take a real one, put an alarm clock in it, and use the B and A buttons to set the two times and use the start and select buttons to activate them. just an idea.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Would be fun if you could make one with a microcontroller in it... Maybe a timer to see how many days of your life you have spent...


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice project! I tweaked the first photo trying to make it look better/clearer. Don't know whether it worked, perhaps someone better at photoshop than I could add some text to jazz it up:


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! It was great fun to make, too!