PVC Pipe Clock

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About: I'm a 14 year-old homeschooler that likes making and designing stuff. Period.
One of the things I like doing the most, is taking something cheap, and transforming it into something extraordinary. It's just so much fun! The way you feel when you've completed it, the way everything fits together when you're making it, that feeling of pride in your own abilities! So here goes my first instructable: the pipe clock.

There are lot's of cheap things to hack: flash drives, light bulbs, earphones, batteries, or even MOUNTAIN BIKE HANDLES!!! But the thing I like improving the most is a clock. Yes, the kind that has three hands, a simple alarm, maybe even an LED. Usually, these clocks can be found at your local book store (to see what kind of clock I'm talking about, go to step 1).

If you're ready to get started, then press "Next Step"!

P.S. This instructable is a detailed version of Make Vol. 30 "Pipe Dreams", click here to see what their's looks like.







Step 1: What You'll Need

What You'll Need:                                              Tools:                                              Level:


(x1) Clock - $10*                                                 Scissors                                        Easy

(x1) PVC pipe -
$0.50*                                        Exacto knife

(x1) Cardboard - $1*                                           Marker

(x1) Spray paint - $4*                                         
WD-40 (or rubbing alcohol)

(x1) Electrical tape - $2*                                    

(x1) AA battery holder - $2*                                                                      

(x1) AA battery - $0.50
*                                     

(x1) Double sided foam tape - $1*


When you buy your clock, make sure that the round, clear-plastic cover on the clock is about the same size as the pipe (see picture 7).

Let's get started! >>

Step 2: Make the Clock Cover

Remove the clear plastic cover from the clock, and start wrapping the electrical tape around it (fig. 1). The reason we are winding it around the cover, is so that we can get a nice fit between it and the PVC pipe.

After you think you're done, cut off the tape, and check if it fits tightly inside the pipe. If the cover is too loose inside the pipe, then add some more tape, and if it doesn't fit into the pipe, then take some tape off. Once you're finished with the fitting, take the cover out, and cut off the excess tape (fig. 4) . The finished object should look like fig. 6.

All right, next step! >>

Step 3: Make the Clock Face and Bottom Cover

Trace two circles, both the same size as the cover, onto a thin piece of cardboard (fig. 1), and cut them out. Make sure that they both fit tightly inside the pipe (fig. 2). Next, spray paint one cardboard circle black (fig. 3, 4, 5, 6), and cut a "U" shaped tab in the other (fig. 7, 8, 9, 10). The clock mechanism will be mounted onto the spray-painted cardboard  to make the clock face, and the cardboard with the "U" tab in it is the lid that prevents the battery from falling out. The "U" tab is for pulling out the bottom cover for when you need to make adjustments to the clock.

Next step, please! >>

Step 4: Solder the Battery Holder

Find the positive and negative wires connected to the clock mechanism (in this case red and white, see fig. 1), and solder them to the battery holder (fig. 2). Usually, standard clocks only need to run on one AA battery, but if you also want the alarm and LED function, then you will need two. To make things simple, we'll stick with the clock only version. At this point, you should test your clock to see if it works. Watch the video below.

Yup, next step! >>

                                                                                                                                

Step 5: Put It All Together

Puncture a hole through the center of the spray painted piece of cardboard (fig. 2, 3), then put a few pieces of double sided foam tape on the clock mechanism (fig 1), and then attach them together (fig. 4). Next, mount the hands onto the axel of the clock, and carefully place the battery, alarm, and LED (if your clock has one) into the pipe (fig. 6). We're not using these functions now, but you might decide to use them later on. After that's done, fit your clock into the PVC pipe (fig. 7), adjust the time (fig. 8), and  push the cover tightly into the pipe (fig. 9). Make sure that you wipe the insides of the cover before you put it in. OK, last but not least, push in the bottom cover (the one with the U tab in it, fig. 10), and also make sure that it's nice and tight.

You're done! Go to the next step to see what else you can do with this awesome clock! >>

Step 6: Be Creative...

Now, let's see what else we can do with this clock. First of all you can try hanging it on the wall, so that it looks like a pipe that came out of nowhere, or you could paste some stickers on it, so that it looks like it had been on a busy New York street. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that the possibilities are limitless! Just promise me that you'll do something creative with it, and have fun!


Thanks for reading/looking through my first instructables. I hope you enjoyed it, and thought that it was great. If you really liked it make sure to vote for it in the "Fix and Improve" and "Hack It!" contests, or just rate this five stars. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comment section below. See you guys next time!


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    27 Discussions

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    Nico Bambach

    2 years ago

    make sure clock inside is round because mine was square and didn't fit into pipe

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    Logan302

    2 years ago

    looks great

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    DEEJAY642

    2 years ago

    awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    mugdhaverma

    3 years ago on Introduction

    Cool. I'm thinking of decorating this clock with a 3D creations. You can make them using an inexpensive 3D pen like goo.gl/izSIHt

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    mhuppertjojackso

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    The last issue of Make Magazine showed PVC speakers, but no clocks. Other then the elbow, not much the same.

    Nice simple project though, it wold look good on my desk -- if I cleaned off enough space for it.

    Yes, I got the idea from Make volume 30. I'll make sure that I will attribute it.
    Also, thanks for the suggestion! :)

    Cool, thanks. It's good to see a step by step with a more detail since they only had like 1/2 a page for this. Also good to see recycling things. I like the idea of using "found items" or "old junk" to make new things. My wife though doesn't like the fact that I don't throw anything away. She doesn't understand that I might need it one day! At least I don't have 20 years worth of stacks of newspapers, just a junky garage.