This project will create Clock out of a pallet along with some angle and straight iron. My daughter wanted to purchase one for around $400 off the internet, then decided to make one instead. Seemed like a good idea, so I thought I’d help out. This is a relatively easy project, but it does include welding and using power tools. Please be careful and make sure you have some safety knowledge about any tool you use. Instructables.com is a great source for how to’s on just about anything, so research before you build. Let’s get started.
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Step 1: Things Needed
1 or more Pallets
20 feet of ½ in angle iron
20 feet of ½ in flat iron
Hand full of ¾ inch nails
28 ¾ inch decorative nails with a twist
Stain or Polyurethane (if desired)
Step 2: Start by Taking Apart a Pallet
Use any method you desire to take apart the pallet. If you search instructables.com for Pallet Disassembly, you can find many ways to rip apart a pallet. It’s not as easy as you think because pallets are made to take some abuse. As you can see from the pictures, we chose the hardest way possible to rip apart the pallet. However, we were able to get all the boards needed from one pallet. Use as many pallets as you need to get enough boards. When you lay the boards next to each other the edges will not line up exactly. There will be gaps between the boards of different sizes. That’s part of the rustic look. If that’s not your style, I made a second one of these clocks for my sister-in-law, and used cedar fence boards for a cleaner look. When you have all the boards you need, cut them to the same length. The length depends on the size of the clock and number of boards you are using. We chose to make my daughter’s clock the biggest square we could get out of the pallet.
Step 3: Make the Outer Frame to Fit the Boards
Cut the angle iron to fit around the outside of your boards. Use a welder of your choice to weld the ends together. Remember to make sure the corners are square, the joints are clean and grinded down before welding and you clean off the excess weld material with an angle grinder. Lay the boards into the frame to make sure they fit. Nail two pieces of left over pallet to the back of the boards to hold them all together. When nailing the top board, make sure the bottom of the board is parallel with the top of the clock. You will use this board to hang the clock, and it will be much easier to hang the clock level if the bottom of the top board is parallel to the top of the clock. You don’t care about the top of the board; just make sure the bottom is parallel with the clock top. Now is also a good time to drill a hole in the center of the wood to fit the clock mechanism.
Step 4: Make the Inner Frame and Cross Pieces
Make an inner frame out of flat metal pieces, so the inner frame is six (6) inches smaller than the outer frame all the way around. Make sure the corners are square, and the joints are clean. Then weld the ends together and grind off the excess weld. Cut twelve (12) spacer pieces to give you individual places for each number. The four (4) spacers on the corners will be longer than the remaining eight (8). Weld them in place as shown in the picture. Cut off any excess metal and clean all edges with a grinder. Paint the metal frame, and stain or polyurethane the boards, if desired. We did not treat the pallet boards in any way, and some still have tire tread marks on them. We figured if the pallets can exist outside for so long, they don’t need any more help. Drill small holes in the metal frame so you can nail the frame to the boards in the final step. We put one (1) hole in each of the eight (8) small spacers, two (2) holes in the four (4) corner spacers, and three (3) holes in each side of the outer frame.
Step 5: Finish by Assembling the Clock
Start by placing the wood face up on the floor or a table strong enough to nail on. Lay the frame on top of the wood, and nail the frame in place. We used round head nails with a twist in them. They hold really well, so the frame does not fall off the wood (and the wall) after some time. Next add the numbers. We just used 12, 3, 6 and 9, but you can use any style or number combination you want. Using the instructions for the clock mechanism, attach the mechanism to the wood. Finally, add the hands then test and slightly bend the hands so they do not get caught up on the frame or interfere with each other. You are now the proud owner of a really cool clock for much less than $400.