Paper Clock: "Make Your Own Working Paperclock"

This is a paper clock. This is NOT my original design. I got it from a book by James Smith Rudolph that I bought from The comes with instructions and diagrams (diagrams posted) and the pieces are printed on the pages which are heavy stock paper. You have to cut the book up and the pieces out then glue them together then using some sort of "axle" (I used straighten paperclips). The instructions say to use "latex based glue" but I used "Aleene's Original Tacky Glue" and it worked just fine.

These pictures are a few months old. I did not know about this glue contest until just today. My sister told me about this contest so I figured I would submit the pictures that I took. The contest says that any project is eligible just as long as it involves glue and this involved 4 fl oz (118mL) of glue, a couple paper clips, and 10g of beads.

All of this is 100% done by my hands: Cut, Glue, Assemble, Mount, Adjust. The only thing not original is the template/diagram/design but the reason that it works in the first place is that I had to take some mechanical thinking and know-how to make sure it ran.

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    8 Discussions


    2 years ago

    ive just paid to hope to show patern downloads for this clock but disappointed. to been shown just pictures,

    had brought the book part made clock returnd and found that I need to remake numbers 36 through to49, can any one help with patterns


    2 years ago

    A question that has been bothering me about this project: I assume you must be quite accurate when cutting out the pieces; this being said, does it matter whether you cut to the outside of the lines thus leaving the lines on the pieces; or do you cut to the inside of the lines and remove them?

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Excellent question! Yes and no. Yes cutting the pieces out can affect the accuracy of the finished assembly and then the compounded inaccuracies can affect the clock movement. Is there one way better than another? I'll say no, because it's still paper, however my clock needed adjustment cuts but only to the escapement wheel. I think that the consistency is more important than under the line, over the line, or on the line. And in that case I'd say you can always take more off than put more on.

    Hello, I have made this clock, but I cannot get the top part which swings with the pendulum to interact properly with the top cog wheel. I am also having issues with the two drives that turn the hands of the clock, they mesh, but they are too tight. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you for your article!

    1 reply

    Sounds like a similar problem I use to have that First wheel (the smallest/escapement) if the teeth are too long or misshaped the Anchor (fork) will not hook in and hook the next tooth that would be your first step in making that is fluid. The "two drives that turn the hands of the clock" that i think you are talking about is the little wheels outside of the Main Box Frame just inside the face. Those should be pretty tight if they dont turn try checking that they move manually sometimes glue can slip in there and glue something you dont want but the tube that the minute hand is on since it was rolled into a cylinder the inside end will stick out and catch on something try filing that down so its completely smooth.

    Pro Tips:

    Go Slow take your time be patient and be prepared for the long hull. This is not a one day affair I would dare to day that its not a 1 week affair.

    the frame pieces definitely be pro-active when gluing that they do not twist while drying. Look down the pieces and line it up.

    Be creative when making it. You have to be a precise as possible so make jigs and fixtures to hold things (shown in one of my pictures) I used cardboard pieces from the box the book was shipped in and cut up paper clips to hold pieces in place to glue in place.

    Get a set of X-Acto knives for precise cuts and you'll be able to tell when you should take a break because your fingers/hands should hurt from cutting.

    This is very cool, I've never heard of this book before! I'd love to hear more about your process! Any tips you would give to other people who attempt this project? Did you learn anything new or unexpected while making this project?