Patience Clock




About: I'm a woodworker who makes fun woodworking projects on my wife's side of the garage!

They say that patience is a virtue. That's what this clock is all about. We check the time frequently throughout the day because we need to be somewhere, or we're running late, or we want to see how long we've been doing something. I wanted to make a clock that reminds me to be patient throughout the day.

The symbol on the clock is a Kanji character that represents "Patience". The clock is designed with an Asian flair and the timepiece hangs like a gong. It's made from a single fir 2x4.

First, see if you have the patience to watch my slow-motion video of the clock build, then see if you have the patience to make your own Patience Clock!

Click here to read my blog post about this clock and download the free templates.

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Step 1: Cut the Template

The template for this clock can be downloaded here. Carefully cut out the template along the lines, because you will be using the template pieces to cut out the wood parts.

Be patient and cut as accurately on the lines as you can.

Step 2: Cut the Legs and Top

Cut three pieces of 2x4 that are long enough for the legs and top. Use spray adhesive to attach the front view templates to the side of the blocks. Carefully cut the front profile out on a band saw.

Lay the legs and top down flat, then attach the side view templates with spray adhesive. Cut the side profiles.

Sand away the saw marks. (This is easier to do now than when the clock is assembled.)

TIP - When attaching templates to the wood, pay close attention to the direction of the lines in the wood grain. For example, the clock will look best if the grain lines on the front of the legs are symmetrical.

Be patient and cut slowly on the band saw.

Step 3: Cut the Cross Braces

Cut a section of the 2x4 so that is it 3/4" thick and big enough for the two cross braces.

Attach the cross brace templates and cut them out. Sand to the lines.

Be patient while sanding the cross braces. The ends should match the curvature of the legs.

Step 4: Make the Timepiece Gong

You will want to purchase the clock insert prior to this step, so that you can measure it and cut the correct size ring. (I got the 2-3/4" clock insert from Hobby Lobby SKU# 637868 that requires a 2-3/8" mounting hole.)

Cut a section of 2x4 that is thick enough to receive the clock insert, so that the back of the clock does not protrude out the back side.

Cut out the ring and drill two small holes just big enough for the cord to be inserted.

Cut a thin piece of 2x4 and glue it onto the back of the ring.

Be patient when drilling the holes in the ring so that the ring does not break under pressure.

Step 5: Cut the Kanji Symbol Panel

Cut two pieces of 2x4 that are about 1/2" thick and glue them together. Attach the panel template and cut it out with a scroll saw.

Be patient when cutting the sides of the panel so they match the curvature of the legs.

Step 6: Glue the Cross Braces to the Panel

Sand all parts smooth. It's easier to do that now before assembling the clock.

In the bottom cross brace, drill two counter-bore holes for the gong cords. You will want to drill a small hole the size of the cords all the way through, then use a slightly larger drill bit to drill a recess to receive the knot that will keep the cord from coming out. Tie a knot on one in of each cord and slid them through. Cut off excess cord. Note: These knots will not be accessible once the clock is glued together, so make sure the knots keep the cords from pulling out.

Glue the cross braces to the top and bottom of the panel according to the template.

Be patient and make sure the symbol is right side up.

Step 7: Glue on the Legs and Top

Glue the panel assembly to the underside of the top, making sure it is centered. Glue on the legs.

Be patient and make sure everything is centered and aligned well.

Step 8: Apply the Finish

Apply the finish of your choice. I used spray lacquer since it enhances the beauty of the wood and dries fast. Avoid getting finish on the cords.

Be patient and avoid any runs in the finish.

Step 9: Attach the Timepiece Gong

Insert the cords into the ring. Tie knots on the ends of the cord and cut off any excess. Insert the clock.

Be patient and tie the knots where the clock will hang centered and level within the opening.

Step 10: Attach Felt Pads

Stand up the clock and make sure it does not wobble. Sand the bottom of the legs to remove any wobble. Attach pieces of self-stick pads to the bottom of the legs.

Whenever you look at the clock, it will remind you to be patient!

"Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly ever acquire the skill to do difficult things easily." (Friedrich von Schiller, 1759-1805, dramatist, essayist and poet.)

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Second Prize in the
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    26 Discussions


    Question 9 months ago on Step 2

    I am working from my home workshop and do not have access to a band saw. Could i shape the legs with a jigsaw or am i best trying my luck with a coping saw? Thanks!

    1 answer

    Hi Charles - I think a jig saw and coping saw could be used to cut it all out. It will just be slower and require more sanding to make it smooth. The curves on the legs and top could actually be done with just a belt sander, but use a dust mask.


    Question 9 months ago on Step 5

    Working from home and don't have a scroll saw (yet). Could i cut this with a dremel?


    3 years ago

    Sorry I must have missed it.

    What did you use to glue the template to the wood with that made it stick and then remove so easily without marks?

    Thank you :)

    3 replies

    Hi Sherylin - I use 3M General Purpose 45 spray adhesive from walmart. I spray a very light misting of it on the paper template, then wait about a minute for it to dry before sticking it on. If the paper doesn't peel off easily, soak it with mineral spirits and it will peel right off, then rub off any residue with mineral spirits.

    Ok thanks :)
    Sorry for the late reply to your reply.
    I only just found out about your reply.
    Thanks again :)

    Ah ok thanks. I have used that 3m before to permanently glue things together so this is a new oncept to me lol. Thanks again :)


    3 years ago

    TheCarmichaelWorkshop, great job on the Patience Clock. Your instructions, video, and pictures will make it easy for anyone to build a clock. Any tips on maintenance of the clock? Good luck in the contest.

    Roddy Scott

    3 years ago

    I am glad to see that you left the beauty of the wood to enhance the form of the clock.

    Japanese styling often reflects the material used and you have done a great job with this.

    As they say, 'less is more'!


    3 years ago

    Awesome clock. I would have stained it first and then sprayed lacquer. You have my vote :)

    Thank you! You can get wall clock mechanisms too. You just drill a hole in your clock, then mount it from the back and put on the hands.


    3 years ago

    You get my vote for making something so elegant from mundane materials.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    What a great instructable! Clear and simple with a beautiful result and a helpful message. You get my vote.