Segmented Oak Clock, From Firewood




About: I am a maker and here I am sharing the fun stuff of making and creating! Apart from fun my goal is to share knowledge and acquire it. My topics are woodworking, metalworking, maybe some composites, electron...

Intro: Segmented Oak Clock, From Firewood

This project started from a an idea for a gift. My Parents in law have a very old little standing clock and my girlfriend suggested if make a little gift for them from wood. They had a big stack of firewood and there my idea was using firewood to make a segmented clock.

They really liked this christmas gift so we are happy we did give it to them!

I have plans and drawing for this project available, you can find them on my website:

Step 1: Segments

So the starting point was making segments from firewood. My piece of oak yielded a wedge of around 45 degrees. Then I needed 8 pieces to make the full circle.
I used a large protractor to measure and mark the wedge on the endgrain of the piece.

Step 2: Rip Saw

Now the next step took some effort. I sawed the cheeks of the wedge shape. I don't own a bandsaw so i had to use a handsaw. A bandsaw would make this work go a lot faster but we can't have all the things we want. I used a pull saw for this, The more straigth I can saw, the less time i need to correct the faces with a hand plane. I still needed to plane a bit.

After the sawing and planing I could saw the wedges to thickness, I used a miter saw to do this. The firewood still was a bit oddly shaped so i had to be careful the blade biting in the wood.

Step 3: Glue Up!

After the wedges were in their shape, I dry fitted the segements. Some needed a little correction with some sandpaper. I made enough wedges to make two clock faces. I wanted to have a backup if something went wrong.

When glueing I used a small dot of hotglue with regular wood glue. This helped instantly bond the joint and i could work quicker. After glueing I sanded the faces to remove glue and discoloring.

Step 4: Clockwork

I got the donor clock from a thrift shop nearby for about 0.75 cents. This even was a little old Ikea alarm clock. It was a bit fiddly but with some patience and good observations the clock came apart.

Step 5: Pocket for the Mechanism

Now I needed to make the recess for the mechanism. This was not super easy because the thickness of the wood wasn't very convincing. You could do this with a small router and take shallow passes to the correct thickness. I don't have a router, but I am fortunate enough I was allowed to use the conventional mill at my work. They are very supportive of creative personal developments so that is great.

With the mill I could take shallow passes and make a nice square pocket. Oak mills very nicely, not splintery and the chips are nice and small.

Step 6: Clock Assembly

After that step, I placed the clock mechanism in the pocket. And I attached a block to the backside of the segmented plate. In the block I drilled two holes for two small platic rods. These became the legs for the clock.

Step 7: Finishing

I used some boiled linseed oil on the clock face as a finish. This clock stays indoor above the fireplace or front of a window so finish isn't really needed. The color of the endgrain deepend more very nicely with the finish. And then the pointers could be reattached to the mechanism.

I hope you enjoyed this little instructable, It was fun to do, the planing and milling were a bit delicate but overall the process went quite easily. Thank you for reading!



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    9 Discussions


    9 months ago

    I would suggest 30 degree wedges for your next clock project. Then you would have a seam at each hour, marking 1, 2, 3 o'clock, etc.

    1 reply

    9 months ago

    This... this is awesome. I'm envisioning using different species to get a color gradient. I'll be making one soon!

    1 reply
    Sebastiaan Mollema

    9 months ago

    Hi all, I hope you can enjoy this little clock making project! Let me know what you think. Enjoy!