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...

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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Homemade Gifts Contest 2017



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    9 Discussions


    1 year 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

    1 year 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

    1 year ago

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