Star Wars Record Clock




About: I am 37, I have a job that allows me to build and make daily. I love my job. I have 6 children, my oldest is also a maker and has written her own instructables. I own a computer repair shop, and I build a lo...

This is not only a tutorial on how to create this record clock, but also instructions on how to create record clocks in general. I will show you how to laser cut a record to create a clock, how to prepair the record, clean after cutting, and mount the clock mech.

Step 1: Parts / Materials / Tools


  1. Record -- I buy them in bulk on Ebay
  2. Clock Mechanism -- Amazon


  1. Alcohol
  2. Blue tape
  3. scrap cardboard
  4. AA Battery
  5. 1 Screw to hang the clock on the wall


  1. Laser Cutter
  2. Drill

Step 2: Design

The hardest part of any record clock is the design phase, it can be very time consuming. I personally use coreldraw, and it seems to work fine for me. In order to easily create record clocks I created a template, it is available for download below. The record template has a red square in the center, that is the area that the clock mech will be, you do not want to have any cutouts in that area or you will see the clock mech in the background.

The red outline is useful for cutting the cardboard so you will know exactly where to put the record. The reason all of the shapes are red in the template is so that you can omit them when it comes time to laser (most lasers cut different speed and strength by color so you can click red and say "do not cut").

Most of the time I will find a picture or stencil on the internet and will use the "trace outline" function in coreldraw to create the drawing. It can take a lot of practice, and patience.

Step 3: Preparation

One of the first things you need to do is grab a 5/16in bit and drill out the center of the record. This will make it so that the clock mech will fit.

The next thing I do is grab a piece of cardboard bigger than the record and tape it to my cutting surface with blue tape. Then I tell the laser cutter to cut "red only" in the design. The red is the outline of the record. This leaves me with a perfect sized hole to place the record in. Now I do not have to worry if the record is placed on the cutter correctly. Now when it comes time to cut the record I can just cut "black only" , and it will cut the design only.

Another thing that is a good idea, if you have any cutting that comes onto the label (the other circle on the template) then you need to tape it with blue tape. If you do not tape it it will leave burn marks on the label.

Step 4: Laser That Sucker (pronounced Suk-aa)

The settings that you will need to use to cut the record will vary from laser to laser depending on the make, type, and power. Mine is a 60 watt CO2 Laser. The settings I used are speed 50 and power 50 to cut the cardboard, and speed 35 and power 40. If you are cutting through the label and blue tape you may have to adjust your power a little higher to account for the extra material.

Step 5: Clean the Record

Carefully remove the blue tape, take care to not damage the label on the record.

I like to clean the record to remove the ash residue that can build up after cutting, I just pour some alcohol on the record and carefully wipe it with a paper towel, making sure to go with the grain of the record.

Step 6: Assemble the Clock

The assembly is really easy, just put the rubber washer on the bolt that is on the clock mech, then put the record over the bolt, then the washer, then the nut.

The hands are simply pushed on, starting with the hour, then the minute, and finially the seconds. Push them all on firmly pointing at the 12 o'clock. Make sure that all of the hands can turn freely without hitting any of the other hands, if they do gently bend them a little so that no hand hits any other hand.

Once all of the hands are pushed on the only thing left to do is put a AA battery into the clock and set it to the correct time.

I hope you liked this Instructible, Happy Making



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    5 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Cool. Maybe there's another way to make a record clock? Without the laser?


    2 years ago

    Vinyl records are made from PVC. Polyvinylcholoride. And that is a pretty dangerous thing to cut on a laser, as well as posing a high risk to your lens and mirrors. it creates a poison gas that is very toxic to humans also. There is plenty of info on the internet about the dangers. The techshop I go to and use the lasers dont allow you to cut any vinyl for just such reason.

    2 replies

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you for the heads up, no more record clocks for me, I had no idea


    Reply 2 years ago

    I took my laser apart and cleaned all of the scum off of it and I see no signs of corrosion. I have cut about 100 record clocks. I have not cut any since you told me this but i wanted to let you know. I think that if you have enough downdraft from exaust you will be alright. but just to be sure i am going to try cutting these with a CNC router instead.


    2 years ago

    Great job on this one!