Last month I was at a BBQ and the house next door was cutting down their beautiful Eucalyptus tree. I noticed they had a lot of spare tree trunk chunks, so I asked If i could have one and they said "Sure!". I hauled the 150lbs stump back to my home and turned part of it into a beautiful stump wall clock.
I made it at TechShop San Francisco and it was very easy to do!
Step 1: Materials
1. Tree Stump
2. Crosscut Saw
3. Power Sander
5. Clock Kit
Step 2: Saw the Clock Off
At this point you have a nice new stump that you want to turn into a clock. Mark a 3/4" deep ring around the top of the stump.
Now take the cross cut saw and begin sawing along this line. Saw in few strokes so that there is a cut about 1/4" deep everywhere on this line. This way your saw will be able to follow the line when you cut. Now use a lot of elbow grease to saw through the stump.
This took me 3 sessions of about 40 minutes of sawing. Its a lot of work but at the end you have something really nice.
Step 3: Glue the Back
Because this is likely a green piece of wood, there will be a lot of water in the slab you cut. As a result it will be evaporating quickly out of the slabs end grain and will cause cracks. I like the cracks in my slab, but if you want to prevent cracks or stop the cracking, lather glue on the side of the stump you don't plan on putting the hands on. This will clog the wood pores and prevent water from exiting one half of the slab.
Step 4: Drill Clock Hole
Find the center of the wood slab. This will be where the wood rings get smallest. Use the drill press to drill a hole through the slab equal to the shaft diameter of your clock kit.
Now drill a 1/4" hole in the back of the slab 3/4 of the way between the center and perimeter. Don't drill all the way through. This hole will be used for added support when hanging the clock.
Step 5: Sand the Front
Once the glue dries, take the power sander and sand the front of the clock slab. This will make it nice and smoothe.
Step 6: Shellac the Front
Put a few coats of shellac on the front of the wood slab. This will block the front pores from water escaping and causing cracks. It will also finish the wood in a pleasant way opposed to the rough finish of glue on the back.
Step 7: Insert the Clock Kit
Now glue and insert the clock kit shaft through the hole you drilled into the clock. Attach the hands to the clock kit shaft and let dry.
Step 8: Mount the Clock
Use the half hole we drilled into the back of the slab to hang the clock on the wall somewhere. Congratulations, now you can tell time! well, at least you have a means to tell time.