The idea of making a large wall clock has been floating around in my mind for a while. My CNC often gets used for small cuts so the idea of doing something that uses all the real estate was appealing.
I started by gluing up a panel of 1×8″ pine boards to make a blank big enough for the clock. It’s always tricky to get a nice flat panel, especially when using cheap boards from the home center, but it came out reasonably flat and I kept it clamped down to the surface of my CNC machine when I wasn’t out there working on it.
The next task was cutting the face of the clock out of 1/4″ MDF. Instead of starting from scratch, I purchased a vector art design from Etsy, but with all the modifications I had to make to it, I might have been better starting from scratch (or at least from a different store.) I eventually got it all programmed and even though it would take a lot longer, I decided to run the whole pattern with a 1/8″ bit instead of a 1/4″ bit. That would give me more definition in any sharp corners. The whole cut ended up taking around 3 hours with some stopping in the middle to make adjustments.
After a lot of sanding, I finished the back with some stain and used an off-white spray paint for the face. I usually got for pure white but decided to try off-white this time. I wasn’t sold on the idea until I got to the very end of the project.
For the clock parts, I used clockparts.com. I had used them once before and was happy with their stuff. This time I purchased their high torque clock movement to support moving those giant hands. When the parts arrived, I sprayed the white hands to be the same off-white color as the face.
I cut the blank into a giant circle on the CNC and I was careful to hole right at the center which came in handy for finding the same center again later and for mounting the movement. With the blank flipped over, I pocketed in a whole for the movement and I also added some keyhole slots for mounting it on the wall.
We hung it above the fireplace in the front room and while it’s a fun piece of art, it’s a little tricky to read the time from it. The counterweight on the minute hand and the rings that encapsulate the Roman numerals are all distracting. I don’t know that I’d change the design at all though.
I see these on Etsy and Instagram and feel “meh” about them in general, but I’m super happy with how this project came out. It wasn’t a huge project but it had enough small new things in it to really entertain me.
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