Saturday, 24 October 2015

Pallet wood clock

So I started this wooden clock weeks ago after seeing so many nice ones on Pinterest. I basically wanted an oversized wooden clock that I could make from pallet wood.
If I had realised beforehand just how tedious and annoying it was trying to get the numbers and the angles of the numbers right I probably would have never started the project but hey ho it's finished now and I'm quite happy with the finished product.

I'll give you a run down on how I did it and I'll let you know how I would do it differently if I did another one.

First off I gathered several planks of pallet wood and laid them good side down - with pallet wood the "good" side is basically the better of either side, they're never going to be perfect.
Once I had them laid down I used large clamps to really squeeze them together ..... then I realised this was pointless as I couldn't attach the pieces that would hold them all together while the clamps were in place so even at this early stage I was making silly mistakes.
Once I had removed the clamps I attached 4 pieces across the back and screwed them down while trying to pull the front wood together as much as possible.
With that done and now measuring approx 40" x 40" I found the centre point and used that point to draw the circle I would then cut out. TBH there has got to be easier ways to draw a circle but I used a nail in the centre, attached a pencil to string, attached the string to the nail and did the circle that way BUT it kept coming out wrong because no matter how hard I tried to keep the pencil in the right position I found that even a teeny tint movement took the circle off circle - so frustrating!
I managed it eventually and then I just cut the circle out with my jig saw - it was at this point when I realised I should have used less screws to screw the back supports on and I should have made sure they were out of the path of the jigsaw. I broke a couple of blades before admitting defeat and actually unscrewing certain nails - yes I am that lazy that I would waste blades rather than unscrew something.

As you can see the circle wasn't perfect but it didn't take long to sand that bulge out.

Next I needed to create a half inch or so band all the way round the clock. I decided to try using the same nail method but with 2 strings attached to the pencil - I figured this would stop that movement I spoke of earlier. It didn't! After several attempts I was getting the same rubbish result and the band would be half inch thick in one place a quarter inch thick in the next, so I came up with what I think was a brilliant idea but forgot to photograph it.
To get the band regular all the way round I put my metal ruler at the top black mark and then I marked with a pencil half inch or so down from it. Then I moved an inch to the right and repeated - all the way round. Time consuming but I don't mind that when I know it will result in an even band! Once I had gone all the way round I just used a pencil to join all those dots up and the band was formed.
This next part was the part that got me swearing and cursing for days on end. For the life of me I could not figure out how to get the numbers in the correct places, not only speced evenly but looking correct with the opposite number. It was easy to get the line from 12 to 6 right and the 9 to 3 right but the rest of them just wouldn't come out even no matter how much I measured and divided.
Eventually I had another brain wave - I used my pull down saw to cut a piece of wood with a perfect 30 degree angle to it.
This piece of 30 degree wood was then used from the middle of the clock face to give me the correct angle for each number, so all I had to do was draw a line along that 30 degrees.

Once I had all the lines in place I could freehand the roman numerals - this was the next tedious part and next time I would definitely consider vinyl instead of a sharpie.

Once i had all the numbers on I used a sharpie to go over them and then also went ahead and coloured in the band that I created before.
Once that was done I gave it a coat of varnish and that's pretty much it.
But what about the clock mechanism you may ask. Well, I actually forgot about it! No seriously I forgot it needed a mechanism. Once I went online to buy one I found that I couldn't find one that would go through my thickness of wood even with an extender. I was advised that I could route out a few mils on the backside of the clock so that a mechanism would then fit in this gouged out area but I'm way too lazy for that. Instead I bought one of those mechanisms that you stick directly to a wall and then stick numbers on the wall too. Obviously I didn't need the numbers but the mechanism and hands were easy to fit to the clock.

It's not on the wall yet because the wood started to seperate as it dried out indoors. You can see that the 3rd plank down is showing a small gap at the bottom of it. If this is as bad as it gets then I'll hang it but if it gets worse I will have to adjust it from behind cos it will bug the hell out of me.

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The Interior Frugalista
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