"Ripple in Time" clock




Glue some waste timber to the edges of your square blank and trim it to a rough circle. Mount it on the lathe between centres using a wide drive dog or a faceplate as a friction drive with what is to be the back of the clock facing the tailstock.


Cut a recess to suit your standard chuck jaws then reverse the blank and mount it on the chuck.


True the blank up, including the back if you can get at it and cut another chuck recess in the front. Start removing material from the 'face' (about 10mm deep) so the hands will be below the high points of the 'ripples'.


Shape the ripples on the front of the clock. Use a template if you need to to ensure reasonably consistent thickness.


If your lathe allows it, shape the back of the ripples. If not, reverse the work on the chuck to complete the shaping.


Reverse the work on the chuck and true the back surface perfectly flat. Drill the centre hole to suit your clock movement now to make measurements easier. Check the thickness near the centre - it needs to be the same as the length of the shaft on your clock movement. If it is greater than the shaft length reduce an area big enough to house the movement to the correct depth.


Glue a ring or a couple of arcs on the back using the tailstock to hold them in place while the glue sets. This addition is just to increase the depth of the back to conceal the movement. If you blank is thick enough to hollow out a recess for the movement then do so now.


True the ring up once the glue is dry, blending it into the main clock piece and undercut the inside deep enough to hook over a standard picture-hook or screw-head. This allows it to become an "Anyway up clock", unless you choose numerals instead of plain plugs.


Use the lathes indexing stop and a simple tool-post guide to drill the time marker holes. Use a good quality brad-point bit to avoid any tear-out or clamp a piece of waste on the surface of you don't have one. I used a 10mm drill/plugs on this clock.


Glue the plugs in place and trim them off before finish sanding the whole piece. If need be, (and it looks better) cut a small recess around the movement hole to house the nut and washer flush with the clock-face surface.


Remove the waste pieces (I used a tablesaw) from the edges and finish sand the entire piece. Apply your desired finish, preferably not high gloss as the glare makes the clock difficult to read at an angle (and it looks bloody awful). Fit the movement once the finish is dry and your all done.


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