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How to Build a Wooden Clock from a Log

Updated February 21, 2017

Natural wood clocks bring a touch of nature to any home. The rich hues of natural wood grain complement nearly any colour and bring a wall to life. Making your own from wood grown on your own property creates a treasured keepsake that can be passed down through the generations. With a little time and effort, you can make a wall clock from any slab of wood with an inexpensive clock kit that provides everything you need except the wood.

Purchase a battery-operated clock kit. The kit should include the timekeeping mechanism as well as the hands and numbers for the face of the clock. The battery compartment should be built into the main clock.

Select a tree or log. You may wish to use a portion of a favourite tree that needed be removed or that was damaged from storms. Large burls are also a good source for making a clock. Burls are irregular growths that grow rapidly, creating a bulge on the side of a tree.

Use a chainsaw to slice a 1 ½ inch layer of wood for the clock. Use care to maintain an even cut so that the piece is of the same thickness throughout the cut.

Sand the surface of the wood with heavyweight sand paper to remove rough spots. Repeat with medium and fine grit sand paper until the wood is smooth to the touch. Remove any dust with a soft cloth.

Locate the area on the slab of wood to place the clock face. This area should be 8 inches in diameter to allow for the face of the clock. Mark the centre of the area and drill a 5/16 inch hole through the centre to allow for the clock mechanism to be installed.

Trace a 4-inch circle on the backside of the clock so the hole is in the centre. Use a 1-inch router bit to remove wood to a depth of 1 inch within the 4-inch circle. Remove dust with a soft cloth.

Use a quick bond adhesive to glue the numbers around the perimeter of the clock face. Check numbers are evenly spaced and level. Allow to dry for 2 to 4 hours, according to the recommendations on the package.

Apply epoxy resin to the surface of the clock and allow to dry according to the directions on the container. You can purchase resin for wood at your local hardware store or craft store. Allow to dry until the resin is hard. Add additional coats until you reach the thickness you prefer.

Attach the clock mechanism to the back of the slab with the included screws. Attach the hands to the front of the clock. Attach the metal hanger with brads or small nails included in the kit.

Things You'll Need

  • Log/ tree
  • Chainsaw
  • Router
  • Drill
  • Clock kit
  • Epoxy resin
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About the Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.