An Incredible Clock Made of Popsicle Sticks

[alvenh] has come a long way since he was a kid, but he kept the bag of popsicle sticks from his childhood. When he set out to build a clock for himself, he remembered his stored treasure and made something unexpectedly good out of the humble material. We’ve seen some neat stuff made with popsicle sticks before, but they usually retain their familiar shape.

[alvenh] began by choosing a style for his clock. We don’t know how he looked at a bag of sticks and thought, “Old English Georgian bracket clock with a bell top,” but if Hackaday teaches anything, it’s that some people just have a wider vision for the world. Next he laminated the sticks together or used them as a veneer for a thinner sheet of plywood to make his base materials.

An incredible amount of work went into the clock as he did things like sanding large contours using a jar for a form, or cutting mortise and tenons into craft sticks. [alvenh] even painted the face of the clock using his German Shepard as a model. Finally he installed an antique movement into the creation. The final result is stunning, and the build log is fun to read through.

[via r/somethingimade]

13 thoughts on “An Incredible Clock Made of Popsicle Sticks

    1. Good luck making a reliable and accurate clock mechanism out of popsicle sticks or any other wood for that matter. I’m sure it’s been tried, and I’d love to see the attempt.

      The fact that he used an off the shelf clock mechanism does not detract from this incredible project in any way.

      1. John Harrison’s clocks were made out of wood, and they were accurate enough to solve the longitude problem. Some old tower/turret clocks still run on the original wooden gears as well.

        They used https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lignum_vitae for the bearings and wearing surfaces. The clocks were superior to ones made out of metals, because the oils used were prone to gumming up and the metals would corrode and wear out sooner.

        1. Add in modern engineered woods (e.g. Russian ‘baltic’ birch plywood), varnishes, or other coatings and most of the drawbacks of wood can be mitigated to make a sufficiently accurate clock.
          Even expensive modern mechanical all-metal timepieces lose a few seconds a week.

    2. Making wood out of slices of wood isn’t quite as impressive as building the mechanism would’ve been.

      This sort of thing, with matchsticks and a bit of sandpaper, is a popular hobby in prison. There’s relatively fewer ways to kill someone with matchsticks.

  1. Somewhere maybe here I read about gutting one of those cheap quartz clocks of all but the solenoid and the mechanics so it can get GPS timing from the usual ‘duino.
    Nothing wrong with laminating wood, I would use yellow glue not white.

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