Wine Glass Time Keeper

We’ve seen a glut of time-keeping projects lately. We guess time was the original motivator for technology so we’re okay with it (but we’re not calling ourselves Clockaday quite yet). This clock, or more appropriately this timer, is a homemade hourglass that [Andrei] put together. The finished look is simple but he put some real time into its production.

The glass portion is a combination of two wine glasses. He removed the stems, ground the bottoms flat, then drilled holes to allow the sand to pass. He used plumbers putty around the top of the upturned reservoir to create a temporary bowl of water which cooled the glass during drilling. This prevented cracking by keeping the friction generated heat at bay. Working with the glass took a total of around five hours.

To assemble, he epoxied the two wine glasses together, routed out a ring in the wood bases for the lips, and used dowels to connect the two ends. [Andrei] concluded that the gentle slope at the bottom of the wine glasses is not the ideal shape as some sand can get stuck in them. Perhaps champagne flutes for his next build? At any rate, we think it’s a unique, non-automated hourglass build.

17 thoughts on “Wine Glass Time Keeper

  1. @sneakypoo: Dunno about ‘large’ particles, but glass ‘soot’ is pretty bad (akin to asbestos). The finer stuff is usually (that I know of) only found in auto-burner reactions (ie. flame hydrolysis deposition) where chemicals are combined to deposit high-purity silica soot onto a preform for optics work (fiber drawing, etc.. )

    If you’re grinding glass, you should be using an abrasive slurry or abrasive belt/wheel with an adequate flow of water. Keeps the abrasive from loading up and helps keep chipping down..

  2. @medix I began the process by trying a slurry, but found that did not work as well as a bit with the diamond (or carbide) impregnated. I did keep the location filled with water to capture the glass dust and that worked really well. The water gets all white and I had absolutely no dust actually escape into my lungs.

  3. From TFA: We guess time was the original motivator for technology

    No, the original timekeeper was the sky, which doesn’t require a lot of hardware of human manufacture. The original motivator for technology was the scale, for measuring weight. The Egyptians actually deified the tech, look up “Ma’at.”

  4. The original motivator for technology was the gods. Or more importantly, our desire to understand their “powers”

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”

    LOL @ Egyptian reference to technology, the world is much older than that. In the time of Egypt people spoke of “ancient times”

    The next thing people are gonna say is that the Egyptians built the pyramid… or that pyramids are tombs for mummies…

  5. I’ve made water pipes from liquor bottles and I’m impressed by the work done on something this fragile. If anybody is interested in doing something similar, just be sure to submerge and fill completely. This reduces friction and captures the dust.

  6. @Localroger …..they created water clocks too roger the concept of recording and keeping track of time is nearly as old as math. <.<

    @everyone Be extremely careful with fine particle glass, is a tricky mistress. Silicosis (The lungs being so full with silica they cannot function, is very common with old fiberglass workers and artists who frequented with the material. There currently is no cure as the decay rate of glass is ridiculous and hard to absorb or neutralize) You definatly don't want the volcanic ash variant of it either, saying its name normally requires enough air as it is;

    Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis…..yes thats a real word: :D

  7. I never quite got that fear of glass dust, AFAIK glass is made from materials that are in the environment in abundance, so the air is already full of it, not to mention that people break glass all the time and tiny particles get released there too.
    It’s especially odd when you compare it with stuff people are generally totally not worried about but are known to be very unhealthy.
    I’d worry more about the fine dust in the air in your car, read up about studies on that once and you’ll be in a right panic.

  8. Oh and saying you have to worry about some glassdust because people that work with tons of it for 30 years get ill from it is a bit silly, ANYTHING that you overdo like that will be harmful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t drill a hole in some glass once in a blue moon without worrying.

  9. Whatnot: “AFAIK glass is made from materials that are in the environment in abundance, so the air is already full of it”

    The air is not full of silica, unless you’re standing in the middle of a sand storm. And I definitely wouldn’t recommend breathing in, if so.

    On topic: I saw no mention of calibration. Don’t apeture size and shape as well as grain size, shape, and weight make a difference in how it flows? How long does it run?

  10. Regarding calibration: I had roughly 6-7 days to work on this project and I did not spend the time beforehand planning out aperture size or grain size, etc. For subsequent projects I will do more research and testing before going full tilt on the manufacture.

    The hourglass itself is kind of messed up and the grains can get stuck. I need to fix that, too.

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