DIY Perpetual Flip Calendar

Flip calendars are a neat little piece of history. Sold as tourist trinkets, they sit on your desk and show the current day of the month and, depending on the particular calendar, month and year. Each day, you rotate it and it shows you the current date. At the end of February, you rotate it a bunch of times to get from February 28th (or 29th) to March 1st. [measuredworkshop] always had fun flipping the dates on his parents’ flip calendar, so decided to build his own wooden one.

The calendars consist of a series of tiles with the dates on them inside an enclosure. Rotating the enclosure allows a new tile to slide down in front of the old one. Once you know how many tiles you are going to use, you put a different date on the back side of each tile. In [measuredworkshop]’s case, there were 15 tiles to hold 30 dates (he created one with 30/31 on it for the end of the month) so the 1 has a 16 on the back, the 2 a 17, and so on. Tiles of different colored wood were cut and sanded and then the numbers drawn on by hand.

The enclosure was cut using a Morso Guillotine, a machine which uses sharp blades to do precise mitre cuts in wood. One side of the enclosure was covered by wood, the other by clear acrylic, so that you can see how the mechanism works as it is rotated. Finally, a stand was cut from wood as well and the final product assembled.

As you can see in the video below this is a great showpiece, and because of the design gives a view into how flip-calendars work. At the end of his write-up, [measuredworkshop] shares a link he found to a 3d printed flip-calendar on Thingiverse. Check out some of the more techie calendars posted at Hackaday, like this e-ink calendar, or this Raspberry Pi wall calendar.

via Reddit.

12 thoughts on “DIY Perpetual Flip Calendar

    1. Regarding the Morso, the project log does say “it was such a cool thing to find on Craigslist”.
      I suppose even at used price, you could buy a really nice new hand plane, build the shooting board, and have a lot of money left over.

  1. The last time I saw one of these I was a very little boy… and forgot these things existed. Seeing one here is fun because now the forgotten question “how does it work” is finally solved.
    Fun build and very well explained on the related website. Thanks for sharing.

    1. My guess would be that the ones which track months are essentially two flip calendars side-by-side, one with 15 tiles doing the 30 days, and one with 12 tiles doing the 12 months. The 24 sides of the 12 tiles would have two labelled “Jan”, two labelled “Feb”, and so on.

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