Watch The Day Inch Along With A Tape Measure Clock

If we asked you to rattle off all the tools at your own personal disposal, you’d probably leave your timepieces off the list. But we say clocks are definitely tools — cool tools that come in countless forms and give meaning to endless days.

A clock form we hadn’t considered was that of an actual tool. So we were immeasurably delighted to see [scealux]’s clock made from a measuring tape. At least, the time-telling part of the clock is made from a measuring tape. The case isn’t really from a tape measure — it’s entirely printed, Bondo’d, sanded, and painted so well that it’s quite easy to mistake it for the real thing.

Tightly packed inside this piece of functional art is an Arduino Nano and a DS3231 precision RTC module, which we think is fitting for a tool-based clock. The Nano fetches the time and drives a stepper motor that just barely fits inside. There’s just enough tape wound around the printed hub to measure out the time in increments of one hour per inch. Take 1/16″ or so and watch the demo and brief walk-through video after the break.

Not all tools are sharp, and not all clocks are meant to be precise. Here’s a clock for the times that gives you the gist.

24 thoughts on “Watch The Day Inch Along With A Tape Measure Clock

        1. Yes, but in the rest of the world we (a) mainly use 24h clocks – most devices (phones, ovens, cars…) have 24h clocks, and (b) still write times in 24h even if we read them from a 12h analogue clock. It’s quite easy once you get this one neat trick ‘they’ don’t want you to know about: add 12 to the hours after noon.

  1. I can tell the designer is left handed. They need to replace the tape with the tape from a left-handed tape measure so the numbers face the correct direction. YES, they do make them!

    1. I’d rearrange the tape so that it goes down, rather than left or right. Then you can position it on a wall and read it from anywhere in the room. I’d actually prefer the tape to go up, but the body of the tape measure would occlude the tape in too many positions.

      1. You could add a piece of wood which is a bit off the measuring tape (the end of which would point the time) and to the other end add a piece of black plastic that moves along the end of the measuring tape as if it was a pencil line. It’d be like measuring the where to cut, but also would allow to see the time a bit better.

  2. 12 hours in a foot and 24 in 2 feet, time and measurement line up perfectly, suck it Système international! (Nah, nah, I’m kidding and if you want to complain to me I’m available from 3:70 to 8:95.) And I agree with “jcwren” it would be more convenient if the actually tape were more visibly orientated.

  3. Reminds me of how audio track lengths are sometimes written in distance nomenclature (e.g. 3’23” for 3 mins 23 seconds). I also think this would look good going up a wall visible side out…
    Nice build, seemingly oversize stepper…

  4. I had to look at several tapes to realize that I have to read them all upside down and I am right handed. Hold tape in LEFT hand and mark carefully with my right hand. Do most dexterous people make sinister marks on materiel and then cut on that wavy line?

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