Several things have been guiding me for the past few months. On one hand, I wanted to build something cool. On the other, I wanted to improve my study habits. I was thinking about making a homework timetable, and I hit upon the idea of making a version of the Weasley clock from Harry Potter, except it tells me what I should be studying at any given time, instead of where I am.

I didn’t want to make a replica of the movie clock, partly because I wanted to put my influence on it, and partly because there are no good photos of that clock. Instead, I found a mantle clock design online, which I decided to make the basis of the clock.

I went out and bought several sheets of MDF, a single coping saw with a bunch of extra blades, sandpaper, and some files. I got home, and started printing out the plans for the clock in full size. I had to disassemble the image before printing so I could make it full sized, but I managed it, and ended up with all the plans. Outside, I stuck one to a piece of MDF, put on a dust mask (MDF is not a health tonic), and started cutting.

After finding I’d made it incorrectly, I tried again, and made it close enough to use. I won’t go into all the details, but it was a long, laborious process, that involved many hours of fine sanding and filing for the curvy details, and many trips back to the store for more sandpaper, hardware details, a hand drill, glue, stain, and so on. Eventually, I had it assembled, and had only cut myself a few times. I stained it (I did run out, so a few spots are unpainted), and put on the hardware.

That’s basically where I got up to. Not all of the staining is amazing, but I am proud of it. This was my first ever attempt at woodwork, and I think I did pretty well. What’s left to do? Glad you asked. I need to finish painting, and then I have to start building a mechanism. I spent a week attempting to chemically etch (well, with vinegar and a lantern battery) the face of the clock into a brass plate, but it only partially worked. I am also yet to assemble the servo motor and arduino mechanism I plan on using to control it, and then program that.

Once i’ve done all that, I need to cut a small hole for the servo spindle, and then get clock hands. I can 3d print them, when my printer arrives, or buy a cool set online for a small amount. Or use scissors, like the movie clock. So many choices!

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