Thursday, October 1, 2009

Surfboard Clock

A daily battle in my home is with my 18 year old son and his 45 minute showers. I've been trying to set an example by keeping my showers short, and turning the water off when not actively rinsing. To no avail. And the $135 a month water bills keep coming.

I thought maybe a clock in the bathroom would be helpful. Even if not, I'd like a clock in the bathroom to let me know when I'm running late.

My bathroom is done in surf theme, with redwood shelves and towelbars, and a big cool surfboard shower curtain. So I wanted a design that brought surfboards to mind without being obviously a surfboard, and incorporated redwood and some color.

I used a piece of curly maple for the center and redwood for the sides, and poly resin with blue pigment inlaid into the dividing lines between the maple and the redwood.

I also used this as an experiment on using a slot cutter with wood wedges to locate the joints and add strength, as a replacement for a biscuit joiner.

I cut the slots, used lengths of scrap walnut to fit inside the slots, glued and clamped. I sanded the pieces flush and then sanded the sides more to give the face of the clock a curved shape. I then drew circles on the ends with a compass and cut them on the bandsaw. I sanded the round ends smooth then did a finish sanding to 220 all over, easing the edges with the sandpaper.

I cut kerfs into the joints between the woods with my table saw blade, only cutting 1/16" deep. Tape was used on the ends to keep the resin from pouring out. I mixed up my resin and poured it into the kerfs. 30 minutes later it had gelled enough that I took the tape off and placed the whole thing into my oven at 170* for 4 hours to harden the resin.

I used a cabinet scraper to remove any splatter or overflow from the resin. then sanded the whole thing again to 220.

That set aside, I started working on the clock face. The cheapo clock kit from WalMart ($6.97) included some really cheesy looking plastic numbers. I threw those away and searched the internet for a clock face diagram to get the marks lined up properly. I found one, but didn't save the link (sorry!). It looks like it was supposed to be a printable face for a clock project from one of the woodworking mags.

I cut thin strips of walnut and then cut them to about 3/4" long by 1/16" square. I glued them to the paper with thin CA glue (wax paper underneath to keep the glue off the wife's table cloth!) It just takes a dab of glue since you're going to sand off the paper anyway. Once that was set I flipped the paper over onto the clock, using medium CA glue on the walnut. Clamped by laying a stack of phone books on top.

I drilled the center hole for the clock mechanism shaft, and finished with rattle can poly. Mounted the clock mechanism and hung it on the wall.

I love the look and it fits wonderfully in my bathroom. Unfortunately it didn't help with my son's shower problems.

No comments: