Mid-Century Modern Clock

Mid-Century Modern Clock

Build an eye-catching accent for a round wall clock using dowel rods and custom-cut wooden “spears.”

5 col

Difficulty: Difficult

10" round clock
1' × 1' × ¾" backplate plywood
(8) ¼" × 24" luan wood
(8) 21" dowels
Drill driver
¼" drill bit
1/8" drill bit
¾" wood screws
Cardboard paper for spearhead template
Circular saw
Clean-cut jigsaw blade
Gold spray paint
Tape measure
Wood finish
1" × 5" thin wooden plank
Utility blade or scissors
Spring clamps
Picture hanger kit


1. Depending on the size of the desired clock, you will need to make a round backplate to go behind it. You can use a carpenter compass, or make your own with a 1" × 5" thin wooden plank, a pencil, a screw and the backplate

2. Find the middle of the backplate piece of wood. (You can eyeball the middle because you’ll still be able to create a perfect circle with your homemade compass.) Mark the middle with the pencil, lightly insert a screw into the thin wooden plank and place on the middle mark as shown

3. Place the tip of the pencil at the end of the wooden plank and rotate both around the backplate to draw a perfect circle

4. Cut out the perfect circle with the jigsaw and the clean-cut jigsaw blade. Set it aside

5. To make it easier to create the eight spearheads on the outside of the clock, create a stencil first. Use the ruler and pencil to draw a spearhead shape – it should be approximately 15½" in length

6. Cut out the stencil with scissors or a utility blade

7. Place the stencil over the ¼" × 7" × 24" piece of luan wood, and trace the shape onto the wood. Use the circular saw to cut the spearhead shape. Repeat until you have cut eight spearheads

8. Luan wood is pretty smooth, but if needed you can sand the edges down if they’re a little rough. Stain all eight spearheads with the wood finish and a dry rag. Let dry for 1 hour

Carpentry Tip: When staining thicker wood, it’s a good idea to spray some water on the wood and then wipe it off before staining. This will open the pores of the wood and will allow the stain to absorb more evenly

9. While the spearheads are drying, spray paint the eight 21" dowels gold and let dry for 30 minutes

10. While the dowels and spearheads finish drying, use the ruler to mark eight equal division lines across the circle backplate, as if you were cutting a pizza

11. Mark the middle in each of the eight slices as shown

12. Drill holes in the middle marks with the ¼" drill bit. These are where the dowels will be inserted. Drill each mark only 1" deep so all the dowels will appear to be the same length when the clock is finished

Carpentry Tip: Measure 1" from the tip of the ¼" drill bit, and then wrap a piece of tape at the 1" mark. That way, when you insert the drill, you’ll know when to stop drilling, and all the dowels will be the same length.

13. Use one or two spring clamps to hold the spearheads together. Using the 1/8" drill bit, drill two holes on the flat end of the spearheads, about ¾" to 1" from the edge, as shown

14. Place the middle of each spearhead on each slice line on the circle backplate, and then screw in two ¾" wood screws per spearhead in the open holes. Make sure to screw them into place raw side up

15. Use the mallet to attach the picture hanger kit to the backplate, about 1" below a spearhead

16. Flip the whole fixture to the front side, and insert the eight 21" gold dowels into the drilled holes

17. Partially screw in a ¾" wood screw 1" below the same spearhead where the picture hanger kit resides on the other side

18. Attach the clock to the decorative backing with that same wood screw. Insert it into the back of the clock. There should be an opening in which to rest it. Doing so will attach the backplate to the clock

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