Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, October 2, 2015

Pallet clock

Do It Yourself

April Sherrill

My palms have been itching to tackle a new project for quite some time now. My life has been full of soccer, homework, room mom, chorus, dance, etc., and no time left for completing projects that have been on my to-do list for many months.

This weekend we had the oh-so-rare night alone without the kiddos, and my wonderful husband agreed to help me retrieve pallets from his work so that I could mark at least one project off my list. 

The wall that houses my long couch has been in need of new décor for a while now. The area is awkward to decorate. It is quite a large wall and if there are too many items on this wall it tends to make my living room cluttered and busy. The wall typically looks best with a single large-scale item.

A while back, I was in an antique store and came across a large wooden clock, which seemed to be assembled by using pallet wood, or possibly just scrap wood. Either way I knew that it was love at first sight, and I knew that at some point, it would adorn my awkward wall. 

For starters, you need to make sure you have all of the needed supplies:

• Pallet or scrap wood

• Clock mechanism (optional)

• Number stencils, vinyl numbers, or house numbers

• #2 pencil

• String

• Stain, paint, etc.

• Wood glue

• Saw

• Chisel (possibly)

First, you need to know what you want the finished project to look like. I went with a square. I liked the different shape from what you normally would see for a clock. Most of the ones I have seen though are the typical circles. If you are using a pallet, make sure to disassemble it. There are many ways you can go about this including, a sawzall, skilsaw, or with a hammer and crow bar. 

If you are planning to make a circle clock then lay all the pieces side by side in the design you like. Tie each end of the string to the pencils. Find the center point on the wood, and while holding one pencil at it, pull the other pencil straight out to the side, making the string tight. Keeping the string tight, draw a circle on the wood. This creates a nice, round circle.

If you are making a square clock go ahead and make the wood cuts you will need. If you chose to go with a round clock, you will need to cut the circle out using a jigsaw or skilsaw, whichever you prefer.

The clock will require supports running along the back of the face boards. I used two small pallet pieces, you can also use one-by-twos if you prefer; I prefer the free method … always! Using whichever option you choose, lay all the face boards face down, glue, and nail the support boards onto the back. 

Turn the clock right side over and start the finishing design. This can be anything your heart desires from painting, staining, or both. You can paint and stain every other one, stain all the boards except painting one, leave the wood natural, or distress the wood. 

After all the final touches are completed, the only other thing to do besides love it and hang it is to add the clock hardware. Please pay attention to what you are buying; the kits will let you know which depth to use. For instance, the clock mechanism might say made for ¼ of an inch, but the wood may be ¾ of an inch. If this happens, lay the clock mechanism on the center point and trace it, then chisel the wood out of this section until you have reached the desired depth.

These clocks turn out amazing, and are very inexpensive to make. They are a great statement piece especially since they can be as big and bold as your personality. If you have never tried a pallet project, this would be a great starter. Everyone needs a new fabulous clock! 

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.