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How to Make a Desktop Clock

Lathe users find the tool useful in making bowls, furniture and parts for furniture. But the lathe can also be used to make intricate crafts such as this desktop clock.

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lathe used on intricate crafts like desktop clock
  • Time

    1 hour

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Drill a Circle

Drill a circle into the center of the stock, the same diameter as the clock. Drill about 3/4" deep (Image 1).

Drill a hole into the center of the other side of the wood, big enough to fit the screw chuck (Image 2).

Step 2: Insert a Spacer Block

Insert a spacer block onto the chuck screw to reduce the length of the screw (Image 1).

Secure the stock on the chuck (Image 2).

Step 3: Tighten the Tool Rest

Tighten the tool rest (Image 1), and make one manual rotation of the stock to make sure it doesn't hit the tool rest. Turn on the lathe at medium speed (1200 rpm to 1400 rpm).

Use a 3" spindle gouge to trim the stock to the desired size (Image 1).

Step 4: Support the Circular Stock

To make a flat base for the clock, rest the circular stock on a block with a V-shaped dent cut out. This serves as a support for the circular stock for the next step.

support the circular stock

Step 5: Cut a Flat Base and Finish the Piece

With the circular stock resting on the V-block, run the stock through a table saw to cut a flat base for the clock.

Sand the stock with a belt sander or a sanding disc before painting or staining.

cut flat base and finish piece