Grayscale clock

Looking to see if there is any interest in this as a easel project. If so i will make it tomorrow night after work. image was made in gimp with gear brushes courtesy of


That would be a nice addition shane, I like it!

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Thank you just got home worked late gonna see what i can get done

Well i ran the first test piece today to see what mods i need to do to the image.

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Is looking good so far, keep up the good work!

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That’s looking great Shane. When you fix being able to see the mechanism from the front, it’s going to be killer!

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Hey @ShaneBell

Love me some wooden clocks! The first thing I noticed was that you have several shades of gray. I was wondering if you could reduce the number of levels and simplify the design without affecting the overall look. For example, any gears that don’t mesh can be on the same level and you’ve got a couple of gears that can’t mesh that are apparently on the same level. There’s a gear generator in Easel and here. With what I’m assuming is about a 3/4" piece of stock to start with, you’re only going to get so many levels out of it that are discernible.

Also, it’s very cool that you’re cutting this all out one piece of wood, but what about using different species to help set the gears apart? For example, for my Simplicity clock from Clayton Boyer, I will be cutting out the parts for two entire clocks, one from walnut and one from oak, then I’m going to mix and match each meshing gear so that I’ll end up with two clocks with contrasting woods. My $0.02. Keep up the great work and thanks for posting this!

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Your .02 cents are very much welcome here. The clock above is just one of a few designs there is a multi piece clock in the works just haven’t been out to get the wood. The multiple levels work on .75 in wood just not on the thinner stuff i had at hand. I just prefer to use gimp for making drawings because that is what i am use to. Thank you very much for your input.

How’s this on 3/4" stock?

  • Level 0 is the numbers on the clock (3/4)

  • Level 1 is the gears under the numbers and the hub (5/8)

  • Level 2 is the large, planetary gear (1/2)

  • Level 3 are all the gears in the background (3/8), moving the gear at 2:00 up and to the right so it doesn’t “mesh” with the gear at 5:00.

  • Level 4 (not shown) is the darker hub in the center of the gear at 2:00 (1/4).

  • The rest is cut all the way through.

This should be a pretty robust piece and give you all the levels you need for the desired effect. 1/8" steps should create sufficient shadow lines to tell the layers apart. Hope this helps.

@ShaneBell Looking pretty good. I’ve also bought a couple of similar clock mechanisms that are begging me for somewhere to live. Just need to get around to it…

As @MidnightMaker suggested, once you’re feeling a little more adventurous, there are some really nice wooden geared clocks that whilst they’re certainly bit more advanced, they’re not nearly as hard as you might think. If you like a challenge, I can attest having had an absolute ball in making mine.

Clayton Boyer has some nice plans for sale (and not just clock plans) which are perfect for our CNC machines. I too made one, although I chose a clock designed by Brian Law (clock 22 which came out really well, and has now been happily ticking away in my hallway for the last few months.

Keep making sawdust & keep posting your work - I love seeing what others have made.

If any is into making clocks and don’t mind the wait on shipping here is where i ordered some of my mechanisms
And here are some with the long spindle

The gears were just thrown in for testing purpose and never meant to mesh. i was putting in different gears to see what they cut out like and play with the depths. The wood i had near by was too small and too thin. All in all most of my fail comes from lack of sleep and working crazy amounts of overtime before Xmas

If you have an ikea and a hammer nearby, you can also get a clock mechanism from Ikea:


They seem to think that it’s furniture. $2 for a clock mechanism is great, but the $129 truck delivery fee is a little much for me… :smile:

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