Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Time Transparency Clock

Since the last post I have worked hard in the design and build of the Wood/Plastic clock. I have made a lot of changes in the original design, and I think that the final result is really a very nice clock!

It even has a name thanks to my sister! The time Transparency Clock:

Acrylic is difficult to work in the CNC with small diameter end mill bits. I used a 1/16” 2 Flute carbide end mill for the wheel teeth. After damaging several plastic stock and 2 end mill I learned:
  • Use new and sharp bit or a sharp bit that has been used only in plastic. If you used a bit to cut wood, forget to use it later in plastic.
  • You need to remove very little material each pass :.
  • 24,000 RPM spindle speed and 10 inches/minute feed rate.
  • Keep the bit cool with compressed air.
For the internal cuts I used a 1/8” 1 Flute end mill. You also need a new and sharp bit or a sharp bit that has been used only in plastic but feed and RPM are different: 15,125 RPM, 16.1 Inches/minute feed rate and .004” maximum step down per pass.

With the above settings, and with lots of patient it is possible to get a very nice and clean cut. Below a video showing the internal cut with 1/8” end mill:

The other complicated thing is to bond brass and acrylic. After several test I ended using 2 part transparent epoxy.

Here is a video showing several details of the clock.

I love the action of this clock!

Happy holidays to all!


  1. Carlos, that wooden clock made from your CNC machine looks amazing! My little brother loves wood working, but doesn't have access to a CNC machine. It seems like there are endless creations to be made using this type of machine. Did you go to school to learn this, or did you just figure it out? You do great work.

    1. Jake, Thank you for your comment. To make wooden clock it is not really necessary a CNC. With a scroll saw and son simple tools it is possible to start.

      I recommend you to click in the Clyton Boyer link. You can buy there full building plans of the fantastic clocks Clyton design. He also sell a very helpful pdf book that will teach you the basics.

      Once you make the first and feel the wood in your hands you either love it or hate it.

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