Do it yourself: Transforming parquet strips into a clock

An attractive and practical decoration for the wall. The dominoes representing the hours make it easy to read the correct time.

Valentin Schöffel, a budding industrial administrative assistant in the second year of his apprenticeship at Hamberger, has crafted a clock out of parquet strips. In the fifth part of our series on DIY projects, we’re showing you a quick and simple way to create a stylish clock from pieces of left-over flooring.

The idea
A chessboard, a table, a coat rack, an organiser – our series on DIY projects has already provided you with a wide range of ideas that focus on creating attractive and useful objects from parquet off-cuts. However, we haven’t shown you how to construct a timepiece –that is until now. “It can’t be all that difficult to make a clock out of parquet flooring”, thought Valentin Schöffel. Indeed, he even had a rough idea of how to go about it, but still felt that it was lacking a bit of extra flair. After browsing the web, he finally found the inspiration he was looking for – a dial fashioned from paper dominoes. As Valentin recalls: “Although it was an interesting solution, I also believed that could be even more elegant through the use of wooden dominoes”. So that’s what he did: After locating the suitable parquet left-overs, Valentin used the company’s own carpentry workshop to construct a clock that is a practical accessory and also serves as a stylish wall feature. Read on to find out how it’s done.


 You will need the following:

  • 7 identical strips of parquet flooring
  • 1 parquet strip with a different wood type/decor
  • 1 sheet of chipboard or MDF (for example, measuring 45 cm x 45 cm)
  • 1 clock mechanism
  • Double-sided adhesive tape
  • Tools: saw, scissors, electric drill with milling attachment, white paint marker (with a 2-4 mm tip), pencil

Step 1: Ordering the clock mechanism
Before you commence with your construction work, you need to buy a suitable clock mechanism. These are readily available in hobby shops or online stores. Valentin bought his clock mechanism from Amazon for around 10 euros. A tip: depending on the thickness of the final dial, it may be necessary to add an extension for the clock mechanism. Therefore, it’s advisable to keep the clock dial as thin as possible to completely avoid this issue.

Step 2: Affixing the strips
Now we get down to the fun part! Using lengths of double-sided adhesive tape, attach the parquet strips to a mounting panel consisting of MDF or thin chipboard. This mounting panel should be somewhat larger than the dimensions of the final clock dial. If you prefer not to cut the panel to size, then simply ask the staff at your local DIY store to do it for you.

Step 3: Sawing the parquet strips
Now saw off as much of the mounting panel and the parquet strips as necessary to create the desired size of the dial. In our example, the format is 45 cm x 45 cm.

Step 4: Fitting the clock mechanism
Drill a hole through the centre of the dial. The diameter must be large enough to accommodate the shaft that powers the hands of the clock mechanism. To prevent the wood from splitting, we recommend sticking a piece of masking tape around the area of the hole before drilling. If you want the clock mechanism to be flush with the rear surface, you have to make a recess to house it. To do this, place the clock mechanism in the desired position and draw around it with a pencil. Then remove the mechanism and cut out the area you have marked with the pencil using an electric drill with a suitably sized milling attachment. Now insert the clock mechanism and attach the hands as described in the instructions.

Step 5: Creating the dominoes
Take a length of parquet flooring in a different type of wood and saw out twelve identical domino-shaped pieces. In addition, ensure you remove any tongues or grooves on the side of the board.

Step 6: Attaching the dominoes
Place the dominoes on the clock face and mark the correct position for each hour with a pencil. Then attach them to the dial using lengths of double-sided adhesive tape. Now using a white marker stick, paint spots on the dominoes to represent the time at each position. Finally, insert the battery into the clock mechanism and your new timepiece is complete!

Valentin’s clock now decorates a wall at the Hamberger office – keeping accurate time, while reminding everyone when they need to take their lunch break.

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