Astronomical Wall Clock
Dale Mathis is an accomplished artisan, creating some of the funkiest clocks you’ve ever seen. He makes an astronomical clock, which contains all the zodiac signs and other celestial objects.
Materials and Tools:
4' x 8' 3/4" sheet of MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)
4' x 4' sheet of Plexiglas
two-part liquid plastic
three plastic cups
wood stir stick
wide putty knife
sundial from a craft store
cloud vinyl film from a hardware store
transparent blue stained glass spray paint
4' x 4' 1/4" sheet of Masonite tempered hardwood
4’ x 4’ white Masonite backing board
- router jig
- straight edge
- scroll saw
- drill or screwdriver
1. Protect your eyes with safety glasses while cutting out a three foot circle of MDF board with a router or jigsaw. Cut out a three foot circle of 1/4-inch Masonite.
2. Finish the edge of the MDF circle wall piece with a router.
3. Cut out the Plexiglas to fit in the center of the three foot circle of MDF board.
4. Draw several separation rings for embellishments, and then cut them out with router.
5. Apply vinyl clouds to the back of the Plexiglas with water and a credit card.
6. Paint two inner rings with gold paint.
7. Turn the Plexiglas over and paint the rest of the clock face blue, using transparent stained glass spray paint.
8. Carve zodiac gliffs, symbols, Roman numerals, and a sun face into a rubber mold. Pour two-part liquid plastic into the mold and wait for them to dry. Caution:The liquid plastic becomes hot, so avoid touching until it cools.
9. De-cast carved items, and cover with gold or silver leaf, applying the leafing adhesive and waiting 30 minutes until it becomes tacky before adding the gold leaf. If desired, gold paint can be used in place of gold leaf. Add silver leaf to the star embellishments.
10. Cut out white Masonite backing board to put behind the clock. This will be the base color of the background of the clouds.
11. Sandwich the MDF board, the Plexiglas and the backing board together.
12. Drill and screw the unit together from the back.
13. Drill a hole for the clock motor.
14. Glue the embellishments to the face of the Plexiglas in the order of the Zodiac, gluing the sundial in the middle.
15. Make ornamental separation bars from two pieces of square 1/4" x 1/4" sticks and one square 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/4" block.
- Cut the 1/4 inch sticks the same length with a scroll saw, three inches long.
- Glue the two sticks under the block to form the ornamental separation bars.
- Paint them gold or bronze and glue them in place between the carved Roman numerals.
- Make 24 separation bars for the entire clock.
- Note: These can be purchase at a local craft store.
16. Add the clock motor to the astronomical wall clock.