How to Build a Lego Clock

The holiday spirit is already wearing off. The tree and decorations are down, and there are no more parties, treats, or tasty meals to distract us from the inevitable – the onslaught of cold. We need a project. And since my ideas are mostly limited to things that should probably take place outdoors, such as wrestling, hitting things with sticks, and lighting things on fire, I’m looking to the internet for inspiration.

A quick image search for “lego creations” reveals that nearly everything on this earth has been reproduced at some point in Lego form, from Mount Rushmore to the Sydney Opera House, a time-traveling Delorean with functional flux capacitor to a full-scale vehicle with a 5-star safety rating. The problem is, we don’t have the time or brick supply that these masterpieces require.

Believe it or not, there is a scarcity of instructions online for building your own analog Lego clock! Turns out it’s a simple and inexpensive project, great for a Saturday morning indoors.

Materials:

  1. Clock movement kit, found cheap online or at a local craft store. I got mine at Michael’s for $6.
  2. Good assortment of Lego plates and other flat bricks.

Instructions:

  1. lego clock baseThe moving part of the clock movement takes up precisely one dot – pretty slick, but this forced the dimensions of the base to be odd, 13 x 13, since I wanted it symmetrical. With only a mediocre assortment of plates and flat pieces, I was constrained to a smallish, gray clock base.
  2. lego clock backThere’s a small nut and washer which thread onto the front of the clock and which cinch it onto the rest of the movement. As a result, you don’t need any support on the backside, so long as the face is relatively small and light.
  3. lego clock completedAgain, working with odd dimensions made it hard to center things. The number plates here are 4 x 5 and 5 x 4. Next time I’ll make things even by giving the movement a 2 x 2 space on front, rather than 1 x 1.
  4. Finally, the hands – the white pieces are superglued onto the flimsy metal hands that came with the clock kit. I had to tweak the hour hand downward so they wouldn’t collide. The second hand wasn’t strong enough to support a Lego piece, so I settled for a single dot and just twisted off the rest of the hand.

The best part is the kids can destroy and rebuild, with some help, as often as they like – change the colors, give it a medieval theme, use Harry Potter pieces, whatever.

Let me know how yours turns out.