First Lathe Project

Recently, I posted about picking up a small lathe, and hinted at a project I had been working on, but didn’t give much info about it, so here it is.


I’ve been wanting to make a custom pocket watch for a while now. Originally, I was going to design the board to fit into a case from a cheap pocket watch I would strip the original guts out of, but ended up liking the idea of machining a custom case of brass and acrylic.

Here’s the case itself, and you can also see where I cut shelves for the front and back lenses to sit.

IMG_0282The lenses themselves were an interesting one to try and cut. I bought standard sheet acrylic from the hardware store, and used a couple of PVC pipe bits as spacers to hold the acrylic without scratching it, while I turned it on the lathe to make it round and fit in the case.

IMG_0258The board itself was of course a custom design to fit inside the case, and consume as little power as possible so as to prolong battery life. As it is, depending on use, I expect 3-6 months before it needs a recharge.

IMG_0277In case it’s not clear, red is hours, green is minutes, and blue is seconds.

Assemble it all together, and you have a totally custom pocket watch.


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One Response to First Lathe Project

  1. Meg says:

    Now THAT is cool!

    FWIW one of the wire sculptures you did is now my ‘key ring’ for a drawer at work. Not gonna lose it! :P

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