Piston Clocks

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Project by Tomoose posted 08-11-2016 07:21 PM 705 views 4 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made 3 of these desk clocks for some good gear-head work buddies last Christmas, and just got around to getting some pictures of them (I forgot to take some before they were gift-wrapped). Pistons were turned on the lathe from a fallen Ash branch from my yard. The ring grooves are burned in with a wire and the piston skirts were shaped on the end of the belt sander. Connecting rods are some leftover Walnut scrap and have dowels for wrist pins (though they are glued and do not articulate). Clocks are from Rockler. Pistons are approximately 4” bore like a Chevy small block.

These were a) really fun to build, and b) really frustrating to build. 5 or 6 pistons went to heating my living room over the winter, but it was worth it – the guys loved them.

Thanks for looking, and all comments good or bad are appreciated.


-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

10 comments so far

View Richard W. Hyman Jr's profile

Richard W. Hyman Jr

716 posts in 1180 days

#1 posted 08-11-2016 08:20 PM

I’m not even a gear-head and I think that is totally cool! Great gift idea and really like the look of it. Thanks for posting the pics!

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View JPJ's profile


814 posts in 2128 days

#2 posted 08-11-2016 11:49 PM

Nice job!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17521 posts in 2613 days

#3 posted 08-11-2016 11:51 PM

Outta sight!! I love ti!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


2623 posts in 1917 days

#4 posted 08-12-2016 03:04 AM

Cool project!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View helluvawreck's profile (online now)


23667 posts in 2375 days

#5 posted 08-12-2016 08:22 AM

Tom, this is very creative and beautifully done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View bushmaster's profile


1505 posts in 1791 days

#6 posted 08-12-2016 01:23 PM

A very original idea and well done. I taught mechanics for at least 30 years, so it really appeals to me. Thinking I could just use a real one and make a wood insert and clock. It would be less flusterating for sure.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View ralbuck's profile


2257 posts in 1774 days

#7 posted 08-12-2016 04:25 PM


Keep it turning.

Good “engine -ering”!

-- just rjR

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


1321 posts in 220 days

#8 posted 08-12-2016 09:00 PM


Keep it turning.

Good “engine -ering”!

- ralbuck



View majuvla's profile


9446 posts in 2375 days

#9 posted 08-24-2016 08:55 AM

I like when there is some good idea and motive behind clock project – this one is very original and unique!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View robscastle's profile


3437 posts in 1712 days

#10 posted 08-24-2016 09:48 AM

I think they must be BMW K1100 pistons as the ones in my motorcycle are horizontal !

-- Regards Robert

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