Piston Clocks

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Project by Tomoose posted 08-11-2016 07:21 PM 1084 views 4 times favorited 11 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

11 comments so far

View Richard W. Hyman Jr's profile

Richard W. Hyman Jr

736 posts in 1603 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


819 posts in 2551 days

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

Nice job!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20167 posts in 3036 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


4110 posts in 2340 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


30470 posts in 2797 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


2802 posts in 2213 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


4126 posts in 2197 days

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


Keep it turning.

Good “engine -ering”!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View GR8HUNTER's profile


3412 posts in 643 days

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


Keep it turning.

Good “engine -ering”!

- ralbuck



View majuvla's profile


11870 posts in 2798 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


4795 posts in 2135 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

View chido's profile


105 posts in 302 days

#11 posted 05-22-2017 12:49 PM

good idea

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