Nixie tube clock with lichtenberg figures

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Project by Ritmann posted 05-27-2017 05:20 AM 2167 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thought this would be a cool gift for my dad for Christmas, but finally finished it in April. (Sorry dad!)

The clock itself is really cool. WWI and WWII technology. The kit for it came from the Ukraine.

As for the box around it, I was experimenting with the lichtenberg figures using an old transformer from a microwave. It works really well and always make a one of a kind design. I tried to post a video of it actually working but I don’t know how to put into the body of the post.

The clock is 1/4” baltic birch ply with mitered corners and walnut ends.

Another neat trick was the logo transfer on the back of the clock. Printed the logo in reverse with a laser printer and then used a wood burning pen to transfer the image to the wood.


Thanks to woodshaver Tony C I got a video up of electrocuting the wood. Just a note about the process. It is very dangerous and it is high voltage. (I think my transformer was 6000V) do not attempt without a good knowledge of electricity and arc flash. Also always disconnect from power before manipulating!

View on YouTube

9 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5478 posts in 3164 days

#1 posted 05-27-2017 11:25 AM

Great project Ritmann! Really nice work! I would love to see your video so
I just posted a blog that may help you get a your video into your post.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View AllenD's profile


30 posts in 182 days

#2 posted 05-27-2017 11:34 AM

This is one of the coolest Nixie tube clocks I’ve seen. Nice work

-- - Allen (Marietta, GA) In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View helluvawreck's profile


28719 posts in 2678 days

#3 posted 05-27-2017 03:15 PM

This is a very nice project and this is an interesting process and it is 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  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

5478 posts in 3164 days

#4 posted 05-27-2017 07:47 PM

Nice work Ritmann the video looks good! This is something I would not try myself. But It sure is interesting to see you and other making projects this way.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View bobasaurus's profile


3337 posts in 2996 days

#5 posted 05-28-2017 02:34 AM

Really nice work, I love the look of the lichtenberg figures.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View majuvla's profile


11033 posts in 2679 days

#6 posted 05-28-2017 07:02 PM

Very unusual project but excellent gift. Those electric lines looks great.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View robscastle's profile


4382 posts in 2016 days

#7 posted 05-29-2017 09:00 AM

Nixie tubes eh I studied them in my trade training along with”other Bottles”!!
Havent seen any for years.

The marvels of both modern and past electrical technology meet the woodworker.

A most impressive combination.

-- Regards Robert

View htl's profile


3053 posts in 971 days

#8 posted 05-29-2017 09:30 PM

Super nice and very interesting.
I’ve been sapped by lighting twice so I think I’ll pass on this project. LOL

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Tooch's profile


1636 posts in 1687 days

#9 posted 06-05-2017 09:43 AM

Really cool design. Where did you get the kit for the clock?

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

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