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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Time to Update the Clock and Template

This has been another busy week for me with the 2 jobs and all the other things that I have been doing but I have had a bit of time to work on the alarm clock repackaging that I mentioned last week. Also astute readers may have noticed that I also updated the template for my blog...

Clock: As I mentioned HERE I have this alarm clock that had switches that were really hard to actuate. I decided to take it apart and put all the components in a new 'case' adding easy to switch switches and other things that I think would be neat in a clock (things I have laying around). I decided to build a wood box for the clock and I started with the base from the Fruit Bowl Mirror that I made a couple of weeks ago. You can see the wood parts in the fist couple of pictures HERE. I used the center square piece that has the round stain on it as the base for the clock. It is about the right size 7" X 7" and has all the holes drilled around it's perimeter. I'm not sure how the holes will fit into the design but they might be nead places to put LED's or something... not sure yet.
Anyway Otto Jr. sanded all the nasty plastic wood varnish off the wood for me while I cut some pieces of thin veneered plywood that was the backing for the furniture mirror (HERE same post) that I took apart some weeks ago. The wood was a backing for the glass mirror pieces and couldn't be seen when the mirror was installed so I am not sure why they used a veneer but anyway it's nice looking.
So after sanding the base and cutting the veneered wood Otto Jr. and I glued it all together:
I used a couple of those brass corner adornments that you get at the hardware store to finish off the bottom of the box where it attaches to the base. I also decided to limit the number of switches to just the functions I want. If you remember from the last post this clock has a ton of switches and most of them you just set for your time zone and forget. A couple are also for the alarm volume and the display brightness. I'll just solder those closed (or open) and leave them inside the box. For the other switches I'll use some push buttons for setting the time and a toggle switch for the Alarm On/Off. These are store bought switches and will work much better that the switches that came with the clock.
I have one of those elapsed time meters that have a 10 year battery in them that I want to add as well. That is the little square black thing in the lower right of the picture. These just count the amount of time that you apply power to them and are used in machinery to show the total powered on time of the system. I think it would be neat to add that to this clock as well so I cut a hole in the wood box for it. This will show the total number of hours that the clock has been running since the time I finish it!!! Wow that is great information isn't it!?!?!
The last piece of neat stuff that I am considering is the spiral egg shaped metal thing you see in the picture. I got a couple of those from a piece of furniture that someone threw in a vacant lot near my house a couple of years ago. There were two of these screwed into the tops of what looked like bed posts. They looked neat so i took them. Anyway I think once I have made a top for the box I'll put one of them on top and cover it with a small flower bowl that has spirals in the opposite direction. So the spiral metal piece will be inside the bowl and maybe I'll add some lights and a motor so it spins. It makes interesting refraction / reflection patterns because the spirals of the metal egg and the bowl are in opposite directions.
The next steps in this little project I think are to finish off the box with bits and pieces of brass and whatever else looks good and stain the wood. I'm going to try and do a bit of an antique look to it and 'dirty' up the brass. I also need to think about what extra lights and other things will look good. Maybe the holes around the base should glow red and the spinning-egg-in-the-bowl should have some lights.
Blog Template: This is a interesting coincidence as I have been itching to spice up the blog a bit but I don't want to take (and don't have the) time to figure out how to edit the raw HTML, CSS jibberish that you have to deal with. Well the other day Blogger apparently released a template editor that is easy to use and comes with some neat layouts. So I played around a little with that and the blog as you now see it is the result. Not too big of a change but still a little more interesting!
That's all for now...

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