Week 6 – w.c. pelon

Posted: May 4, 2011 in w.c. pelon, Week 06

“Hard Drive Clock”

I’ve been meaning to build one of these for quite some time.  As a computer nerd and displaced gear-head who loves working with technological hardware, when I first ran across this idea on the internet I was in love.   For this project I used a (non functional) 3.5″ Seagate hard drive, super glue, a 3/8″ clock kit, and the platter from a 2.5″ laptop drive.

The donor drive, disassembled.

Things went rather well on the tear down, with the exception of breaking the actuator arm on the larger drive, destroying the motor mount and breaking two of the three platters on the smaller drive.  The next obstacle was the bearing in the motor– 1″ of solid steel that had to go.  After much drilling, hammering, and a sprinkling of profanity, she finally popped out.

a closer view of the platter with clockwork installed

I found a few decent tutorials on the subject at instructables.com, which were great as guidelines, but as all hard drives are not created equal, I soon discovered I was pretty much on my own.  The shaft on the clock kit was too wide to fit through the spindle motor, so I used a series of 6 drill bits to bore it out & filed down the rough edges.  I also discovered there was no longer any way to secure the platter using the original screws  (since I butchered the motor mount), so I had to super glue it in place.  I managed to smudge up the surface of the platter with glue, so I dropped the platter from a laptop drive over it to cover the blemish.  In retrospect, I rather like the extra depth the second platter adds.

Once I got the clock shaft in (just barely:  in the future, I will use a 1/2″ or larger kit), it was smooth sailing.  I had to bend up the minute & second hands so they would clear the screw mounts on the body of the drive during their rotations, but I think the wavy hands give it some character.


I had originally intended to make this a desktop clock, but figured I shouldn’t push my luck trying to build an easel back  for this given the troubles I had early on, so here’s the finished product hanging on my living room wall.

  1. Brian Weeks says:

    That’s awesome, Bill. I made a clock out of a really scratched LP copy (on one side only) of ‘Led Zeppelin II’ once. I wonder whatever happened to that…

    • w.c. pelon says:

      I’ve been collecting vinyl for the past year or so for various craft projects. I have around 100-150 records so far. No Led Zeppelin II, but I scored Physical Graffiti and The Song Remains the Same. Mostly I’ve been heating them in the oven and shaping them into decorative bowls, but record clocks are on the agenda as well!

  2. Elizabeth Fox says:

    Really sweet! Over Achiever, lol!

  3. Mike Piper says:

    Bill, you should sell these on Etsy! Very cool!

  4. Amber Perkins says:

    i LURVE this!!! repurposed art is a fav.

  5. Robyn says:

    My li’l bro’s so talented; I’m so proud! *GIGGLE*

  6. Mooney says:

    That’s so bad ass!

  7. Kevin Contreras says:

    This is SWEET!!!

  8. Dale Dearnley says:


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