VW Clock

by Deborah Slater

My husband loves his 1971 VW Van and as he never seems to know what time it is, I decided to make him a clock:

My starting point was to acquire a quartz clock movement from Hobby's. Product code 738/32 has a shaft designed to pass through between 9mm (min) and 12mm (max) of material i.e. ideal for use with a sheet of 10mm thick polystyrol. At the same time I bought hands (code 125/8) and a second hand (code 80/1).

Second hand 80/1 has a sweep of 90mm so with this in mind I sketched the front of the van onto a piece of paper. In fact I only sketched half of it and and used a mirror from the bathroom cabinet to see how the whole thing would look.

It took a few tries but when I was happy with it I cut the half van out from the paper, drew a centre line onto a the sheet of polystyrol, and used the paper templates to transfer the design to the foam.

The next stage was to cut it out with the Sculpting Tool and mark a few lines with the Engraving Tool. I kept it simple because I was aiming for an uncluttered, almost cartoonish look.

The engraving tool was used to melt a hole in the middle for the movement to pass through. Clearly I was only going to get one shot at this so I did a few practice runs on scraps. I got it just about right but had it in mind that I could always use a couple of metal washers from the hardware store (or even make my own in plastic) if I got it wrong.

It was now time to decorate it but rather than just painting I thought it might be fun to use a few other bits and pieces. The headlamps had turned out to be about the same size as bottle caps and I used aluminium kitchen foil for the windsreen with bent wire to make the wipers. The bumper and indicator lights are polystyrol. The number plate is also polystyrol, painted black, with dry transfer lettering.

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