Children’s Aviator Clock Table

Viewer Project - By Tony Pham ( from Sacramento, CA
Added on October 27, 2016

I was commissioned to design and build a children’s table by Visions Optometry in the shape of the classic Aviators style eyeglass. Cutting this shape out of a solid slab I thought would be plain, so I decided to go all out and design a dual clock table. The functional gears were based on my previous clock builds but I tried something completely new and designed a pawl/ratchet mechanism for the seconds dial that powers both clocks. The clock has been optimized from my previous clock builds and only uses eight gears.

I designed the shape using my previous methods of building full range, folded horn speaker enclosures—CNC laminating layers with dowel alignment pins, which gives unlimited shape flexibility.

I chose 3/4″ Natural vertical and 1/2″ Bamboo plywood from Cali Bamboo for most of the build (finished with waterbased clear, semi-glossed poly). The 3/8″ acrylic gears were custom designed with different eyeglass frame designs as the spokes. Each functional acrylic gear is reversed CNC carved, filled with paint, then sanded and machined out. All shafts are custom, hand made from 6061-T6 aluminum rods turned on my metal lathe to fit the gears and ride on ball bearings for reliability.

The heart of this clock is a synchronous 60-RPM, 120v motor, eliminating weights and the need to wind-up. It rotates once every second, moving the spring-loaded pawl mechanism to advance the 60-toothed ratchet (the pawl “hook” has a miniature ball bearing riding on the edge to “pull” each tooth). The entire table is internally illuminated by a thin strip of 12v, 3,000k LED strip. 3/8″ tempered glass for the “Lenses” were custom made by a glass company. Electrical wiring for the motor and 12v power supply has a hidden routed channel within the body and “temples” (legs) where a standard computer cord can be connected in the flush mounted IEC C14 Power Entry Module.

My project was recently submitted as “Project of the Month” from Cali Bamboo. More detailed photos can be found here.


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