Laser-Cut Sunflower Clock

A few years ago, I tried to make a wood and resin clock. It did not turn out well.

I am now older and wiser. And I have a laser cutter, which means I can make an even cooler clock than before.

In fact, I can make multiple clocks, because why not?

How to Make A Resin-Engraved Sunflower Clock

The general idea is that I’m going to engrave a design as deep as I can, then fill the engraved area with resin.

I wasn’t really sure if this was going to work, mainly because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to engrave deep enough. But it wasn’t an issue!

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Materials

If you don’t have a laser yet and are still considering which one to buy, check out my comparison of the xTool M1 and Glowforge Aura.

Step 1: Cut the Clock

For the big thick hunk of wood, I had to cut with a router and a circle-cutting jig, which was a giant pain and why I recommend you use something thinner.

My laser cutter can do 1/2″ piece if I flip it over (see how I cut thick pieces here,) so that’s where I’d recommend maxing out.

Regardless, you’ll have the laser cutter cut a circle on the outside, and then engrave the design on the inside. Here are the settings I used:

LayerPowerSpeedPassesLines/cm
Design1001005160

Now, these weren’t necessarily the best settings – I had to leave the design engraving overnight it took so long. You might want to do some testing to figure out if you can do this same thing a bit faster.

But it looked pretty cool:

Step 2: Pour the Resin

I went through and scraped out the bottom of engraving, which I actually regret, because in some places the resin is a bit more opaque and you can see the lighter wood.

So don’t do that.

Instead, skip right to the resin. I used MAS Deep Pour, mostly because I can buy it at the nearby Rockler, and don’t have to order it in advance.

I followed the instructions on the container for mixing, and if you use a different resin, your instructions are probably different.

Worth noting, though, is that I like to mix by weight, not volume. Using a kitchen scale seems cheaper than having to purchase a bunch of marked measuring cups.

I think you can mix most resins by weight, but I don’t know that for sure, so it’s worth checking your manufacturers website if you’re considering it.

Then I dropped some black drops in, and poured! As I was doing this, I wondered why I didn’t pick a pretty color, but black was what I imagined in my head, so I went with it.

The deep pour resin takes about 24 hours to dry, after I poured it and made sure it was level, I let it sit until the next day.

GRAB YOUR Sunflower Clock SVG FILE

Step 3: Sand

Some resin projects require a router for flattening (or spending a full weekend sanding,) but this one is small enough that you can knock it out with an orbital sander in less than 30 minutes.

Start with the lowest grit you’ve got, and sand until you only have resin in the design. Then slowly work your way up, grit by grit, until you’re sanding with 180 grit sandpaper.

step 4: Finish

I used Varathane’s Oil-Based Polyurethane to finish the clock, mostly because I had it around, and it dries out faster than other finishes, so I figured I might as well use it.

I don’t actually love this finish, because oil-based poly takes forever to dry, so if you’re buying something new, I’d recommend Zinsser’s Shellac Sealcoat.

Step 6: Add Clock Mechanism

Drill a hole in the center of the clock, and add the mechanism to the back.

Because my wood was so thick, I had to route a hole into the wood so that the clock mechanism would reach to the front of the wood. Hopefully you’ve picked a thinner piece, and don’t have to do that.

As you can see, I was real careful with this part:

Then I put the pieces in the clock kit together. I’d say I followed the instructions, but really I just slipped all the different pieces on, and called it a day.

Then the clock was done!

But wait… I could make a second clock! So I did.

The Really Easy Laser Cut Sunflower Clock

The nice thing about the second clock is that it’s a whole lot easier than the first.

You cut out the pattern.

Then you add the mechanism.

Done.

And now you have two clocks! What a win!

Grab you sunflower SVG so that you can make your own!

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