Need to know what time it is, but don’t own a phone, computer, microwave, or any of the other 100 clocks you probably already have? How about a huge mahogany digital clock to prove your geek prowess?

Project Steps

Get some wood. I chose mahogany.

Create a template for your 7-segment digit.

Use a scroll saw to cut the LED segments out of the wood.

Use a plunge router to hollow out the back side of the wood.

Stain the top side of the wood. I used a satin poly.

Connect the digits together using brass tubes and super glue.

Get some plexiglass and cut pieces to the shape of the LED segments. (I used the scroll saw for this.)

Get a few LEDs (I used blue 5mm).

Drill holes in the edge of the plexiglass.

Super-glue the LEDs into the holes.

Paint the back and edges of the LED segments with metallic paint.

Sand the front of the LED segments. The scratches will diffuse the light.

Apply some voltage.

Take 2 thin sheets of plexiglass and sandwich rice paper between them.

Hot-glue the LED segments to the plexiglass.

Solder wires to all of the LEDs.

Hot-glue the plexiglass to the inside of the digits.

Connect each of the LED segments to a ULN2003A, and a 74HC595 chip. See the schematic. I also added a 220ohm resistor per LED.

Connect the chips to an Arduino and use the time library to “ShiftOut” the time to the 74HC595s.

Stand back (way back) and check the time.

Put it up on your cubicle for all your fellow drones to admire!