Essentials:

Homemade Hourglass

hand-made-hourglass

I was walking around Hobby Lobby with my daughter and she found an hourglass that she simply could not live without.  The only problem was that the hourglass was very fragile and required some ‘beefing up’ in order for  So, after a short search for some supplies I managed to get this fairly descent hourglass assembled. I also chose to pick up some supplies from Lowes-Depot.

Parts used for this project:

  • Hourglass
  • Brass Tube
  • Four Wooden discs
  • Two different sized drill bits and drill
  • Small foam pads
  • Threaded rod
  • Nuts for the threaded rod
  • Paint, stain, or both.

In order to minimize the crushing force of the wood directly onto the hourglass, I added some foam sticky pads to the top and bottom of the hourglass. As the wood takes on moisture or temperature it may shrink or swell, the hourglass should stay put or not be crushed…only time will tell.

hourgalss-with-red-pads

I then placed the hourglass onto the first level of the wooden base to locate where to drill the holes for the brass tubes and threaded rod. My first attempt to find the perfect place for these holes failed and I had to re-drill them farther out.

threaded-rod-cut-off

Each of the holes was first drilled with a pilot hole that is the width of the threaded rod, and then an additional hole was drilled so the bolts would be flush with the surface of the bases.

The two wooden bases were clamped back to back so I could drill them both at the same time and the holes would align properly on final assembly. After drilling the bases were painted off white per my daughter’s project requirements.

hourglass-parts

The brass tubes were fitted and cut to length as closely as possible. The tubes should have some room to move up and down in the countersink holes which will allow the threaded rod to do the light work of compressing the hourglass.

When cutting the threaded rod, be sure to have your nuts on them before cutting. This will allow you to back the nut off and reform the crushed threads. This is an important thing to remember. Because once you cut the threaded rod there is no easy way to get a nut on there unless you already have one on there.

I put two nuts on the threaded rod. One to leave on and one to take off and put back on. The nice thing about this method is that you can force one of the nuts over the part of the threaded rod that has been crushed, effectively locking it in place, and then later during assembly, slide the other nut back on and twist the threaded rod to make the loose nut tighten down into the hole. Sounds tricky, but it will make sense when you do it.

hourglass-rods-painted-base

All of that being said, you could simply use wooden dowels and some screws or glue and stick the whole thing in a clamp and hope for the best. In retrospect, considering the gentle nature of using an hourglass but an adult, I probably would have used dowels. But for a 4 year old, I needed it to stay put together.

Once the threaded rods were in place and all tightened down,  I used a Dremel to cut off the tail of the threaded rod, leaving it very close to the surface of the nut.

hourglass-assembly

To finish off the hourglass, I stained the two remaining, slightly larger, wooden discs and used Silicone glue to bind them to the bases. Then added some jewels to cover the holes of my first drilling attempt.

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