RIBBA clock hack

Materials: RIBBA frame

Description: This hack is kinda easy, but it’s also quite hard to describe as it is very specific to what you want to have in the end.

The main steps are:
– Get a RIBBA frame, one of those with the mat for three pictures
– Get yourself three clockworks and possibly some watch hands you would like to use (make sure the hands fit the clock, otherwise use some superglue, to fix this ;-D). I used very quiet clockworks where the hand for the seconds never stops, looks better in my opinion.
– Mark the final positions of your watch hands and drill holes at these positions (8 mm in my case) in the back of the frame
– Prepare your clockworks: As every clockwork only uses one hand you have to cut the shafts or remove them at all. I used an scalpel and a wire cutter to strip mine down.
– Put something under your clockworks before fixing them to the back of the frame. This helps to shorten the shafts even more, so you don’t need to put very much under the mat in the end and you have no problem when using the glass where it is etc.

Detail shot of a trimmed shaft

– Design and print yourself a clock-face you like, glue it onto the back of the frame
– Attach the watch hands and make sure they can run freely (you should check this earlier… ;-D)
– Put something under the mat and place it in the right position (I cut a new mat from very high white, thick paper, as the original was too yellowish and had some bucklings right after buying)
– Put everything back into the frame and enjoy your very unique and stylish clock

Back of the frame with three mounted clockworks and one hand attached for testing purposes

Some hints:
– I wanted to use the same watch hand for all clockworks. This made it necessary to glue the hands onto the bases of other hands, so they could fit the shafts. Check this before you start and keep it in mind.
– I also had to shorten my hands. Could be done with a scalpel and some super glue. Cut them at the “base”, so nobody sees you shortened them…
– When you put something under the clockworks it can happen, that they can become too deep and stick out of the frame. No problem for me, as I mounted the frame with the supplied hanger to my wall. Try to use clockworks with short shafts or trim the shafts as far down as possible. Be careful with trimming, sometimes the watch hands won’t find in the end…

I hope this hack can inspire some people to build interesting clocks.

You can find some more information, and my clock face on the website I provided. The blog entry is in German. See more of the Ribba clock.

~ flomei, Germany

Jules Yap