Jonno Butler

Film Reel Clock

7th November 2015 Tutorials 0

A few weeks ago I moved into a new house and needed objects to decorate the editing room. I bought some old film reels off ebay (5 for £12). The reels I bought were for 800ft of 16mm film, that’s approximately 26cm in diameter so a great size to hang on the wall. They are really easy to hang too, having a handy hole in the centre. Making a clock out of one seemed to be a no-brainer and surprisingly easy to do. With Richard’s help it was completed in under half an hour.

Items needed:

16mm Film Reel

AA Battery Clock Movement

Hour/Minute Hands (Usually come with the movement)

Rubber Spacers (Usually come with the movement)

Metal Junior Hacksaw

Small Metal File

Small Flat Head Screwdriver

1 AA Battery

(The items above, minus the tools can be found for as little as £3 on eBay)














Step 1: 
Use the hacksaw to remove the central section on the rear of the film reel. Fig 1.

Fig 1

Fig 1

Step 2: 
Use a small metal file to widen the central hole if needed and file off any rough edges from the cutting. Fig 2 & 2a.


Fig 2


Fig 2a









Step 3: 
Insert the movement into the gap and add rubber spacers to the front or rear of the spool to ensure a tight fit. I added mine to the front as I liked the look.  Fig 3 & 3a.

Fig 3

Fig 3

Fig 3a

Fig 3a









Step 4: 
Screw the small washer through the hole and into the movement, trapping it against the reel. Use a screwdriver to tighten. Fig 4.


Fig 4

Step 5:
Add the hands to the clock and ensure they are level before setting the time. Fig 5.

Fig 5

Fig 5

Note: To hang the clock you may need to drill an extra hole. The reel I used had a handy hole at the top anyway.

P1010457 P1010468




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