Timeless Rooster


Timeless Rooster is made from exotic hardwood from all over the world.

This year’s rooster is Timeless Rooster. He’s made from walnut, teak, maple and many other exotic hardwoods from around the world. His glowing eye tells time using color. He is sanded to 3600 and has a danish oil finish.

He was at Atomic Rooster Annual Cock Show until October 26, 2014.

He is $250.

How to tell color time is shown below but don’t forget the vernissage starts at bluemagenta and last call is redmagenta. It’s good to be in bed before redcyan. Especially if you have a meeting the next day at whitemagenta.

img_5882-1000An advantage with color is you can see this clock from far away despite the fact that it is only 1/8″ across. Even if you are not explicitly focusing on it.

His time-display algorithm is re-programmable since it uses Arduino open source electronics!  I think it will be fun to experiment with the time telling algorithm. One can program special color patterns to indicate events such as last call and so forth.

I’ve actually been in a couple of times and so far I have softened the flash and made it a little slower.

Up next I’d like to make it less bright in the evenings and perhaps a few odd flashes at last call.

How Timeless Rooster was Made

He was designed using Inkscape (open source vector graphics software). The base, hanging system, base stiffener, battery holder, power chord hangar were designed in Sketchup.

A 1/8″ hardboard backing was made for all the hardwood. The walnut base was double backed with 1/8″ hardboard. Polyvinyl acetate glue was added to both surfaces and left for 30m. The pieces were then tacked together and heated with an iron.

All the parts were carefully cut out using a CNC cutter. Finally adjustments were made and all the pieces were glued in place.


His eye is a common anode RGB (red, green, blue) LED. Red, green and blue are primary colors by the way. The RGB is connected to three PWM (pulse width modulation) pins of an Arduino. I also have an RTC (Real Time Clock module DS1307) which has a battery backup so it keeps its time even if it’s not plugged in.

I need to add a switch so it can be set (I’m using a computer to set it  at the moment).

How to Tell Color Time

clockcolorsYou need to know the primary colors (RGBCMY, red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, yellow).

Time Rooster gives four flashes of light then a pause.

The first pair tells you the hour and the second pair tells you the minute.

The first color is one of RGB (Red, Green, Blue) or White to indicate which quadrant of the clock we are in. Red, Green and Blue are the real primary colors since you have receptors for those three color experiences. White is the combination of all three.

The second color flash is one of CMY (Cyan, Magenta and Yellow) to indicate which hour we are at in the quadrant. There are three hours in each quadrant. A clock has 12 hours so if you divide it by four we get three. Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are the primary colors for mixing pigment.

The third color indicates the quadrant of the minute. So if it’s Red, then the long hand is somewhere between 12 and 3 and so forth.

The fourth color indicates the five minute block of the minute. It is Cyan, Magenta or Yellow to show were we are in the quadrant.

Here are some examples.



Rooster Clock Version

I was thinking of making a 10 inch version which is more of a disk like a clock. Here’s a simulation of it. Not sure how red my reddest wood is.


Rooster Coasters

I made some of these up for fun. They’re 4″ coasters with a little portrait of Timeless Rooster. The inlay worked really nice with “hardboard”. I over-sized the inner parts by .005″ and they go together with a mallet without glue! I’ll be finishing the with polycrylic which is the same material the tables are finished with at Atomic.

Atomic Rooster Cock Show Vernissage 2014

This was an extraordinary art event. Social, art, entertainment, beer, food… in perfect concert.


My backup project will be Chess Rooster so if Time Rooster has to go to the shop for maintenance I can complete and install Chess Rooster. Given that my rooster projects have moving parts and electrical, I think this is a good practice. This year I had too many ideas. Death Rooster, Perpetual Rooster, Chaos Rooster, Shy Rooster and more… So it was tricky to decide what to do. But I think this project will be fun as I can work with some hardwood and some electronics.

Real Time Clock library

Wood Database

Teak (Tectona grandis) India
Carpathian Elm (burl) Europe
Lyptus (Eucalyptus urograndis) Brazil
Primavera (Roseodendron donnell-smithii) Mexico
Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) USA
Curly Maple (Acer saccharum)  Canada
Walnut (Juglans nigra) USA

{still working on list of wood}

Traditional wood inlay:

to “Timeless Rooster

  • Advice that’s been given to me for finish:

    Teak oil is good. But there a number of brands calling themselves teakoil. The guy at Preston hardware is knowledgeable and they have fair selection.


    I would recommend the use of Danish oil and paste wax for most wood
    projects. This finish is an excellent balance between surface protection and
    ease of repair. The oil in the finish also provides eye-popping depth to the

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