Blue Jean Pocket Watch

Blue Jean Pocket Watch

Denim micarta is a fun material to work with and super easy to make, so I decided to take a crack at a blue jean pocket watch!

Micarta is made from layers of fabric or paper glued together with resin. It’s a very strong and durable material!

I started with a pair of jeans from a stranger. I didn’t have any pairs near death so I visited the Goodwill and got a cheap pair with a nice deep blue dye. They were washed….several times…
I cut them up into 2″ squares. Nothing too precise as I will be turning this on the lathe.

The resin I’m using is called Total Boat. It’s a marine epoxy primarily used for fiber-glassing boats. In a way is similar functionality to making micarta and it works very well for this application.

24 hours later, the resin has completely cured and it is ready to be machined.

The micarta is super hard but works easy with woodworking tools. I used a forstner bit on my drill press to make a shallow recess in one side. This serves two purposes. First, it will be used for mounting the blank on my wood lathe and secondly, it is the correct size for the clock insert I will use later on.

Once the jean block is mounted on the lathe, I turn it into round, and you get a quick preview of the jean “grain”

At this point, the lathe station is in full 1986 mode. I’m covered in denim shaving, singing “Electric Blue” by Icehouse and working on my glorious mullet. I hope it was all worth it.

Once turned down to the correct size the clock movement I bought will fit into the recess with a satisfying click. It can still be easily removed to replace the battery or adjust the time.

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