This is going to be a retrospective on what has been one of my most enjoyable projects to date. 

Looking for a way to keep my ever growing electronics workshop in check and to make the whole lot portable I came up with the idea to use 19" form factor often seen in server rooms, live sound and studio applications. The plan was (is) to have multiple 8RU flight cases containing my entire workshop; tools, parts and project's is in progress.

One of the key tools for any hacker is the soldering iron, I have a Hakko FX-888 that I used throughout my final project while studying and found it to new a fantastic soldering iron. The issue is that it doesn't fit within my chosen form factor very well at all, the solution was to rebuild it into a case that works. Not wanting to ruin my 'good' iron and having found a supplier in China was able to supply me with a clone iron for a fraction of the cost I started the 'Lead Poppy' project. The project was to serve two purposes, the first to create a rack mounted soldering station and the second was to explore laser cutting using the service from Ponoko. Given the cost of off the shelf 19" rack cases my the idea was to design a case that could be cut from a single P3 sized panel of acrylic from Ponoko. This would also give me a scalable case design to be used within later hardware such as a power supply or oscilloscope.