The past week or two has been very busy and productive, although I have not posted many updates. Most of the work has been related to the case.
I have always planned for the case to be made of wood. I had a rough idea of the design (two sides + top, joined with finger joints, sliding down over the aluminum faceplates and secured with screws on the sides). In order to do this, though, I needed to make some tools... read more for details and to see all sorts of pictures!
In the past I have made finger joints on my scroll saw. It works, but it is slow and error prone. I have had a router for years, but did not have a decent router table, so I was limited in the jigs that I could make.
So, first step was to build a router table.
I based my design loosely on this design. I skimped on some parts (e.g. I used 1x4's for the legs, etc), but it turned out to be quite nice. I put a mitre slot from Lee Valley Tools into the table to allow for jigs.
Next I made a finger joint jig. I based my design off of these plans (even though they were designed for the table saw, the concept is the same)
I don't have pictures of the actual cutting (I don't have three hands, although sometimes I wish I did), but here is the setup right before I turned the router on:
The cuts worked out well; both sides fit together perfectly.
I then (over the next few days) cut some air outflow holes in the sides + top, epoxied nuts to angle brackets so that the sides can be secured to the bottom, cut slits in the grooves + top on the table saw for the aluminum to slip into, and finally, last night, glued everything together:
Over the next few days I will be sanding, staining, and attaching the fan grills to the outflow holes. I am considering adding some handles as well, although I may not do that (it is not meant to be portable, and will likely spend most of its existence on the same shelf in my electronics area). I also may make a wooden border for the screen (I didn't get the aluminum cuts quite as nice as I had hoped to...)