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Make It or Break It! (A Maker Topic)


Nice! Very tidy and sharp, Sam. I could see throwing that in a backpack or a game box.


Danke! Not sure it’s quite up to throwing but should be fine at the bottom of a bag or similar. : )

Should probably sort out a box for Nmbr9 now…


That looks really neat!

Few questions, do you need special equipment to make those?
What was the cost?
Do you have to rubberband the box so if it falls over it doesn’t open up? Or does it ‘lock’ shut somehow?


In theory you could hand cut it but I think it would be very difficult (and tedious).

I used a laser cutter; they’re pretty expensive but if you’re near a hackspace or similar there’re good odds that they’ll have one. Alternatively for a 1-time thing you can hire them for a short while (I think there’re also online services where you just send them the files).

Cost of materials isn’t much. I think it only uses 1 full sheet of plywood which is about £5.

The box stays closed on its own (I steamed the wood along the hinge so it’s naturally closed) and I also added a pair of small magnets to make extra sure so no rubber band needed :slight_smile:


Here’s my first make since I moved house and a bit more practical than my usual stuff:


It’s a volume knob for my record player. Can’t decide whether to 3D print an enclosure for it or laser some wood…


Wood would be cool! Also, it’s good with static (some 3D materials can get static-y). Although if you live in a place with wildly changing humidity, it would probably be better to print one. I’ve had things get all warped during the rainy/hurricane seasons here, from picture frames to a homemade pachinko board.


I was tempted by some conductive filament, typically these sorts of things are enclosed in metal boxes to prevent audio interference. Since I don’t have a way of machining metal it’s an alternative.


I think that, at this point, it’s more about finishing the thing than over-thinking it.

Seriously, you did the hard part (well, “-ish”, 3D printing, wood sizzling, and/or housing parts in little Faraday cages are projects on their own), do what’s more comfortable. Do what pleases you. Play to your skill sets.


Yeh, you’re right, at the moment the audio quality is absolutely fine so it probably doesn’t need to be over-engineered. While I decide on how to finish it, I’ve got a big, heavy, aluminium knob in the post which should really make it look and feel good!

3D printing is probably going to be easier since that’s what I have access to. The nearest MakerSpace with a laser cutter is a bit far away and I’d need to go through training.


Really would want to keep any Crokinole boards in climate-controlled storage then I guess?



Actually, no, they tend to be pretty thick and heavy and are usually fine. Smaller, thinner wood gets messed up (my Carrom board is slightly warped, for instance, and I’ve had it for less than a year).

Not a problem for most people! Almost everyone else here is fine. I just live in a region of the world where spilled salt or sugar on the table turns into tiny drops of water during especially humid times. Don’t get me started on what that does to toilet paper.


I was almost going to make an off-color joke about that, :rofl: I am emotionally 12 years old.

But yes, that sounds satisfying, and also with large knobs (I’m sorry, I keep giggling) you do get more precision and are able to fine tune the volume.

When I put together radios, I always tried to get the largest radius dials, it made it a lot easier to tune to the hard-to-reach stations by making small adjustments. Also, something that felt solid just…worked better? I mean, it felt better, and I don’t know if that actually made it work better or if it was just psychosomatic, but it always seemed like if it felt better, it actually worked better.


I’m going to have nightmares about this now.


Here’s what I have planned.
My father’s a radio-amateur as it happens.


I like how you’re planning ahead for the corners (and internal struts), a lot of people would miss that and just try to snap something on.


Yeah hopefully it prints OK in two parts. I often neglect mounting holes in PCBs so taking full advantage here!


Are you using a template?

PS: My best friend’s dad (almost like my own dad) was a big HAMM radio guy, he had a big antenna in his back yard, and if we were lucky, we’d talk to people in France, and even Vietnam ex-pats (usually it was just in the US and Canada). But still, talking to nerds in Europe was a hoot!


All designed around the PCB and components, so had to model them fairly accurately.

My dad does very low power stuff from the UK, it’s amazing how far he’s worked taking advantage of atmospheric conditions, time of day, etc.


Good lord, that’s always something I kick myself for, and have to back-pedal about later because I’m used to just fixing my crappy design when I come to my flaw (with a drill or saw) as opposed to getting it right the first time.


The first PCB I ever designed for a little roving robot, I was anxious to keep the cost down so crammed everything onto a tiny PCB, it was impossible to mount…