Introduction: Easy 2x4 Electronics Enclosures
Runner Up in the
Woodworking Contest 2017
I love electronics! It seems I'm always creating little gadgets and gizmos with leds and Arduinos. Unfortunately, most of them are very fragile and need an enclosure.
I've come up with a cool and modern-looking wooden enclosure made from a cheap 2x4!
Step 1: You Will Need...
One of my goals for this project was to make it simple, easy, and cheap; so the list of materials is rather short!
- 1x Short 2x4
- 4x 1" Long Phillips Screws
- 1x Circuit
- Band Saw
- 1" Forstner Drill Bit
- 7/64" Drill bit (This size really depends on your screw)
Step 2: Plan the Enclosure!
First, try to make your circuit as small as possible; it needs to fit inside a 2x4! Your circuit must be smaller than 2 inches wide and 1 inch tall. The length is up to you!
My enclosure is designed to hold an Ultrasonic Distance Sensor.
Once you have your layout planned, I recommend you create a scale drawing in a cad program. I used Google Sketchup to draw and print the design.
After you printed your design, cut it out and use a small amount of glue to stick it to the 2x4.
Step 3: Cut to Length!
Next, use a bandsaw to cut the 2x4 to the length shown in your pattern.
While I chose to use a bandsaw, almost any type of saw will work - including hand saws. Just please, watch your fingers!
Step 4: Cut the Lid!
Next use your square and pencil to mark a line lengthwise about 1/4 of an inch from the edge of the 2x4.
Then use your bandsaw to cut exactly on that line. You'll be cutting close to your fingers; please be careful!
Step 5: Bore It Out!
Draw a square on the bigger block, about 1/2 of an inch from the sides.
Now use the large forstner bit to bore out the middle of the box, staying in the lines. Don't drill too deep, only about 3/4 of an inch down.
Step 6: Drill Holes for the Circuit!
Drill the necessary holes for your circuit. In this example, they're only the two holes for the distance sensor.
Depending on your circuit, you may need holes for buttons, switches, leds, wires, etc.
Please note that your component might need ventilation.If you think it will heat up, drill a few small holes in the top to let the hot air out.
Step 7: Screw on the Lid!
Take your new enclosure, and place the lid you cut earlier back on top.
Then use the small drill bit to drill holes about 1/4 inch from each corner. Only drill down an inch, be careful not to drill through the front.
Finally, insert the four screws!
Step 8: Peel and Sand!
Now cleanly peel off your paper template. This is when using little glue pays off!
This is optional, but it really makes it look great to give it a good, through sanding.
Step 9: Finish!
Put the electronics in and you're done!
I hope you enjoyed reading this, and go on to make one yourself! I've found them to be rather addicting, and soon they'll start popping up on all your projects!
Feel free to comment if you have any questions, ideas, or to show off your own version. All feedback is welcome!
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