I first saw this in an engineering lab, where there was a sheet-metal rack with slits in it to hold all the alligator clips and BNC cables. As it turns out, you can buy such a rack for about $20 on Amazon. But why buy one, when you can make one? This previous instructable shows how to make one out of wood. I made one out of a $4 sheet of acrylic from Home Depot.
Here how, in 4 easy steps.
Step 1: Cut Holes and Slits in an Acrylic Sheet
Cut 15 slits (2-1/2" x 1/8", spaced 1/2" apart).
Drill 1/8" holes for screws.
I did this with a laser cutter using my Techshop membership. I've attached the file you need if you want to do the same. You can also cut acrylic with a band saw and a drill. Just be careful about generating too much heat; it's easy to start burning the edges of the acrylic.
(I made it at TechShop: techshop.ws)
Step 2: Bend a Lip
- Use a heat strip bender. This is a machine that applies even heat along a straight line. You place your acrylic above the heating element along the line you want to bend, wait a little while, and then bend the acrylic along that line.
- Use a heat gun, hair dryer, or stove. Apply heat evenly to the line that you want to bend. This takes some finesse, and is not nearly as precise as a heat strip bender, but you can do it at home.
- Make your own heat strip bender. I used this method on my first prototype of the design. I heated up a 13x9 glass pan in the oven at 500 F. Then I laid my acrylic sheet on the table and pressed the glass pan against the line I wanted to bend. After several seconds, I was able to bend the acrylic along that line.
Step 3: Bend a Right Angle in the Middle of the Sheet
If you used the laser-cut file, there are score marks to show you where to bend the acrylic.