Step 3: Measuring and Cutting the Tablet Bezel

Take the LCD out of the lid and place it to one side. In fact, place everything except for the lid and the thin plastic bezel you forced off earlier aside. This step is going to get messy!

Place the bezel on the lid, as it was before you removed it during the teardown. With the bezel held firmly in place with a bit of masking tape, use a pencil and draw on the inside of the bezel onto the lid. Make sure your pencil is vertical, otherwise your bezel will be lopsided! Once you have drawn a rectangle on the inside of the lid, and you are satisfied it is good enough, you can remove the bezel and place it to one side.

Take the lid to a garage or workshop, or somewhere where you can make plenty of mess. We're going to cut the aperture for our screen! 
Mask the shiny side of the lid as shown in the photo. This will provide a cleaner, non-shattered cut, and will protect the surface of our new bezel. Flip the lid over, and lay it on some sacrificial plywood or pine. Use a small sacrificial piece and a clamp to stop the lid from moving around when we cut it. 

I drilled holes in the corners for a nice fillet. I then cut the aperture using an oscillating saw, and I thoroughly recommend this method if you have one. It doesn't produce a lot of waste, easy to follow the line, and its easy to manipulate. It's also by far the safest saw to use. However, this can just as easily be done by drilling a hole and using a jigsaw, or a hacksaw/padsaw.
Always cut on the inside of the line, and rotate the lid so that you're always cutting near to the clamp (reduces vibration). 

Once you've cut the aperture, you'll need to run a file or knife around the inside and outside to remove the burrs. On the outside, do this carefully to avoid chipping the gloss finish. Whilst you're making a mess, you need to grind off the Inverter Board plastic housing and there is a slight edge on the bottom part of the lid that needs to be filed off too. Then your new bezel-lid will fit flush onto your base!

Test the bezel with the screen to see if it fits, and then you can file and smooth down the edges.

Or, for those with a Router...

The only problem with cutting the bezel, is that you get a sharp right-angled edge which would be uncomfortable to lean on. When I fitted my bezel to the screen, it obscured part of it. With these thoughts in mind, I decided to chamfer the edge, to make the tablet easier to work on once finished.

To begin, I made a jig out of plywood strips nailed to chipboard. The plywood has to be tall enough for the bearing of the bit to follow. The plywood rectangle was measured to the screen size and the bezel was fitted to this with double-sided tape. 
Trying to get the router to follow this guide alone would have produced a wobbly edge, and so I made some plywood outriggers, and packed them up with cardboard. Now my router could follow the guide without tipping over!
I made the first cut with a 1/2" flush bit with bearing guide, and followed it with a depth-stopped 1/4" chamfer bit with bearing guide.
<p>Hi there!</p><p>I realize it's been a long time since you posted this Instructable, but I'm hoping you can help me with some issues I'm facing as I try to work this out. How did you manage to solder those tiny wires to those even tinier pins for the power connector? I tried and tried (I'm very new to soldering) and got so frustrated because there was just too much solder and then the pins wouldn't fit into the connector piece, so I resorted to using the connector as a base to hold the pins (thus partially melting the plastic in the soldering process). Should I scrap this now and try to find a replacement connector? And when you chose wires from a stripped USB, did they have to be black for ground and white for power? Or will any of the different color wires work? I have more questions but I'll start with these. I really appreciate the help!</p>
<p>Hi, sorry for the late reply!</p><p>For soldering the pins, I lay the pin and the wire close, tinned them both (depending on how &quot;very new&quot; to soldering you are, tinning is putting a dab of solder on the wire to help when you solder the wire to something else) and then dragged the solder from the wire to the pin. </p><p>I had a lot of breakages too, but I eventually got good enough to get it to work. Having thought about it, one thing you might want to do is create a breakout-board for the connector. A breakout is where you create a small PCB to attach the block to wires. The benefit of this, that the strain on both the block and the wires is significantly reduced.</p><p>As for the colour of the wires, any colour will do, but its best to keep to the USB standard colours for troubleshooting purposes. There's nothing more annoying than soldering the connector block up perfectly, only to notice that you've switched Data+ and Data-! </p><p>I really hope you managed to solve your problem, but please contact me if you need anything else!</p>
<p>saw this, woder if it works</p><p>http://jxlcd.en.alibaba.com/product/1552861987-218557672/100_brand_new_digitizer_touch_screen_for_macbook_fro_A1286_15_4_glass.html?spm=a2700.7803228.1998738836.4.cVkllt</p>
<p>Hi <br>I have started following the guide with a 15 inch unibody mid 2009 core 2 duo macbook i had laying around (of course following with major compromises since there very loosely similar) <br>I am running into issues with finding a digitiser that works with my display size (assuming 12 inch is nowhere near big enough), so I was wondering if you could maybe suggest a similar model to me</p>
<p>Hello! I assume its the 15.4&quot; size, and that will be fun to tear apart! A lot of a metalwork involved, right?</p><p>At the cheap end (and probably the easiest to obtain) would be a Toshiba Tecra M4 digitiser. I believe these screens go up to 14&quot; in size, so you'd still have some calibration issues. They are Wacom though, so the Wacom drivers should work.</p><p>At the expensive and possibly very hard-to-get is the Sony Vaio FIT 15A. This has a 15.5&quot; screen, and an N-Trig digitiser. </p><p>It might be worth asking on the Bongofish forums, as they are more likely to know a decent enough digitiser! Good luck, and let me know if I can help you at any other time!</p>
Smart that so cool
<p>I like it alot you should do it to a white unibody with 8gb ram to make a more powerful one</p>
awesome I would like one!
Would this work with a new macbook pro 2013 retina edition
<p>In theory, yes, but you probably want to check iFixit to see how to take the Retina Macbook apart, and how easy it would be to modify it to accept a digitiser. </p><p>I've had a look, and it would be very very difficult to do, but not impossible. Good luck!</p><p>https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/search/2013%20macbook%20retina%20pro</p>
<p>Confused by what?</p>
<p>Apologies, I believe that this comment may have been left by my daughter (she is only 9), she loves the Instructables site and uses my log in.</p>
<p>Can i make from other laptops such as samsung , acer or etc ?</p>
<p>It should be possible to. It all depends on how the screen is fitted to the case, and whether the case is symmetrical or not!</p><p>You may also need to step down a USB supply to 3.3v too. Hope this helps!</p>
Dude make me one
I really like this idea
cool app
ihave made a version like you said but used an old ipad screen and inserted a patch for multi touch capabilities now working on screen rotation
<p>Wow! Really? Can I ask how you managed to implement multi-touch and screen rotation?</p>
Where can u get the touch screen from for the tab u made
<p>It's not a touch screen. It's a normal laptop screen with a pen digitiser behind the screen. The digitiser can be found on eBay.</p>
What type of soldering station is that? It's beautiful.
<p>It's a Weller WHS40. 'Beautiful' is exactly how I would describe it too!</p>
What about a keyboard?
See the reply to Jovino, as they asked the same question.
What about multi touch gestures and a multi touch capacitive touchscreen with on screen keyboard
There's only single-point on this device, and thats via the pen. I believe you can get a multi-touch glass overlay to go on top of the screen, but getting it to fit inside the casing might be a problem. <br>I'm also not sure about whether OSX allows multi-touch or not, and I would assume if it did, it may only be limited to mouse-gestures.
I'm working on it. Lately I have almost no time to invest. Patience.
I have been working a cuople of weeks with a similar project. <br>I have the solutions to make a macbook tablet with a calibrated touch screen. <br>I have used tx1000 and tx2000 digitizer. Both are calibrated in mac os 10.7. In a few days I'll publish the &quot;how to&quot;. <br>Thank you MrQuiffster for the inspiration!
Fantastic, I can't wait to see the finished Instructable! <br>Hopefully you will inspire more people to give this project a go!
Link for the &quot;HP TX1000 Wacom Digitiser with cable&quot;? Will the TX 2500 work? <br> <br> <br>Looks like something like this? <br> <br>1. http://www.amazon.com/HP-TouchSmart-TX2-1000-SUBSTITUTE-REPLACEMENT/dp/B003YBJDMI/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?s=electronics&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1380947906&amp;sr=1-2-fkmr1&amp;keywords=hp+tx1000+wacom+digitizer <br> <br>2. <br>http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Full-12-1-LCD-Screen-touch-digitiser-for-HP-Pavilion-TX1000-TX2000-TX2500-/260997467748?pt=GPS_Screen_Protectors&amp;hash=item3cc4a94e64 <br> <br>3. <br>http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-Pavilion-TX1000-Complete-LCD-Assembly-w-Digitizer-Lid-Bezel-LCD-Screen-/290973494955?pt=US_Laptop_Screens_LCD_Panels&amp;hash=item43bf5f2eab <br> <br>4. <br>http://www.ebay.com/itm/hp-pavilion-tx1000-12-1-laptop-entertainment-PC-/331037989086?pt=Laptops_Nov05&amp;hash=item4d1366d8de <br> <br>Driver for the Digitizer?
I think the TX2500 will work, provided its a Wacom digitiser. Link 2, 3 and 4 would all work, but you can get just the digitiser on eBay, and stick it to the back of the Macbook LCD. If you're going to use the HP LCD, there could be some compatibility problems. <br> <br>As for the drivers, the generic Mac OS X drivers work alright. However, these are Wacoms drivers closest to this digitiser: ftp://ftp.wacom-europe.com/pub/Mac/cons505-3_int.dmg <br> <br>Hope that helps!
Can I make it with a MacBook Pro
In theory, you should be able to with the A1211, A1226 or A1260 models because they were built with the similar processes to the Macbook I used. However, the motherboards are completely different and you would have to do some research on iFixit to see if it'll work. <br> <br>If you're trying to do it with a unibody Macbook Pro, then thats going to be MUCH harder as the screen is glued to the lid, and you would potentially have to mill out the keyboard area. <br>If you do give it a go, good luck! It's a really interesting project and you'll learn a ton about Macs in the process!
You have serious skill man
Absolutely incredible:) wow
You should make more and sell them on eBay. I know I would buy one. :)
Just engrave an Apple logo on the back. Really awesome :-)
Epic dude just epic
Very kind! Thanks!
I've been thinking about doing this for a while, though I wonder if I could do it with a UC-Logic Digitizer? I've got one and I'm trying to make just the DIY cintiq with it, once I get that working maybe I'll feel a bit more adventurous and try making my old macbook into a tablet. <br> <br>Thanks!
Hi, sorry for the late reply! <br>If I remember right, the Bongofish forums have a fair bit of info on the UC-Logic boards, however, I'm not sure if it would be fully compatible with OSX. <br>Having said that, I wasn't sure my TX2000 digitizer would be compatible either, so have a bit of pioneering spirit and give it a go...or not! <br>Good luck!
What OSX can this run?
Its currently running 10.5, but with the chipset and motherboard, there's no reason it shouldn't run 10.6 or even 10.7 (I'm still running 10.6 on My Macbook Pro and have no experience of 10.7 Lion!)
Very creative and almost professional. Good job
You should show Apple that!
This was amazing!!

About This Instructable




Bio: Sailor in the Merchant Navy for work, hacking and modifying monkey on leave!
More by MrQuiffster:Staggered Pallet Planter How to make a Macbook Tablet 
Add instructable to: