This project shows how to build a simple project case out of hardware store materials in about an afternoon. It is particularly suitable for projects that need user controls or displays. For this example, I built a case for the amazing "Wacky sound generator" from www.musicfromouterspace.com.

Step 1: Sketch the Project Layout, Sketch the Console Layout, Taking Into Account the Size of Any Controls Needed, Any Plugs or Ports, Batteries, Etc.

By looking at the number and type of controls you have planned for the project, make a rough sketch. You can make it pretty rough- I have included mine as an example. Note that you want to design it "flattened out" and plan to leave space for bottom attachment of the circuit board as well as a place to attach the bottom plate. Take note of the "tabs" going down the sides of the main box- they are how the final metal portion of the case will attach to the wooden sides, and they must be far enough apart not to interfere with one another when the case is bent.
nice!! please tell me the name of the red tool in thsi picture andits use this is the stuby screwdriver? i wil be great if you share the electronic diagram of this too!!
Thanks for the compliment! The red device is called a deburring tool, and is used to clean up holes after you drill them. It works great for both metal and plastic. The one in the picture came from my local hardware store, and only cost about US$2 or so. It has extra bits in the handle, which is both cool and handy! You use it by putting the tip into the freshly-drilled hole, and then dragging the tool around the inside of the hole - the bit has a sharp inside edge that cuts off the jaggeddy left-over metal/plastic. This tool allows the bit to swivel as you turn it, which is nice. If you wanted to order one very much like it, try: http://bit.ly/dHOQPo Good luck!
Very nice<br />
Very nice and well done.<br />
Thanks for the comment!&nbsp; I have built another one, using similar principles that fits a 19-inch rack-mount synth case.&nbsp; pretty cool, easy and fun!<br />
Very nice instructable. I have finally amassed all the components I need to make my 1st WSG, and just last week broke down n bought the PCB from Ray Wilson. I had planned on using a generic board 1st, but changed my mind as it is my 1st "real" synth from scratch build and I was apprehensive. Did u etch your own? it looks different than mine. I like the addition of the volume knob, too.One question, please. Is the sheet metal u used sturdy enough? I thought duct work is pretty soft, and I was thinking of aluminum. Also, any tips for a 1st time WSGer??
The ductwork material is pretty soft, and is certainly not ideal for project cases, but by strengthening the structure by bending the ends over and securing to the wood blocks on either side, it is stiff enough to function. The reason I chose the material is that it is easy to work, readily available in every hardware store in the world, and found in copious amounts as scrap at many construction sites. By all means use stiffer aluminum if you have it or eve steel if you have a real brake- the results will certainly be better. As for suggestions for making your first synth- mainly take your time. I can't tell you how many times I had to go back and resolder a cold joint, reverse a component, etc. The nice thing is that the WSG is pretty forgiving, so you at least get a chance to fix things...
hey very nice one. But what if you had to insert linear "slider" pots? How could you cut straight holes? what tool would you reccomend to do a neat job? Thanks!
One way to cut slots is to drill holes at each end of the slot, and then use the "nibbler" tool (Illustrated in Step 5) to cut the line between the two drilled holes, and to square the ends. I have cut slots for linear pots that way in the past and it works pretty well. You can buy a nibbler at the local hardware store, and I have even seen them at Radio Shack in the past.
do you have any plans for the synthesizer?
The synth plans that I used are freely avaioable from the excellent &quot;music from outer space&quot; &lt;a rel=&quot;nofollow&quot; href=&quot;http://www.musicfromouterspace.com/analogsynth/YOUR_FIRST_SYNTH/YOUR_FIRST_SYNTH.html&quot;&gt;website&lt;/a&gt;. They are easy to use and fun to play with!&lt;br/&gt;<br/>
Fantastic suggestion, ehmbee! It would certainly look cooler with the ends recessed, or at least finished. I had wanted to use some 1/8" pine scraps that I had, but they were not quite big enough. I figured if they were sanded and stained, it would look more like a classic synth case. Next one I make, I will try your suggestions, and perhaps prime and paint the case black. The only question then is how to have the labels stand out. Maybe silkscreen them?
Nice way to make fast and light work of a project box! you could probably also bend your metal the way you wanted, then measure and cut your wood ends to fit-screw it all down with your ends recessed behind the metal, and flush, and it would look almost store bought....either way gets it done, I guess I'm just picky that way, I got too many people laughing at MY mad scientist projects as it is....for a really finished look, I'd try to cement some scrap countertop laminate on your wood ends!!! I'm sure that stuff is free for the asking in small, broken pieces at home centers or from kitchen contractors. If you can keep your project's ends under about 2"x3" (a big IF), Formica samples are are just that size, and available free on their website. They also have metal ones too, for their metal countertops and cabinet door coverings. These also make great backing panels for switches and that kind of thing.

About This Instructable




Bio: I have always loved the interface between the machine-like aspect of living things, and an increasing tendency for machines to act in a life-like way ... More »
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