Introduction: Turning an Old Printer in to a Breadbox

Looking around at some old things around the house, one thing that seems to be constant is an old printer. More often than not, it is cheaper to get a new one then pay for it to be fixed. True to that, there was one at the bin wall at TechShop San Jose and I figured out something to do with it. With this Epson printer, the lid it has seems roughly the size of a loaf of bread, so figured it would be simple business to empty it out.

For this project, you don't actually need any SBU's, or Safety and Basic Use classes through TechShop. Everything done in this afternoon project can be completed through the use of hand tools!

What is needed is:
Screwdrivers needed to remove components out of the printer (Usually smaller phillips and torx)
Dremel or some other rotary tool with a cutting wheel. 
Wooden Board
Sandpaper
Stain
Polyurethane

Step 1: Opening It Up

So, first thing is first. Removing and general cutting out of the printer. With this project, I tried it out as a sort of concept and so there are many different ways to approach this. After the exterior screws are removed, one can get an idea of what to deal with on the inside. I worked at removing everything without cutting just to make it a cleaner proses. Because of the ink though, I would suggest wearing gloves. I was hoping the bottom here would flat after everything was gone, but sadly I still had to resort to force. 

Step 2: Cutting!

Unfortunately I didn't take a picture of the tool, but I essentially used a Dremel cutting and sanding wheel to take care of everything. I made it as flat as possible to put in a platform to support the bread. In addition to cutting out the bottom, I also trimmed the top outter shell in order to expand the opening to make room for putting in a loaf. In order to clean up the melted plastic that the cutting wheel left, I used a sanding wheel to clean it up, and when that was too much I used a fine file. It was actually pretty presentable!

Step 3: Preparing and Installing the Board

There are a couple options for this step, I used a small piece of pine since it's handy in the scrap wood bin but pretty much anything flat will work. Perhaps a finished rectangle of aluminum, glass or plastic. For the wood, I sanded up all the sides and planed it to the right size. After sanding, I dusted it off and finished. With here I used a paper towel just to avoid the problem of cheap brushes leaving bristles. I used 3 applications to get the color even throughout all sides. After the stain had dried, I took it to the spray booth to put a clear coat over the entire thing. 

That's pretty much it! Like I said there are many ways of approaching this, and many ways to make it look awesome. The board could be laser etched, painted or otherwise finished. A piece of water-cut aluminum or more. An easy few hours thank to TechShop. 

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