Introduction: Elevated Wood Side Panels for Maschine
If you are a user of the Native Instruments Maschine 1, 2 or 3 music workstations - then this instructable is for you. I'm sure the same project could be conducted for the Micro Maschines or other similarly sized desktop groove boxes.
Basically I found it annoying to have the Maschine laying totally flat, and wanted it angled toward me. Also I wanted some nice finished wood panel sides to give it a sharper appearance. I saw a few pre-fab kits online and they looked simple enough to replicate, and I didn't want to pay much. Ultimately I probably spent about the same amount but now I have enough extra supplies to make panels for my other gear too!
1 piece of flat wood - 20cm x 40cm
1 piece of long wood - 4cm x 4cm (piece I used was 37mm x37mm)
2 screws - I picked screws with a bolt/nut shaped head
Wood Stain and/or Varnish (optional)
Felt or Rubber for feet (optional)
The only tools i used were:
A hand saw / hacksaw
A dremel tool (for sanding/routering to make smooth edges)
Sand paper of varying grit
A way to clamp (a vice or, C-clamps)
Step 1: Cut Wood to General Size
I cut my two side panels from a single piece of 20cm wide (x 40cm long) wood, but you could just as easily cut them from two, more narrow pieces of wood.
The general size I started with (as seen in the photo) was 24mm (short side) x 293mm (long) x 128mm (tall side).
The pattern use I created by measuring the Maschine side dimensions and taking into account the approximate height in which I wanted the rear of the Maschine instrument raised. You could also make a unique pattern by raising the back of your machine to the desired height, and measuring the side dimentions.
Step 2: See Where You Are At
I then took my rough sizes and laid them out next to the Maschine, and raised the machine by placing something under it.
This is a general check. Is it the right size? Did I give myself enough extra space for sanding? How do I want the rear edges to look?
I made a decision on the rear edges, and marked it in pencil.
This is the time to mark anything in pencil related to how you want it to eventually look.
Step 3: Shaping and Sanding
The next piece I used a dremel tool with sanding bit to smooth all the edges, and round them off a bit on the outside edge. To make the pieces close to identical I clamped them together so that I could for a similar shape.
A little extra sanding on all sides to remove marking and blemishes will add to a finer appearance.
Step 4: Cut Wood Post Cross Bar
I bought a single wood post of 37mm x 37mm.
I measured the width of my Maschine from edge to edge and cut accordingly. Depending on your model this should put you somewhere in the neighborhood of 32cm wide.
Then i put an "X" from corner to corner to find the center and drilled a small pilot hole for the screw.
Step 5: Wood Stain to Desired Finish
One again, I laid out my materials with the Maschine and angled the edge of the post upward so that it would catch and hold the small lip/groove that runs beneath the machine. I continued to elevate it until finding the correct level for the screw hole, and marked it for drilling.
I didn't want the bolt-heads on my screws to stick out beyond the surface of the panels (so as not to scratch other nearby equipment). So I made an attempt at using my dremel tool to create small circle depressions where the screw and washer would be placed. As you can see they aren't perfect, so in retrospect using a proper circular drill-bit may have worked better.
After this I applied two coats of stain and a single coat of varnish, leaving drying time between each coat.
Step 6: Final Assembly
You've completed all necessary steps. Now it's time for the moment of truth. I used washers which I already had but probably a larger washer would be better to evenly distribute the pressure. You will want to mount your Machine into place and check the fit.
If you find that it is too wide, simply remove the crossbar and further sand/trim down one side as needed to make a more snug fit.
If your crossbar was somehow cut too short, I imagine you could place a nut (or something else) as a spacer on the inside.
Step 7: Final Touches
Our house always has sticky-felt or sticky-rubber for placing on the bottom of furniture and avoid scratching the floor. This dollar-store item is perfect for putting pads on your stand to avoid scratching the desk surface.
Now go enjoy the fruits of your labor and make some music!
Did you create your own side panels? I'd love to see what you came up with.
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