In this instructable, I'll show you how I made a nice acrylic Cookbook stand using a laser cutter and a heat strip bender.
When finished, you will have an attractive, modern-looking kitchen accessory that can hold a cookbook at a nice viewing angle and incorporates a splash-guard to protect the book's pages from spills and mishaps.
Equipment you will need:
1. A graphics workstation with Corel Draw*
2. A laser cutter*
3. A heat strip bender*
Supplies you will need:
1. A piece of clear acrylic 18" x 24"**
* Available for use at TechShop San Jose
** Available for purchase at TechShop
I made this at TechShop San Jose, so I was able to use one of their computers with Corel Draw and one of their 60W Epilog lasers. All TechShop members have access to the computer workstations, but you will need to take the Laser Cutter SBU (LAS101) class before you can use a laser at TechShop.
Step 1: PREPARE YOUR FILE FOR LASER CUTTING
I created the file here using Corel Draw. Feel free to use my file if you are satisfied with the design, but don't be afraid to customize it or make your own.
I started by sketching what I wanted the finished stand to look like, and then drew it in Corel Draw.
The included pattern that I created is marked with which bends to make in which order, the URL to my Instructables page, and the TechShop logo. If you want to change any of these, now is the time.
Step 2: ETCH AND LASER-CUT THE ACRYLIC SHEET
Now it's time to etch and laser-cut the acrylic sheet. The included pattern that I created is marked with which bends to make in which order, the URL to my Instructables page, and the TechShop logo. If you want to change any of these, now is the time.
1. Open the pattern file (cookbook_stand.cdr) in Corel Draw.
2. Place your acrylic sheet on the bed of the laser cutter.
3. Focus the laser on the upper surface of the acrylic
4. Set the laser's "zero" (origin point)
5. Print to the laser and in the print properties dialog, set the vector cutting settings for your laser. For the raster elements use 40/30 (speed/power). If you are using 1/8" inch acrylic sheet set the vector settings for 15/90/5000 (speed/power/frequency). If you are using 1/4" sheet use 10/90/5000.
6. Press "GO" on the laser and watch as it etches and cuts the acrylic sheet.
The settings listed above are good for this file (as-is) on any of the 60 Watt Epilog lasers at TechShop San Jose. You may need to use different settings if you are using a different laser, or if you have made changes to the artwork that will be etched.
Now you have a flat version of your cookbook stand. All that remains is to make four bends. Remove your part from the laser and follow the established protocols for cleaning your laser.
NOTE: Lasers can start fires! It is your responsibility to know the safety procedures for your laser. As always, when operating a cutting laser, you must monitor the work as it progresses. If you observe a fire or other potentially unsafe condition, follow the established procedures.
Step 3: BEND THE FLAT USING THE HEAT STRIP BENDER
Turn on the heat strip bender, set it to maximum temperature and let it warm up for ten minutes or so. You are going to make a series of four bends. The flat is etched with the bends marked in the sequence you should do them.
Place the first bend (marked "Bend #1") on the heat strip bender as shown in the first image. Wait a minute or two for the acrylic to soften, then make a 90 degree bend as shown in the second image. Hold the acrylic sheet in place while it cools.
Repeat the process above on the other side for the second bend.
Place the third bend on the heat strip bender as shown in the third image, above. Once the acrylic has had time to soften bend it on a flat surface as shown in the fourth image. Allow the acrylic to cool completely before proceeding.
Set the angle bender to 63 degrees. Place the final bend ("Bend #4) on the heat strip bender as shown in the fifth image above. Once it has warmed up, bend it on the angle bender as shown. Hold the piece firmly in position while it cools (and hardens).
That's all there is to it. You've completed your cookbook stand. Now go cook something delicious!
I hope you've found this instructable informative. If you'd like to see some of the things I make, check out my Etsy store at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/HandmadeByDroids