Introduction: Electronics Art
If you are fortunate enough to get your hands on an old tube radio, but are also unfortunate in that the radio will never work again, you may want to use the electrical components to create an art piece. The art piece can preserve the original craftsmanship in a presentable way.
Step 1: De-construct an Old Tube Radio
Once the old tube radio is determined to be unsalvageable, cut the power. Once all power is cut, carefully disassemble the components. Use wire cutters to harvest all interesting components including capacitors, resistors, and tubes. Remove each component so a little wire remains at each terminal. Next use the pliers to remove wire pieces in the longest lengths possible. Use a slightly damp cloth to clean all desired components.
Step 2: Select a Mounting Board
Once the desired components are collected and cleaned, select a medium to mount them on. I used an old pine board, but many other substrate materials could be used. The substrate should be able to withstand soldering heat in a later step. Ensure that the substrate is sized well for the components. Play around with how the components could be placed in the most pleasing arrangement.
Step 3: Mount Components to the Substrate
Use nails or all metal pins to affix the components to the substrate. Take care to arrange the components in a pleasing grouping that is not too crowded. The space between each item is used in the next step to run wire.
Step 4: Wire the Components
Take the cleaned wire that was saved, and begin clipping pieces to go between components. The wiring choice is purely artistic, so use color and direction creatively. Strip each wire end in preparation for soldering them into place
Step 5: Solder the Components
Carefully solder all components together using the wire that was prepared in the preceding step. The solder is placed for two purposes, first to connect the wires permanently, and second to create the "look" of a real circuit. Take care when soldering old wax components, as they will begin to melt if heat is applied for too long in one spot. Place solder at all wire joints and on all nail heads to complete the illusion of a circuit.
Step 6: Add a Hanger
Once this project is complete, add a hanger for displaying it. The project is a perfect gift for an engineer's office space, and would be appropriate anywhere industrial art is appreciated.