Nixie Clock Wood Case

This is my second post about nixie clock, but in fact it was my first Nixie Clock case.

The original one is just a piece of acrylic. A nixie clock deserves a better case than a simple acrylic box.

First I bought one nixie clock kit. The page I bought is not more available, but just search for "Nixie clock kit" on ebay and a lot of options will appear.

Next step was to find a piece of wood to use in my project. This is the store that I bought and I recommend it a lot:

I bought a piece of wood with very similar dimensions of the original box, doing it I saved time that I would spend cutting and sanding wood.

Step 1: Template

In this case was very easy to do the template. I used the original acrylic piece to transfer the tube holes to the wood.

Step 2: Patience....

I have proper tools to "dig" the wood, but I decided to do it using simple tools, to prove that anyone can do it.

Using an electric hand drill I opened a lot of small holes side by side, and using a screw driver I was breaking and removing the internals. You just need to be careful to not drill more than the necessary. It is a hard work but with some patience... you will win! 8)

Step 3: Tube Holes

Next step is to open the tube holes. Using my dremel with wood drill (1mm) I opened 4 holes for the tubes (nixie IN-12) and 2 round holes for the dots.

I used my rasp to soften the edges.

Ok.... you will say that it is not perfect (alignment etc), but there is no problem.... when the tubes are turned on, as the flies get hypnotized with blue light, people get with tube valves and will not notice this small detail... hahaha

Step 4: Installing the Electronics

Now we just have to install the electronics inside and open some extra holes (one for power supply and two for the switches, to set the time).

Step 5: Cover...

To protect the internals I installed a plastic cover in the bottom.

The piece of plastic came from an old plastic airbrush box. Using the dremel cutter number #456 was very easy to cut the plastic in the desired shape. Just open some holes to help with the ventilation.

Important: ALWAYS wear the correct personal protective equipment for the task!

Step 6: Finishing...

As finishing I used shellac. It is processed and sold as dry flakes and dissolved in ethanol to make liquid shellac.

I use shellac for all of my wood projects; either as single sanding coat before painting or varnishing, or as a full finish. It is fast, easy to apply and it gives good protection . If you want a plastic feel to your woodworking, use polyurethane or catalyzed lacquer. If you want depth, smoothness and vivid grain enhancement, Shellac gives all three.

Next project.... a nixie clock made by my self.

That is all folks!



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    2 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Awesome!!!! I will do that when I have some spare time.

    Keep posting your brilliant ideas!!!

    Please send photos from your bench, along with the tools that you use.
    My intention is to show to my wife, that mans need space end toys!!!

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Thank you!!!

    Hahahaha.... I know what you are talking about!

    In the next project I will post some pictures of my "big" hobby room.