Intro: Turn Your Optic Disc Reader Tray Into a Cable Hanger
As a components scavenger I always find myself digging through old desktops, you guys probably know that there isn't much to scavenge from a computer given that most of the things are SMD components. In case you find this useful by the end of this Instructable you might add one more thing to your list when tearing computers apart: the optic disc mounting tray.
Step 1: Materials
So basically these are the things that I used on the project:
- Safety Glasses (Safety First!)
- Gloves (Safety First!)
- Earplugs (Safety First!)
- Optic Disc Mounting Tray
- Dremel 4000 (any rotary power tool will do), cutting and grinding accessories
- Dewalt Drill
- Sandpaper (metal grit)
- White Spray Paint Bottle
- LED Strip and its power supply (optional)
- 3M Double sided tape (optional)
Step 2: Analyzing the Mounting Tray
Before we even start marking our lines (even though the images already display them) you need to verify if the mounting tray that you have at least looks like the one on the images. But why you may ask. If you look at the design on this thing you'll see that every single angle and holes makes the whole build 10 times easier. It sits flush against the surface and you don't actually need to drill through the metal because there are already spots for you to drill. It's like this thing was designed specially to be a cable hanger.
Anyways, enough yadayada:
Marking the cutting lines:
As you can see on the image with the ruler, the cable slots depth is about 3 cm (1,18 "), keep in mind that later on I had to modify it given that there was basically no room for cables. I suggest you to start with 3 cm (easier to cut) and then you trim off 1,5 cm more. In other words, the final slot length is 4,5 cm.
I almost forgot, you also need to establish a spot on where to cut the tray in half (horizontally) so that you get rid of the other angle. We're obviously using the side that has the screw holes.
Step 3: Cutting
It's time to cut this bad boy.
First of all, bend the other half of the tray (making sure that the bending doesn't go beyond the horizontal cutting line) so that the angled section doesn't get in your way while cutting.
Wear all of your safety gear, turn on the rotary tool and start cutting the horizontal line in order to eliminate the other half of the structure. Try to maintain a steady cutting line.
After you're done with the horizontal line you can then start opening up the slots. Cut along the lines and once you get to the end of the length that you've determined turn off your tool, get the plier and then pull that little tab down.
Once it's all the way down you can trim it off through the backside of the piece. I find it easier to remove the middle burr using the same blade positioning as when I was cutting the slots. By using the rotary on the horizontal position the probability of cutting the edges of the nearby slots is considerable.
After you're done cutting, trim off the remaining metal burrs on both sides, sharp edges,etc.I used the grinding stone bit for that.
Step 4: Sanding
Now we're going to do some sanding just to get rid of the rough surfaces that might still exist. This is very important because even though you got rid of the rough burrs on the previous step, the sanding paper will assure that you didn't leave any inconsistency on the surface, which could damage your cables on the long term.
I find it easier to cut a section of the sandpaper and roll it like a cylinder and once you do that you can simply shove it into the slots and start grinding with an up-and-down motion. At first the sandpaper is rigid and you manage to get some good sanding but eventually the paper cracks and you're better off cutting another one.
Keep sanding until you think it's good.
Step 5: Painting
I forgot to register this process but it's as basic as it gets. My workbench is white so I chose to paint the cable hanger the same colour.
I didn't apply any primer prior to the actual paint. Three coats, a few paint runs, I'm not that good of a painter.
I left it drying overnight, seems to be enough.
Step 6: Attaching to the Workbench
After drying out I then picked up two wood screws, the power drill, chose the best spot and hit it.
It can handle probably twice as much cable as the picture is showing now, and in case I manage to acquire a ton of cables I can simply rebuild this thing and place it right beside the existing one.
Step 7: LED Lighting - Optional
So when I've mentioned that this thing was probably also designed for being a really cool cable hanger, that little tab right on top of the screws holes sorts of confirms that. That's the perfect spot for an LED strip.
I decided to route the cable from behind the dummy board but in case you want to achieve an even smoother result, you might try to open up that circle (inside the red rectangle) so that you have enough room for the cable to go through. Obviously do that before painting.
That's it guys, hope you all liked my first Instructable and I'll do my best to keep the ideas coming.