Woodwork: finishing the casing

This weekend I finally had time to proceed with the cluster. In the last week I had been busy programming the display. After I got it working with about a 150 wires I wanted to convert it to a display with a i2c backpack. That should work with just 4 wires. This took a lot of time (the first backpack I ordered was faulty but it took me quite some time to establish that…). After I ordered a new one (this time I choose not to order an Adafruit display and backpack but a (MUCH) cheaper alternative) I got it to work pretty quickly.

I wanted to get the i2c display to work on Raspian, Minibian as well as CentOS. So far it works on the first two, on CentOS not yet as there is no smbus library for Python for that OS. But I’ll keep working on that…

Today I installed my new milling machine in the milling table and had a go at finishing the casing.

The built in display works!
The built-in display works (looks much better in real)!

At first I milled out the hole for the display. As expected this did not work out so well, the hole was bit too large. But I installed the display anyway and filled the gap with instant wood. I just hoped that when painted this would hardly be visible…

All glued together
All glued together

After glueing everything together and sanding the base I was pretty happy with the result!

Top view of finished casing
Top view of finished casing
Two large ventilation holes in the back
Two large ventilation holes in the back

In de back I milled two large holes for ventilation. I am sure the switch and USB hub will thank me for that!

Inside view with mounted display
Inside view with mounted display

The display is recessed into the front panel

Detail view of the display
Detail view of the display
Looking good after 4 coats of paint
Looking good after 4 coats of paint

After sanding again I painted the casing 4 times and the end result looks pretty nice. So tomorrow I can finally start the actual assembly…

 

Woodwork: sides and bottom

Last weekend I had a go at making the sides and the bottom of the wooden base. I think the pictures below speak for themselves.

Topview without top
Topview without top

I first made the sides using a mitre joint. I put a recess all around so the top would fit nicely.

Bottom view
Bottom view

In this picture the sides are put on the top to see if it would fit. The bottom of the sides are not recessed yet.

Casing with switch and hub for scale
Casing with switch and hub for scale

It will all fit snugly. I will cut some holes in the rear side for ventilation as well as some vent holes in the bottom.

First impression of half finished casing
First impression of half finished casing
Bottomview with recess milled for bottom plate
Bottomview with recess milled for bottom plate
Bottom plate in place
Bottom plate in place

The bottom plate is a 4 mm plate of MDF so there is maximum space for the internals.

After this I started making the hole in the front side for the display… but not for long as just at this moment my milling machine died on me… 😦 Well after 18 years of use this is no shame but it did mean I had to go and find a new one. I soon found out that the general design for milling machines changed considerably over the last 18 years… A modern one would definitely NOT fit in the milling table I made a few years back..

So I looked at Marktplaats (a large online selling site in Holland) and happened to find  a guy that was offering the exact same model as my old machine new in a box! He once bought it as a spare himself but never actually used it.. It should arrive shortly and I cannot wait to proceed with the project!

In the meantime I had a go at writing/modifying the Python code to drive my display..