Monday, February 09, 2009

The Digital Toaster Project: plans

This post was written last December. The project is ongoing but I'm going to be posting my notes over the next several days along with pictures taken along the way.

I am to be making for the girlfriend a new computer.

Woah, how screwed up was that sentence?

I have a very shiny chrome-looking toaster that I haven't used in years. Mostly when I'm sick and need something to scratch that itch in the back of my mouth. I will be turning that into a computer.

I picture a toaster with the CD/DVD drive loading through a slot in the top, a laptop hard drive, a mini-itx motherboard, external power supply, and red lights that make the slots glow red when the computer is on.

One of the things I rarely see discussed among those who make computers are things like what the motherboard is attached to. Seriously. I wanna know.
In my case I plan to make fasteners so I can attach the motherboard to the metal tabs that will be vacated when the regular hardware is removed. These tabs have to be custom made. I'm thinking that I can saturate a quantity of acetone (a.k.a. nail polish remover, paint thinner) with Styrofoam. Styrofoam dissolves in acetone. Once the acetone is saturated, that is no more Styrofoam will dissolve, I should be able to pour the liquid into a mold and leave it to set up.

I spent an hour and change forming the clay.

I had considered picking up some proper clay forming tools while in the craft shop. I didn't and I regret that. I accepted some crudeness in the forms since this is just a test case and the final product is only of minimal importance. Part of my problem was that I needed to work with pieces that were already stuck to the bottom of the casserole dish. I used an 8"x8" casserole dish because I'm going to be burying these pieces in plaster and needed a confined area. I needed to form the clay in place so there wouldn't be lips for the plaster to get under the piece.

My non-stick spray appears to have been tossed recently. Possibly by me. I know it was rather old. I'll want to get some more to spray the pan and the clay with before adding the plaster.

No comments: