For this week in Introduction to Fabrication, I went with my plan B and created an enclosure out of a salt shaker.

My grandma’s box

Last weekend, I went home and visited my grandma. She has a box that is over 40 years old and from the Soviet Union. I planned to fix the box and drill buttons on top and a breadboard inside, but a lot of ITP students convinced me not to due to the sentimental value. Therefore I changed my plans and created a nontraditional enclosure.

My salt shaker

I started off with a salt shaker. Inside are bolts and switches. One side contains googly eyes.

Testing the holes
A simple switch

I tested the sizes of the drill bits in a piece of wood. I attached a toggle switch on the top of my enclosure, but then I desired to implement a button instead. I initially tested the drill on a spare piece of plywood, but I found the material to be too difficult to drill through.

Soldered pushbutton
The button does not fit well

I soldered a pushbutton and created a larger hole, but I noticed that pushbuttons were terribly difficult to use as we discussed in class. My soldered wires kept breaking apart. Instead, I drilled another hole and used a mounted button from Tinkersphere.

Hole does not fit
Nibbling tool

Even with the largest drill bit, the mounted button did not fit. I slowly created a larger hole manually with the nibbling tool. I soldered wires to my new button.

Mounted button
Testing with a breadboard
Arduino Nano fits inside
Final product

The mounted button worked really well! I like how in my enclosure, the wires fit through the salt shaker holes in a decorative manner. My enclosure is creative and cute. For the future, I will only use panel mount components.

Box is complete

Additionally, I fixed my grandmother’s box. I glued the box overnight with a strong clamp. I’m happy I did not break this antique.

One Response

  1. Nice work, I’m glad you didn’t cut into your grandmother’s antique wooden box as well.

    Yes, a panel mount switch or button is always recommended. The first button you tried is less than ideal. Why didn’t you use the panel mount switch that was already inside the salt shaker?

    I think if you used the step down drill bit to drill the hole in the salt shaker cap you would have had better results.

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