New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

14 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1057

So it only took me 3 tries, that includes a good one I ruined by cleaning with IPL to remove some sharpie marks and having it spider and crack at the screw holes, lesson learned (stupid me I had a case of Plexus cleaner in the garage).

Everything was from Home Depot, I used a MAP gas torch, scrap 3x5 pressure treated post as a "brake" and two small pieces of scrap to bend the "tabs". The plexi is 1/4 cheap stuff (unlike the "forgiving" and expensive Lexan I used on my first) and no glue or solvent weld was involved. Before flame polishing and bending, the cuts were done using a special blade on my Bosh Jigsaw cleaned up by scraping them with a heavy duty razor blade. The holes were drilled by running the drill "forwards" to start the hole, then backwards to melt the hole not cut the hole to avoid chipping and cracking.

The PCB hanging off the side is a Mike Willegal's PS/2 serial to parallel keyboard adapter. I still have to finish replacing switches on my Datanetics Apple II keyboard and since this one will be at VCF East, I also don't want to risk that keyboard having kids (and adults) bang on it. So I have a nice "wood" PS/2 keyboard for that event.

The logos really look good in person and when I finish my ACI, I will pull out the prosumer camera and setup for some good pics.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2406
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

hello corey986,
the case is neat, but do you really intend to use it that way at the VCF ? If you worry for the "heavy duty"-use of the kayboard by kids at the one side i do wonder that seemingly you don´t worry at all the kids may instead spill some coke on the mainboard ? - the fact that you left such large areas opened in front might turn out to be a trap for coke-spills.... probably its a thinkover worth - how to protect the PCB at leas at the frontside ? and similar surely is valid to the keyboard converter too....
ragards speedyG

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1057
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

No coke will be allowed near my pride and joy!!!!

The issue is the cost and rarity of Datanetics keys. Since my exhibit is "vintage games" I am afraid of a little too zealous 10 year olds hitting the keys in frustration. I you have ever played "Nightmare #6", you understand frustration. Safer to risk a 15 dollar keyboard. My other Mimeo has an RFI apple II keyboard and I'm pretty good at fixing those so I won't be using a PS/2 on that one.

BTW the openings are critical to cooling and cable access. Even my other case has openings in the front above the keyboard as an air intake and 2 fans. Blocking would be risking difficult if not impossible to replace components. The Apple-1 does not have a switching supply so things can get a little warm Smile

Cheers,
Corey

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2406
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

yeah its realy a pride - i just worry about it because kids are realy not "able to be controlled" and the kids below 16 realy can´t value the effort made for this PCB.... just a guess to think abaout for the venting: have you ever thought about a frame exactly fitting in the ventarea and covered with thin loudspeaker.cloth ? The point is that this cloth is specialy designed to let air pass but keeps dust and other particels ( and at least a larger part of any possible spill ) away from the "pride" i.e. the PCB....... - sure it might reduce the amount of venting air about some 25 % but i guess with the opening of that size the remaining ciculation will serve enough the task and if probably putting instead 2 vents for operation is ( one pushing air inside and one pulling air out and both at alternating edges at the backside surely will solve the entire job perfectly )....

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1057
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

OK I've been asked a few times now by people I have shown the case to so I'll explain the logo.

I used 3M clear "bra" material they use on exotic cars to prevent rock chips. It's UV resistant, very clear (unlike labels) and no distortion when looking through them.

I used a hi-res image of the apple logo that I got from a scan of the Apple Manual which was yellowed paper on black, I converted it to black and white and used Pixelmator on the Mac to erase the background and clean it up a bit. Then I printed it on an office class HP Laser printer using the manual feed tray. I'm guessing on a smaller consumer model printer it may have jammed as many of them don't have a strait path tray for thicker material.

I then cut around the logo using a nice sharp pair of scissors. Most important thing when peeling the label to install is to make sure the surface is clean (no ISP, just plexus on the case to avoid problems as ISP will cause cracking on heat treated plexi) and never ever touch the back of the material, you will leave finger prints. I used tweezers and started at the top and smoothed the material down a little at a time to avoid all air bubbles while I peeled the rest of the backing off. Finally you have to leave it in the sun so all the micro bubbles that you really can't easily see go away. That is the beauty of this material is that it "breathes a bit" also besides that it is water and chemical proof so once installed you can still clean the case with something like plexus.

Cheers,
Corey

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2406
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

i recognized the logos at the second sight of the pictures and realized at third look that it was taken from the manual... one thing i realized ( probably it´s just a result from the pictures themselves ) was that the logo at the top seened to me at least to be more sharp and having better contrast ( probably because it seems to be scaled in original size ) while the logo at the frontside apears to me a little "foggy" ( maybe its a result that it was scaled to a larger size ? ).... after i recognized the logos i first thought it to be a gimmick to put the logo on the case and i thought about the fact that it´s somehow a compromise to keep the transparent view to the hardware beneath and therefor not to print the logo with some background color.... but at the other hand after you had worked with the image prior of the printing on the mac the question raised up to me, why you did not work for better contrast by for example reducing some of the background area around Isaak Newton to make the loge better viewable on transparent background ? the original graphic gets it´s contrast from the background and because of the missing background color of the case a slight reduction to the basics of the picture (Isaac Newton, the tree and the apple and less background and a little more scratching in the characters of the word "APPLE" to make the characters apear a little more solid ... ) could have enhanced the logo for a transparent background.... just my opinion... probably as result of the fact that within the training for webdesign i visited some training at the Leteraset-Company ( they offer training for professionals working in magazin and print-media-layout and typographic education in europe )....

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1057
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

The logo's actually are quite transparent. When sun light goes through the back they are grey, but when you see them in normal light or from an angle they are dark, they act almost like a laser etching on the plexi. I wish a photo could express how they look more than that. The image is actually B/W and not grey scale also and printed fairly dark, but as I said with light behind it the image is very different

I think the top logo looks darker because there is not a lot of light that goes through the back of it and my pictures were taken at an angle.

Here is a very close up at an angle so you can see what I mean...

Also to answer your question about modifying the logo to make it have more open area... This was Ron Wayne's original design, I didn't want to mess with it.

If you could make to the States and VCF east you could see it for yourself Smile

Cheers,
Corey

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2406
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

i realy would appreciate to join the VCF... - but after the second severe heartstroke my health is limited and a 9 to 10 hour transatlantic-flight ? i guess my doc would argue that to be a good attempt to catch a third stroke.... and up till now i refuse to count the flowers from the opposite side....
but i hope you enjoy every second there ......
sincerly speedyG

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1057
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

Well then maybe we can send you some nice pics from VCF and maybe some video so you can virtually be there.

Dr. Webster's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 19 2003
Posts: 1687
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

Corey986 wrote:

...and never ever touch the back of the material, you will leave finger prints...

The trick that the automotive clear film installers do is to mist both the sticky side of the film, along with the surface you're applying it to, with soapy water. This will not only prevent fingerprints, but allow you to move the film around on the surface to get it in position properly, as well as squeegee any bubbles out.

__________________

Applefritter Admin

Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1057
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

Yep and normally your are supposed to spray alcohol on the edges to suck the water and fix the position before squeegee out the last water.
I thought about the soapy water part but could not use the alcohol as it would destroy heat treated plexi (found out the hard way). [edit: I was afraid to mess the actual case up, plastic squeegee scratching was also a concern] Since I wasn't doing a 3 foot hood (bonnet for you European guys) I decided treat them like stickers but be careful not to touch the back.

This material was left over from doing one of my cars and it took me forever to get it right being the OCD nut case I am. Next car I had the dealer do it Wink

BTW: I am out of material but printed enough so that when I finally do all my "documenting" and make another case I may try the soapy water. I have a "workshop" planned at the local hackerspace to teach what I learned about flame polishing and bending plexi and was planning another case to move my first mimeo to since I have to drill "security" holes in its current case (which im starting to not like its case since the edges arent flame polished, its an addicting look,) so that it can sit at on display at MARCH for a while after VCF. Evan at VCF/MARCH has a nice place picked out for an Apple-1/Mimeo display.

Cheers,
Corey

Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1057
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

A quick comparison shot of the two Mimeos....

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2406
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

hello Corey,
the main reason for my proposal was the difference if you step back 2 or 3 meters from the case and try ro read:
"Apple Computer Co." with the "foggy" and dark logo its nearly impossible to read.... with the new logo it´s very clear in the letters and your able to read it also at a little larger distance.....

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

Offline
Joined: Oct 9 2011
Posts: 1057
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

So everyone else knows what we are talking about...

SpeedyG spent some time and created this "logo", which looks like etched glass. Pretty awesome!!!! Didn't know what he meant at first but after he send me the logo... Looks great on the front of the case where you want maximum opacity to see the "guts" of the system.

BTW, this logo is much harder to install since it needs to have minimum stretch to make it not distort the material, it's not forgiving if you want to look through it, on a good note my failures now all over my non-apple "apple" stuff and the back of my iPad since they still look perfect backed up onto something. I also discovered you can "Scotch Tape" scraps of the material to printer paper so you don't have to print a whole cut sheet (since I was out of a large size roll to make full sheets). I have to get some more hard surface transfer laser paper like I used on the LM323K logo's and make myself an Early Apple Computer coffee mug Smile

I leave it to Speedy to post his masterpiece here for others to use...

Thanks again SpeedyG,
Cheers,
Corey

speedyG's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 16 2011
Posts: 2406
Re: New Case:Fun with a blowtorch and some plexi

Few days ago a member in Applefritter equiped his Mimeo ( an Apple 1 rebuild ) with a plaxiglas-case and furnished it with the logo from the former apple 1 manual. When he published the pictures from the case in the forum at aapplefritter i recognized that the original logo that was taken from the manual seemed to give an impression of some kind of "foggy" view, resulting from two points:
First of all the logo was designed for a white backgraund of the manual-paper and therefor for contrast purpose the drawing was carried out in darker shades....
and second the letters within the logo were shaded to the better look-alike of a banner.... and this limited the possible distance of clear reading to less than one yard.... ( due to the fact that you won´t hold away the manual more than one yard ).
Due to the fact that now the logo was used on tranparent plexiglass-case and the case was intended to be presented at the VCF-festival ( where people pass by that case with larger distance than 1 yard ) i assumed in the forum that it might be a good idea to "enhance" the logo for this case.

After short exchange of the postings in the forum it seemed to turn out, that my proposal of the "enhancing" to get rid of the "foggy" impresion was not understood, so i took some hours to do the "enhancement" by myself and to present the result for comparision of both logos beside each other and thereby show the advantage of such an enhancement.

By attempting the task to enhance the logo it was very clear to me, that i did not want to make to large changes to the original logo - in order to keep the idea of the artist in the former passion. Therefor it was clear to me that i had to execute the enhancements at the pixel-level of the logo to keep it still with the look-alike of a copperstitch-printing like the original.

At the other hand it was neccessary to get the background more transparent and less "shady" for use on plexiglas - where the main purpose of the material is to give a good view to the PCB within the case. And respectivly to the fact the the letters should now keep readable to a larger distance ( up to at least 2 or 3 yards away ) it was also needed to sharpen the contrast and the borders of the letters and to reduce the shading there.

So a look at the logo above show clearly the areas to "work-over":

1 ) scharpen the borders of the letters and remove the shades for better reading at larger distance

2 ) lighten the background ( this affects the area of the sky - which is rather dark in the logo with the idea to show
better contrast to the clouds - but makes the sky less transparent and therefor less good for use on plexiglas
- but to keep the cloud within - the borders of the clouds should be kept... )

3 ) the elements of the drawing ( Isaac Newton sitting under the appletree with the famous apple before it drops )
have rather bad contrast ( no line to show the pocket of the jacket, no border between tree and back of Sir Newton,
bad contrast between Sir Newtons hair, and no contrast at his trousers... and at larger distance the apple is to small
and only recognized as a spot ( so the apple must be enlarged slightly ) .....

so after a few hours spent in Photoshop at the pixel-level the following result came out:

the hires pictures can be downloaded from:
http://www.harrowalsh.de/Elektronik/APPLEBOX/logoenhancement.htm

__________________

In early days I had a lot of money but no time - now I have no money but a lot of time....
the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....