Posted on July 20, 2003
I've always wanted to build a wooden mantle radio from scratch. Like fully from scratch. Even when I fully rebuilt the Astor (a previous project), it was still starting with something - so it wasn't really a true construction from the ground up, but more of a retro-fit than a fully built unit.
Well here was my chance to make it happen. I started with an EPIA Eden ME6000 mini-itx board (ordered from mini-itx.com). This has a fanless CPU, and very power efficient properties, so was a great candidate for this project to spring from. I ordered one along with a 55W DC DC power supply.
Next I grabbed a Compact Flash to IDE adapter so I could use a Compact Flash card as a Hard Disk. On This 128MB CF card is an Operating System and my software.
After deciding on a hardware platform it was time to build the case! Lachie and I constructed a test enclosure from a nappy box :)
The reason I made the cardboard prototype, was to gauge the shape and size of the final design.
To start construction I cut two pieces of 18mm MDF in the shape of my structure. Next I glued and nailed ply to one side of the shell. The secret to moulding ply around corners, is to cut the ply with the grain opposite to the direction of curve. Then it's just a matter of stressing it to the point of breakage, but not too far.
Next just add water. I found a spray bottle far more effective than soaking the wood in water for ages.
Here is the finished shell curve, using a ton of nails and glue! The nails are spaced at 10mm intervals.
After the glue has dried, I cut to windows out of the MDF to create a front and back. For the front it was time for some pine - cut into to arches to form the front panel.