By this point, most DIY synth enthusiasts have built one of Ray Wilson’s Weird Sound Generators.  Just in case you have been living under a rock:


(I built my first WSG 6 years ago now.  On perfboard.  Does that make me a nerd bad ass?)

Anyway, my friend Pat approached me to build him one, from the kit.  And I obliged.So building a kit isn’t very interesting.  Or very post worthy to be honest.  So here’s the first outcome:

Yup, in a cardboard box.  With a plexi front.  Ick.  It was totally functional and Pat was happy, so it was a win.  But in the end, he wanted something pretty.  So I obliged.

He provided me with a 1950′s “world of the future” themed lunchbox that was about 1/2 scale of regular lunch box.  Or 1/4 scale of a lunchbox capable of feeding me.  Anyway….

So there’s the lunchbox, and the first iteration of the front panel.  Cold, hard steel.  Lovingly hand drilled and filed.  Countersunk, deburred and ready to roll.

I hit a stumbling block though with how to make the front panel look good.  I could have painted it and hand lettered it.  Except my hands shake like a strippers ass.  I could have made a paper label and lacquered it, like Beavis does.  But I didn’t want to deal with cooking it.  Or dealing with holes that don’t quite line up.  So whats the natural path of action?


I had run across Ponoko a few times before, but I finally had a good reason to use them.  I think the results came out quite good:

Here it is wearing its protective brown wrap.  Basically, peel off whats left of the paper where the text is etched, spraypaint, peel the rest and call it a day.  The added benefit is all the holes are guaranteed to line up.

Finished product:

In the end I’m happy with the results.  I’ve learned a few tricks that should make the next parts I do better, and hopefully will look great.  And now I’m addicted to lasers.


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