Projector Shelf Panel

Unfortunately the cat has finally discovered the shelf that holds the basement TV projector.  I have no idea how this lasted so long (nice warm fan, good view) but it is time to finally do the projector shelf panel I have meant to do for a long time.  Projectors do not mix well with cat fur !

One of the main reasons I have been putting it off is that it will likely involve fiddly hole cutting.  But recently i have discovered that the main branch of our city library has a laser cutter, and this would be a good project to go try that sucker out.

The trick though, was that the maximum size sheet that the laser cutter can hold is 24″ x 12″, and my opening is much bigger.  So I had to make it in two pieces, and use an overlapping frame to hold it together (and make it look nice).  I had to do some fiddling in Inkscape to come up with the shapes that would overlap each other so that none of the joins would be in the same place.  I also wanted to use as few sheets as possible, since there always seems to be a lineup for the laser cutter and i want to be as efficient as possible (and I pay by the minute).   The result was something like this :

(if i am sending something to a machine i hate to waste an opportunity, so I put a bunch of test pieces for other projects in that blank space)

Once happy with the design, I put 1/4″ ply into the laser cutter and I am pleased with the results:

You may notice that the vents are not rounded on the right piece.  That seems to be from a bug when I print to the laser directly from Inkscape.  For some reason the rounding on some shapes disappears, so for the second piece i imported it into Corel and printed from there.  All good learnings.

Everything fits well into the wall:

So I spray paint it flat black, glue it all together, and  voila !

Looks great !  And the cat is not happy LOL :

He was seriously trying every angle to see how to get past/remove it.

Good first laser cutting project.  Working with the 1/4″ ply is not so great though since it is only a 40W laser.  At that thickness little pockets of glue melt-then-rejoin after the laser goes by, so most of the pieces didn’t detach quite easily and I had to wrangle it with a box-cutter.

Making a Stylus Holder

My home office desk is a mess.  The sedimentary layers of paper/cards/things/devices all represent stuff that I am working on, or waiting for something, or as a reminder of something that I should get to pretty soon.  It also doesn’t help that I lose almost 25% of my desk space to the cat. (I have a towel down to encourage him to stay to the side instead of him flumping all over everything in front of me).  Let’s not even mention the piles surrounding my desk of other things in the queue (like piles of old photos to scan, bills to file, cassettes to record…)

As a consequence of this entropic-organization I often lose track of my mouse-pen when I put it on my desk.  I needed to make a holder.

So I found a design on Thingiverse that someone had made:

and remixed it to something that I can mount under the lip of my desk and then printed it at the local public library:

installing it:

and voila – a place to put my mouse-pen, right above the tablet:

Works great. If I were to make it again (doubtful since I only need the one) I would make the collar deeper.



ok – I did make it again.  Combination of the bad angle of the pen, the sharp corners, and the fact that I use it everyday drove me to make some quick mods.  But this version is more or less perfect.


New vs Old.  Houdini thinks they smell the same.
The new design holds the pen much better, and is more discreet. I have since moved it over to the right and it can use it now without thinking. No more lost pens !