June 19, 2012

DIY: Breadbox Electronics Home

A couple weeks ago, I went to the overwhelmingly awesome Alameda Antique & Flea Market with my friend Mira.  We picked up a few things.  That shiny thing in the middle was my favorite object: an art deco chrome bread box.  My idea:  turn it into a home for all my electronics that need to be plugged in.  You can see what a mess it is to have camera, batteries, phone, dongles, ipad all in a wreck on the counter:
 So I got right to it.  Firstly, I used some steel wool to rub out the spots of rust on the outside.
I was afraid that the steel wool would scratch the chrome, but it actually did really well.  Here is the exact same spot on the breadbox as the picture above.  
Then I had to make a hole in the back for the plug of the powerstrip to go through.  This was the toughest part.  I bought a special 1 1/2" drill bit, but couldn't get it to stay in one place, so I ended up tracing the drill bit and going around the circle with a tiny drill bit, one hole at a time. 

At this point I hoped the large drill bit would have something for the teeth to grab on to, but it didn't.  So I just continued making holes.
I couldn't get the holes quite close enough to run into one another, so I ended up snipping the metal between them with a wire cutter.

Once I got it started, I was able to use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull the circle away from the breadbox.

Then there was a super jagged edge which is less than ideal for electronics. Unfortunately the file didn't really work.

So instead I just taped the bejeezus out of it with electrical tape.
 (Cat interlude.  Parsnip found the hole irresistible)

 Okay, next step.  So it looked like this inside to begin with.  I wanted it to look as nice inside as it does outside, so I added some corduroy to the horizontal surfaces with hot glue.  It peels off easily if I ever want to change it out, but sticks well enough to be semi-permanent.

And for the final touch I used these very cool twisty ties to keep all the cords tidy.

 And, voila!

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