Building The Desk Console
3 caps to cans of spray paint. It works best if they are all from the same manufacturer. The caps can be of various colors depending on which version of the console you do.
1 can of flat black spray paint.
3 always off / momentarily on switches
3 light bulb holder things
3 light bulbs (I used 60 watt bulbs)
Some Gypsy tube
About 20 feet of line current wire
A whole bunch of wire nuts.
No one truely knows how to exactly build this thing.
This is my best guess. I do know, however, that on the real console, the paint tray I am using is actually supposed to be an out of production 80's Mac printer.
DO NOT do this if you do not alrady have experience with electrical work. You will hurt yourself!
How to build this baby:
Alrighty then, lets get started.
So, you ran to your local home depot and spend $30 on parts for this thing.
You get home, the first thing you need to do is turn your paint tray upside down and cut off the support that keeps it level when it is right side up.
This can be done with an shrub pruners. You can do it with an exacto knife, and you'll get a cleaner cut, but it will take a year and a half.
After your done cutting the leveler thing off, cut 3 holes in the top flat section of the paint tray, this will be where the bulbs poke through.
Now drill a hole in the side by the bottom of the console, you will run the electrical wiring through this hole.
Now lay down newspaper so you don't get your garage all dirty and paint the paint tray black. (The irony is striking.)
Do it in numerous light coats. I cannot stress this enough.
When the paint is dry, you can hot glue in the 4 segments of gypsy tube that make up the front of the panel.
Its mostly guess work, just trimming bits and pieces off until it looks right.
In between coats of paint, you can set to work with the wiring.
You are going to need to mount the light sockets inside the console so they stay in place, I used a 2X4 cut to about 10½"
It is only cut to this because the paint tray I used was about 11" wide. Depending on the tray you use, the wood length will be different.
The average light socket is about an inch and a half in diameter, so your going to need to bore 3 holes an inch and a half wide in the wood.
Make sure the spacing in the wood is the same as it is in the paint tray.
I happen to have access to every tool known to mankind (portable wood planer, got that, battery operated nail gun, check, sawsall, got that) so this wasn't a big deal for me.
Now if you don't have a drill and a bit that is 1½" in diameter, this might be difficult for you. Anyway, bore through the wood, 3 times.
If the wood starts to smoke, stop for a minute.
When this is done, get out your glue gun and your light bulb holders.
Push the bulb holders into the holes and glue them into place.
This is where it gets a bit tedious. If you are unclear on anything, or if you need any help, don't hesitate to email me.
Wire lengths depend on how far away from the console you want the switches to be. If I did it again, I would have cut larger lengths of wire, but since I didn't I'll explain it to you the same way I built it.
Since many people, myself included, are visual learners, I have included this really bad schematic I made up to help you out.
I cut three 2 foot lengths of wire to run from the bulbs to the switches, three 3 foot wires to run from the bulb to the outlet, and three 1 foot wires to run from the switches to the outlet.
This should be all the wire you need.
1. Connect one 2 foot length of wire to the white end of a light bulb holder with a wire nut, this will run to the switch.
2. Connect one 3 foot length of wire to the black end of a light bulb holder with a wire nut, this will run directly to the outlet along with 3 other wires.
Repeat steps one and two with the other light bulb holders.
Connect each of the 2 foot segments to a different switch. I would recommend do it in order as to avoid later confusion.
Connecting with mine was originally done with the provided screws, which didn't give a very good connection, so I soldered them into place.
You can elect to do it either way, as they will both work.
I mounted my switches onto a segment of plywood, so they would be easier to operate, and so I wouldn't shock myself.
I actually mounted them with wire ties that I ran through holes I drilled into the wood because there was no other way that I could tell to do it.
After you have mounted all the electrical stuff, place the light bulbs in the light bulb holders and plug in the cord.
Test the connection by pushing the buttons, if everything works, your go for gluing the 2X4 into the paint tray, if not, go back and check your connections and try again.
To glue the 2X4 in, dry fit it to make sure it fits, and if everything is good, apply hot glue to the ends of the wood and set it in place.
Make sure that the bulbs align with the holes in the paint tray.
They should stick through a little bit.
We are now go for the sray can tops.
Remove any stickers from the tops and glue them in place.
The order for mine was Red, Blue, and Yellow, although depending on the version of the panel you did, they could be in various orders with various colors.
I would reccomend taping down loose wiring so it doesn't fly around everywhere.
I wrapped the wire that ran from the panel to the switches in duck tape so it stayed together.
At this point, if everything works, you are done.
- Jeff Zehnder Jr. 4/21/2000, #95033
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