Once I accumulated all the electrical components and got it all playing nicely together, the real trick became to squeeze 'em all into a case together while keeping it to a manageable size. I know I succeeded in the first half of that goal, but jury is still out on the second. After carefully measuring each component and mocking up a rough layout in 3D, I sized out the wood that would be needed to house it all.
I live in Chicago, so I make-do only with what’s possible in a small urban apartment. Hand saws, a jig saw, power drill, hand plane, sand paper, and lots of measuring tools is how I get the work done on my kitchen table.
I chose Red Oak to work with because of the fantastic grain and shades it offers for a reasonable quality-to-price ratio. Looking back, I would have liked to use something thinner, but I suppose the solidity of the final product is worth the extra weight the Red Oak packs on. When picking out the wood, I noticed a few boards had a really beautiful marble wave in the grain, which turned out to be perfect for the angular insets on the lid.
Staining wood is something i’ve always had a hard time with. I find it difficult to control the shade you end up with, as you more or less just have to accept whatever comes out of the can. After numerous tests, I ended up going with a very natural look. It's a Cherry stain by MinWax.
Cycle through the slideshow below to see some process shots of the wood case coming together.