light bouncing around inside (Figure B).
I knew right away when I saw the quaint old Edmund
pamphlet that I wanted to style my project such
that at first glance, you might assume it was made
long ago by your great uncle Lenny, the guy who was
always tinkering in his machine shop, building his
own riding lawnmower, or putting on a 3D slideshow
of vacation shots from his Stereo Realist camera.
To evoke the stamped sheet metal construction of
the old projectors that I admire, I routed the edges
of the cabinet with a ½" round-over bit to soften the
profile before applying a black wrinkle-paint finish.
The wrinkle finish really gives the projector that
old optical instrument look, like you find on ancient
microscopes or vintage press camera accessories.
It’s become a favorite finish of mine as it looks really
industrial and dries into an incredibly durable shell.
I’ve tried two brands of wrinkle paint, Plasti-Kote
and VHT, and both worked well. To get the paint to
wrinkle, you apply 3 heavy coats, waiting only long
enough to allow a skin to form before applying the
next coat. As the whole thing dries, it shrivels up
to a nice, pleasing wrinkle. If it doesn’t seem to be
wrinkling after 1– 2 hours, try placing in it direct sun
or applying heat from a hair dryer.
I finished off the vintage look by adding a chrome
toggle switch (Figure C), a “Bel Air” fender script from
an old Chevrolet (Figure E), and a ruby-red power
indicator jewel from a Fender guitar amp (Figure D).
I think Uncle Lenny would approve.
Edmund Scientific how-to pamphlet (PDF):
American Science & Surplus: sciplus.com
Surplus Shed: surplusshed.com
Steve Lodefink is a designer by day, and by night likes to learn
new skills. Building small projects using methods and materials that he’s never tried is his hobby and his therapy.