ISTE Standards & NGSS Science & Engineering Practies

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Experimenting with MDF and Wooden Book Covers

Prototyping with MDF and Wood

This week, I'm working on two more book models- one using MDF and the other cherry.

Since the MDF is only 1/4" thick (and cut completely through with the laser), I glued a piece of binder's board to the back cover.

To make the MDF easier to glue, I sanded it. To minimize the odor and prevent discoloration of the cover paper, I applied gesso to the singed edges.  Luckily, the odor dissipated.

In general, I found the MDF pretty easy to work with.  I did, however, end up revising my Inkscape design by lowering the cut-out for the Photon and widening the channel for the battery wires.

Reggie Pouliot:  Carpenter Extraordinaire

When I first imagined making an internet-connected book, I imagined it with wooden covers. Unfortunately, I lack carpentry skills.

I first got in touch with Reggie Pouliot, a master carpenter, after buying one of his beautiful hand-made cutting boards at a craft store.

When I told him about my project (and explained how much I disliked the smell of MDF), he told me that he could use one of the MDF pieces I'd cut with the laser cutter as a template for a hand router!  The best thing about this was that by using a router, he could use a thicker piece of wood (3/8") and still make the 1/4" indentations for my electrical components!
The covers turned out beautifully!

Surprisingly, I learned that neither copper tape nor conductive fabric tape adhere to wood very well.  In hindsight, I should have tested this out long before I did!

This prompted me to try using Nori paste to glue paper to the wood before constructing the circuit.

The paste dried very slowly, but it worked like a charm!