On the Vintage Computer Festival website, they document a number of builds of replica computers from the history of computer science. This gallery shows progress pics from the recreation of a DEC PDP-8, the first commercially-successful minicomputer. This is a non-working replica, BTW. To get the look of the Flip-Chip Module Arrays inside, photocopies of original modules were made and glued onto plastic card.

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Bare Frame
I started out with the basic bare frame of the replica. I used 2×2 fastened together with construction brackets. I needed to fatten the width of the vertical frame support so I glued 1/4″ thick slats onto either side. The trim edge around the top of the base is dense particle board.

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Painted Frame Next to Original
The frame has been painted with a textured spraypaint that gives it a hammered metal look to match the original.

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Original Cover Next to Replica
The original cover on the left was replicated using standard acrylic. The bending was done by the plastics shop where the acrylic was purchased. A groove was routed into the underside of the top piece for the main body to fit into.

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Completed Replica


PDP-8 Replica Project