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I understand the feeling of frustration with the look of stock power supplies for electronics projects. You can work so hard getting the aesthetics of your enclosure and interface components just right, but then there’s that DC power cable just looks wrong. The maker behind the blog Making Weird Stuff shows us how he created a wood enclosed DC power adapter and a root-like cable for one of his Arduino projects, an animatronic reading lamp. To give the root-like quality to the cable, he dipped it in liquid latex and covered it very fine sawdust. After three coats, he was pleased with the result. While it looks really cool, I can’t vouch for the safety of this, so exercise caution if you do it yourself.

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson

Matt Richardson is a Brooklyn-based creative technologist, Contributing Editor at MAKE, and Resident Research Fellow at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.


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Comments

  1. trkemp says:

    It would probably be a good idea to use a borax solution on the saw dust before coating the cord. That should make it less flammable. Also, it would be good to test the wall transformer to see how hot it gets before you encase it in wood and then again afterwards. As has been discussed here many times in the past, looking cool isn’t worth burning your house down for.

  2. Michael Kelsey says:

    trkemp’s comment on overheating the wall-wart is a good one. Otherwise, building electrical systems with wood (e.g., mounting low-amerpage components directly onto wood) is much safer than with metal, and often more aesthetic than with plastic. Wood is a high-dielectric material, providing natural insulation around components, plugs, etc.

  3. Nice idea, I can see where you are coming from, however I agree that this will limit the power available from the supply. Most are protected by thermal trip, which is a piece of springy wire held in place with low melting point solder, if it gets too hot the solder melts, the spring comes up and the supply is dead. You can repair it but it is a really dodgy practice, as you have to split the supply and if you don’t replace the solder just right it could overheat next time and catch fire. You might be better off just painting it brown?

  4. Alistair says:

    Thats the coolest creation I’ve seen in a while.

    Its quite a good idea making a power supply from wood if you have the skills to do it.

    I think my attempt would look a it rougher than that one though.

  5. [...] beige. Fortunately, we know somebody who’s been there, feels your pain, and wants to show you how to class up your power supply with a custom wooden shell and matching cord.” (read [...]

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