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Though it can be a bit pricey, brass is a joy to work with, and has very much to recommend it as a building material. Brass is easy to cut, bend, stamp, machine, etch, and solder. At the finishing stage, it can be polished, plated, patinized, painted, or left plain. Outside of extreme conditions (strong acids, strong bases, hard vacuum), brass is weatherproof, and can be safely used indoors or out. Shown here, a gorgeous custom-etched brass plugboard panel on a homemade analog synth.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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15 Fantastic Project Enclosures

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