Toolbox CNC Controller

I’ve been debating on what to put all of the electronics in, and several weekends ago I bought this old toolbox at a garage sale for $2. Turns out it holds everything, plus I still have room for the tool tray. I imagine I’ll store some CNC tools in there…Dial Caliper, Router Wrenches, etc.

I’ve posted a ton of pictures below of the build in case you want to do something similar. You will also notice some pictures of a laptop cooler. I found this at the local Fry’s on sale for about $5. I managed to dismantle this and retrieve 2 5v fans (with temperature and speed control.) Fan Grates, USB Cables, 5v power supply, plus a USB Hub.

I used the fans to help cool the toolbox and I plan on installing the USB hub into the toolbox as well. I also used XLR or Mic connectors to attach the steppers to the electronics. I had a difficult time finding these from a domestic supplier. I ended up buying from Futurlec, which ships from somewhere in Asia. It was a great price and exactly what I needed. I would certainly buy from them again. These connectors are great as they allow you to screw in the connector which hopefully prevents yanking them out while the steppers are running, which appears to be very bad for the electronics.

Pick Box

I’m not quite sure how to describe the project. I was at my local electronics surplus store and found these cool little analog counters and wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. I thought about making an analog hit counter for this website, but then again it probably wouldn’t be fun to watch it tick change once every couple of weeks.
So I eventually ended up just putting it in a nice Black Walnut box with Wenge accents. The build photos are in my Flickr set. So far this has been pretty fun…people have a hard time walking by it without hitting the button a few times. At one point I debated on putting a loud buzzer in the box…I opted not to do that and I’m glad. Occasionally my kids will push the pick button 1000 times to see it turn over…even after warning them many times that going past 999 would undo space and time as we know it.
For those with nothing else better to do, I have also posted some video of a guy pushing a button.