Case Art

I’ve been working on a new Eurorack case for a few months.  I’ve been posting updates on Facebook. But really, they should have been in a blog. So I’m restarting Eblo The Weblog, which died AGES ago when my 486 which was hosing my webserver / MovableType for over a decade finally crapped the bed.

Anyway, the case (16U x 151 HP if that means anything to you – there’s a 1U row, second up from the bottom) is built, sanding is nearly complete, and I will FINALLY start staining tonight or tomorrow. Today, while waiting for some glue to dry, though, I decided to spruce up the back cover.  The funny/stupid thing is that I painted up the INSIDE of the cover, figuring to stain the outside to match the rest of the case, so no one will see this.  Oh well.

The initial simple idea was to just use a skull I bought from SpeedCult.Com many years ago at the Rockerbox motorcycle show/party/mob as a stencil.  I was just going to hit it with some spray paint and let the overspray be the border.   But then I decided to try some lettering, too.

Should have put down white first . . . .

I measured the horizontal center of the board and placed the skull temporarily to figure out how to center the lettering. I measured up and down so the tape would be level. I then penciled in the letters on the tape and un/restuck it so it was centered. This was much easier than trying to balance the text freehand.  Once placed, I started cutting out with an X-ACTO knife.

Dat @, tho.

The @ was tricky, and I now see it crowds the ‘n’ a bit, but as I said, no one’s really going to see this, so . . .

Not too shabby. The leading O is a bit heavy, though.

Also, yeah, the leading O is heavy and the lettering trails up a little.  But cutting the letters out went easier than I expected, and I like the ‘font’ I came up with off the top of my head.

Lettering completely cut out.

For variety, I left the letters ‘natural,’ but put down a white base for the skull. I should have put white under the letters, too, though, as the natural wood color really doesn’t show well, being birch and all, and for another reason, as well, which I’ll get to. Also, I got lazy (and was low on white paint) and didn’t paint the whole board. This lead to uneven coverage on the eventual black coats. Lesson learned.

Should have covered the whole board for more even coverage of the black.

After the white dried a bit, I placed the skull between the lettering stencils. I didn’t re-measure, just eyeballed it.  Then I hit it with the black spray paint.

Final coat of black applied.


After a few coats, I was ready to remove the skull. The paint was still tacky, though, because it was pretty cool outside, but I wanted to get it into the garage. So to avoid muffing up the paint by trying to grab underneath the skull, I lifted it straight up with some heavy duty magnets.

Lifting off with a magnet, so as not to drag the heavy, metal skull. \m/

Hello, Skullzy. You came out better than I’d hoped, fissures and all.

Not bad.

There was some over(under?)spray of black, due to the nature of the metal ‘stencil.’ It’s got a ridge/bead around the edge from the cutting process (plasma or torch, I don’t know) which kept it from laying perfectly flat. So the edges could have been sharper, but it looks good to me.

The inside of my 16U 151HP Eurorack case.

Once the black dried a bit more, I got to work on lifting the tape using the X-ACTO and a fine screwdriver. Tweezers would have been handy, too, but it was pretty easy as it was. So, the finished product is cool, in my opinion, but obviously flawed. Again, despite several coats of black, you can see where the white base ended. And though it doesn’t show in this photo, the other problem with putting the letters on the unpainted wood was that the raw wood fibers ended up bleeding the paint under the tape ruining the sharp edges – good ol’ capillary action.  Also, just at the bottom right, you can see where I put my elbow down on the still-tacky paint while working on the ‘2017’ tape. And there’s a bunch of hair, bugs, and who knows what else embedded in the paint as I did all this on the driveway on a somewhat windy day.

Still, as I said, it’s not a display piece anyway. Just a little something for me when I go in to swap/add modules. 😀


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