55th Mixer

So… a few weeks ago we started looking for a DJ mixer, not any old mixer mind. A nice small one, thin and light enough to fit in a laptop bag, with a couple of line-ins, 3 band EQ and a crossfader. Not much to ask is it? We’ve already got a very portable Behringer mixer that does much more than that, but it’s got no crossfader.
Well, the only one on the market is designed for iPods, had some pretty damning reviews as a proper mixer so we gave up. A couple of days later a friend of ours mentioned he had an old KMX 100 mixer going spare (thanks George!). We took it apart and discovered it was mainly a big, heavy, empty metal box with a tiny mixer inside, so we decided to make a smaller, lighter, plywood box. Cue Inkscape and a Laser Cutter! p.s, did we mention BuildBrighton have an awesome laser cutter… for cutting things… with lasers?)

Warning: the rest of this post contains loads of big pictures 🙂

Using some digital callipers we measured all the holes in the front and back plates on the mixer to come up with something like this:

Front plate of the mixer. Black is to be etched, red is to be cut out. It’s supposed to be sideways by the way, that’s the way the laser likes it.

Then, using an online laser box-maker, we knocked up a suitable sized box, aligned the text and graphics then did a test cut in cardboard:

Top view of the cardboard prototype, the final thing won’t have the steel crossfader plate.

Backside. Don’t you love the tiny moustaches above the RCA sockets? Sure you do.

With the card prototype looking OK, we went for the real deal in 3mm ply-wood & stuck the bottom pieces together:

The plywood case, clamped together to let the wood-glue dry.

Put ’em together and what have you got? Bibbidi-Bobbidi… a mixer.

And it still works!

Hey look, it’s those tiny moustaches again.

Only thing left to do is sand it down a bit, add a couple of coats of varnish then put some little rubber feet on to stop it sliding around.

Update – varnished!

After a few coats of Ronseal clear varnish, I think it’s looking pretty swish –

All varnished and shiny… needs little rubber feet even more now though, that polished surface is pretty slippery.

And some obligatory arty closeups –

Look at all those lovely sockets.

The laser etched the 55th logo pretty deep, looks rather nice with the varnished edges.

The new case has the added feature of going all the way to 11. That’s one louder.

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