[Intro to Fab] Arduino Bento Enclosure

<Field Trip>

I went to The Container Store, Micheals, TJmax and of course Homedepot. I tried to find something cheap and easy to get it, and solid materials.  I found to some useful boxes or cases for next projects. But I bought neither them for this project.


I wanted to use the most of the materials for the enclosure from junk shop at ITP. I picked up a router because I liked the size and the connectors for the A-B cable, DC, Reset switch etc that were similar to Arduino input connectors.


I disassembled it to 3 pieces; top, middle, bottom parts, then I detached a few components(LEDs, potentiometer, small red button) from the PCBs from the junkshop.

– Middle / Bottom parts


And I got a piece of wood and cut it for the cover. (Grey piece is a Top part.) At first, I cut the wood same shape as the top part. But the thickness was too different with other parts. I cut it again later.



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The problem started here… spray painting…

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I hung the pieces and sprayed the middle and bottom parts. My first mistake was that I did not shake it enough, so the surface was not even.

And the second mistake was overspray them. I thought over spray is better than the rough surface. (When I painted once at first, the surface was too bumpy. hmmm) Anyway, I sprayed them too much.


And I really want to use the wood stain paint. So I bought them and tested a few wood pieces. But the color was too dark that I thought. After all, I did not apply for my enclosure wood. But I painted my plant pot that I made it before. I will try to apply a wax finish.

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Then I attached the top part and a wood piece with glue.

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And this router had very tiny cute Leds in front. I want to use them for example Arduino signal checking or indicator. I used pins so that I can use them connecters.

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And I drilled for Arduino and a mini breadboard to be fixed on the bottom part.

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Overspray + grasp firmly + not dry == mess…

I thought 1 hour was enough to completely dry. But it was not. I painted too thick. It had to need more time for drying. (I want to know I can make it even surface. )

Anyway, I added a potentiometer, and for an Arduino DC jack, I drilled to make a hole.


There are lights! I just turned on green LEDs.  main_r

AndI wanted to do a wax finish for my wood pieces. But I could not do my stained wood pieces because they did not dry and I had to wait for it would completely dry at least 1 week. With Ben’s help, I could apply a wax finish for my wooden top piece. (remind : they are 3 steps, 3diffrent wax, cannot go back to the previous steps. not dried stain wood can ruin the wax brushes. Before applying it, make sure sanding completely finished.)

Shiny smooth wood!


I decided to call this Arduino Bento!


It was the first time that I used ready made item to transform. Even though painting was a little bit difficult, but I also could use existed screws, a lid, and LEDs etc. My goal was that it did not seem to be electronics or digital thing. Sometimes I have to put my Arduino on my table or shelves in my room.  So I choose white color and attached wood piece. Thankfully, this router had nice structures I can open it both ways (top, bottom). I think I am going to use it often!





  1. Good use of a ready made enclosure. You really focused on finishes this week. The secret to spray painting is apply a lot of light coats to the object. And letting it fully dry before handling. These kind of finishes can take a long time to complete.

    Like I mentioned before, you should always test stains and paints on scrap pieces of the same material.

    I like what you did with the LEDs. You want to label the front of the enclosure, so you know what the lights indicate.

    What kind of glue did you use to attach the wood to the plastic top?

    • hhayley

      Thank you! Ben, I will keep in mind the tips! and thank you for helping me apply a wax finish. I used a Loctite super glue for multi surface. It seemed to glue well. I updated my final result photos.

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