Steampunk Laptop Speakers

Next up was the speakers. In the end I decided to place them on the front of the computer “bezel” under the screen.  This was tricky since there wasn’t much space to work with there so they would protrude slightly, and also the screen it where the computer has to look its best since that is the focus of attention.  If the speakers looked bad then it would spoil the whole effect.

Fortunately, I think they are turning out quite nicely. :)

Cutting holes for the speakers
Cutting holes for the speakers
Installing the speakers
Installing the speakers
Brass grill/mesh over the speakers
Brass grill/mesh over the speakers

Now that looks ok, but if really needed something around the edges.  Unfortunately, it is so small I couldn’t mechanically make a brass border for them so had to resort to etching them.  My first etching was good, but I was lacking the ideal materials.  This time I was prepared and made some copper sulphate by draining some sulphuric acid out of a car battery and running current through it with two cunningly positioned electrodes. The positive electrode extended all the way to the bottom of the sulphuric acid, and the positive electrode was dipped shallowly at the top of the solution.  the reason for this is that as the copper sulphate is formed, it sinks to the bottom of the sulphuric acid because it is denser.  However, if the copper sulphate comes in contact with the negative electrode it breaks down and the copper becomes deposited on the negative electrode.  That is why the negative electrode was only shallowly dipped in the top of the solution.

In the end I had about of pint of saturated copper sulphate solution.

Home Made Copper Sulphate
Home Made Copper Sulphate

Now I had copper sulphate, I could do some serious etching!

First I prepared a sheet of brass to be etched in the shape I want by covering all the parts I don’t want to be etched with an insulator.  First I tried using spray paint but found after a while it started peeling off the brass and so wasn’t suitable. In the end I just used insulation tape.

Didn’t get any pics of the brass with the insulation tape but here it is with the spray paint to give you an idea of how it was covered.

Brass for Etching
Brass for Etching

Then I dunked it in the copper sulphate as the positive electrode, then added another brass negative electrode on the other side of the solution and ran the current through it for an hour or so.

Etching the Brass
Etching the Brass

Afterwards I was left with this.

Brass after etching
Brass after etching

Then with a bit of tidying up.

Tidy etchings
Tidy etchings

And then positioned on the speakers.

Speakers with etched brass border
Speakers with etched brass border
Speakers with etched brass border
Speakers with etched brass border

Still looks a bit rough, but to be honest I quite like the look. :)

 

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