Every year my fraternity's freshman class does a class project in which the freshmen build something to improve the house. The class of 2017 built some benches for our balconies and a table top for playing games like cards, chess, and other games that fraternities play. The class of 2019 built some giant yellow letters that are displayed on our Cambridge-side balcony and some nice tables for our music room. My class decided to revamp our basement, the scene for most of our parties. Our project consisted of rebuilding our bar, repainting the mural, and adding new active speakers and lighting fixtures. We only had five days to complete this project in our basement so good time management and lots of caffeine were critical. I was incharge of the bar sub-project. My responsibilities included designing the bar, creating a bill of materials and budget, aquiring the building materials, and managing the project.
Here are some renderings that I made of the final design for our project proposal meeting. Note: I added a compartment to conceal a shotgun in the design as a joke. There is no shotgun in the actual bar!
This bar was designed in SolidWorks 2016-17. The key to designing a project of this magnitude is to use the CAD software to figure out how much material you are going to need and how you are going to make the parts. This bar was constructed using mainly 3/4" plywood, 1x2s, and 2x2s. To figure out how many sheets of plywoods I needed to purchase, I layed out all of plywood parts out in a drawing file and determined the optimal way to lay out each part to buy the least number of sheets of plywood.
In order to cut out all of the plywood parts we needed, I made a number of to-scale technical drawings with dimensions. We used these drawings to draw out the parts on the actual sheets of wood to be cut out.
Here is an exampe of another technical drawing.
Building the Bar
It took about half of the first day to buy all of the materials and move them all to the basement. We then finished cutting out all of the parts after day 2. We started the assembly process on day 3. At the end of day four, we finally started the staining and polyurethane process.
The coolest feature of this bar is the infinity mirror countertop. The way it works is by using an acrylic mirror on the bottom and an acrylic two-way mirror on the top. That way you can look in, but on the inside the light bounces back and forth infinitley. We put in individually addressable LEDs so that we can make cool light chasing patterns. I wrote the arduino program for the infinity lights.
Bar Electronics Systems
Because this bar incorporates electrical features, we needed to figure out how we were going to power all of these lights. As of right now we only have lights in the infinity table, but we have plans to put lights behind the letters on the front of the bar and lights on the inside of the bar.
Guitar Wall Mount
This was a fun project that I decided to do because I wanted to display my guitars rather than keep them locked up in their cases. I got the idea from a similar product that I found in a Pottery Barn magazine.
LED Guitar Stand
This was a project that I built for my dad for Father's Day. It is similar to the wall mounts, but it is a foldable floor stand.
LED Car Lights
My brother and I decided to put lights on our 2015 Scion tC because cars without lights are boring.
Daft Punk Helmets
Instead of buying halloween costumes like everyone else, my brother and I decided to make our own Daft Punk helmets. They were'nt perfect, but they turned out a lot better than I expected.
To make these helmets we used a computer software called Pepakura. This software taked a 3D surface and turns it into a series of flat 2D shapes with tabs that can be folded to create the 3D shape. We cutout the 2D shapes on cardstack and glued them together. The result was a pair of floppy, cardstock Daft Punk Helmets. The next step was to apply the fiber glass. This was the most annoying part of the process because we were stuck in our small, hot garage/workshop wearing respirators for hours, and the whole time were were trying to apply sheets of fiberglass and coats of resin which seemed to stick on EVERYTHING. We must have gone through dozens of pairs of latex gloves. After that arduous process, we applied a coat of Bondo to the outside of the helmets, and sanded it down to the desired shape.
We wanted the heltmets to look as close to the real helmets as possible, so I tried really hard to find paint that would give a chrome look. Although what I bought was marketed as silver and gold "chrome", I think the surface of the helmets were too textured to really have the shine effect. That being said, I think the color ended up looking good. This is by far one of the most memorable of the projects that I've worked on.