The cover provides a unique customization opportunity as well, it allows a wide variety of different materials to be applied to its upper surface. These can be anything from carbon fiber to wood veneers. This section will perform a simple walk through of the process of making a bamboo veneer cover.
Start with the standard ABS plastic cover, that comes with every box. These covers can be ordered loose so they can be modified. We recommend using GREY covers as this allows them to blend in better with the color of the box. It is also recommended that HEX covers be used, for reasons explained below.
A piece of the material that is going to form the inlay on the cover will also be needed. Here we show a piece of bamboo veneer for this purpose.
The cover is sanded down by the thickness of the veneer so that once installed the cover is still flush with the top edge of the flange. If a HEX cover is used it is easy to gauge the depth, simply sand down until the hex scoring disappears. This depth is common for a lot of different veneers. Hex covers are also a lot easier to sand and it is faster to remove the plastic because of the scoring.
Place a piece of veneer face down on some tempered glass. Apply glue (we use SuperGlue) to the upper surface of the cover and place it top down onto the back of the veneer. Place a piece of wood on top of the cover and apply a couple of clamps, clamping the whole assembly to the glass. This ensures that the assembly will be flat. Wipe off any excess glue.
Once the glue has set trim away any excess veneer from the outside of the cover. Also cut out the veneer from the interior of the cover to remove excess material. We use scissors on the outside and a box cutter on the inside.
Using a sanding block, true up the veneer to the outside of the cover. For the inner shape, use a Dremel tool with a 3/8” sanding drum to sand the veneer flush to the inner shape of the cover. Use a piece of 220 grit sandpaper to clean up any burring on the edges of the veneer.
NOTE: the cover has an 8º slope to the outer and inner edges, be sure to sand at this angle to get the best possible fit in the box.
Once the cover is finished it should be glued into the box with SuperGlue, this eliminates any problems that might arise if the cover is not laying flat in the collar. It only takes a small amount to glue a cover into the box, four little drops of glue. A small spring clamp on each end and each side will hold it in place. Once installed the resin will lock the cover permanently in place.
Bamboo veneer has a tendency to want to splinter at the edges when being sanded. To make it easier to manage, apply some catalyzed sanding resin to the glass prior to placing the bamboo on it. This will give the bamboo a smooth finish when completed and will help prevent splintering. Sand the upper surface before installing to remove the wax from the resin and improve the bond.
This process can be followed for different types of materials, just let your imagination run with it!
This drawing shows the placement of the glue dots on the inner surface of the flange. The best glue to use to glue the cover to the box is some form of cyanoacrylate glue (commonly referred to as SuperGlue®). We use DAP RAPIDFUSE® for all of our cover gluing as it sticks well to polycarbonates.