This laptop case was made out of necessity. I wanted a hard clamshell-style case that would be durable enough to be strapped down onto my motorcycle. Even the “hard” cases would squish and let my larger laptop get scratched. I always save the scraps and trimmings from the nicer woods that we’ve managed to get from pallets, and have become intrigued with inlay and veneers, so I thought if I was going to do it, I might as well have some fun.
I used some thin plywood as the base material for the flat surfaces, and then looked for as many wood scraps as I could find that had defects, interesting features, knot holes, etc., and then sliced them fairly thin with a band saw. I hand-fitted them with a small hand plane so they’d fit snug, and then glued them all down onto the plywood (like the 1/8″ thick plywood – very thin and flexible). I did one side – the top side like a crazy quilt and just had a lot of fun with it. The bottom I wanted to do a modified sunburst, because I had a branch of pecan that was dry and I sliced it in thin strips. It was beautiful! I liked that some of the pieces even had some of the bark intact, and left it that way.
Once both of the patterns were done, I then built a top and bottom frame from Redwood and adjusted the thickness to fit my 10.2″ Toshiba Radius with a little room to spare so I can carry a small polishing cloth for the screen. I also built it a few inches wider so I could store the power cord, a mini-mouse and a spare flash drive, etc. Measurements? Drawings? Naw. That’s for people who pre-plan, know what they’re doing, and can execute it flawlessly. That’s not me. I’m just having fun. I got it to fit my laptop the way I wanted, and when the top/bottom panels were thoroughly dry, I trimmed them to the right size and then attached them to the frames. I applied trim to hide the slightly rough edges,
When it was all assembled into the top and bottom pieces, I then sanded it all as smooth as possible, patched some of the wood defects or gaps, and then allowed it to dry. I re-sanded all the way down to 600-grit, and then after removing the dust, began applying oil-based gloss polyurethane. Between each coat, I’d dry it and then sand it gently with 600-grit. I applied a total of five layers.
I lined it with an old laptop neoprene sleeve that I didn’t like from my larger computer. I cut it to fit and glued it in with some 3M spray adhesive. I trimmed it with some small brass corners and attached two little latches – so those, along with the two hinges were the only things I had to buy it.
I’m excited to walk into the office carrying it into the office to see the reactions from my coworkers.