I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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VFD Clock - Part VI | Kevin Rye.net - Main

Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

VFD Clock - Part VI

I ran out of wood PLA, and I wasn't happy with the way that the last print came out. There was a blog of plastic between the top and the raft that I didn't notice while it was printing. It left a really unsightly mark on the top.

I decided to order another roll and try again. Once it was printed, I gave it a light sanding. I didn't want to go nuts with the sanding. I wanted to leave some of the layer details in so that it would look like wood grain. If thought if the surface finish was perfect, it would look like plastic. I wanted some small imperfections in the finish to remain so that it would look like wood.



Since my roll of black PLA was finally delivered, I printed the final base.


I then installed all the hardware. Looking good.


I then took the top outside and gave it a coat of wood stain.


A friend at work is a wizard when it comes to wet sanding and clear coating, so I passed it off to him for a few days so that he could work his magic. Boom.

VFD Clock final coat_001

VFD Clock final coat_002

I sifted through my acrylic scraps and found a piece that was perfect for the display cutout. It's actually the cutout from the first clock that I made.

VFD Clock acrylic

I hot glued it in place and installed the buttons and the speaker.

VFD Clock final assembly 0010

I then made all the necessary connections.

VFD Clock final assembly 0011

One last detail…what vintage kit is complete without rubber feet?

VFD Clock final assembly 0012

And there it is. I think it came out awesome.

VFD Clock final assembly 0030

VFD Clock final assembly 0020

I started the clock almost a year ago. However, once I actually figured out how to drive the display, it was another 7 months before I actually started it. I had so many other projects to finish first. I'm glad I waited until my plate was clear to work on this. It really came out nice. It's definitely one of my favorites.

See this project from start to finish:
I Finally Figured Out This Vacuum Fluorescent Display
VFD Clock - Part I
VFD Clock - Part II
VFD Clock - Part III
VFD Clock - Part IV
VFD Clock - Part V
VFD Clock - Part VI