|Sinclair Spectrum 128k +2 Mini!|
|128+2 insides: With the cut, the heat sink would have to be re-arranged and the casing would lose one support.|
Preparing for the cut
The now revealed plastic protrusions and screw holders can hinder the cut, so some re-thinking is in order at this stage. On the plus side the heat sink (A strange L-shaped contraption) may indeed be possible to turn around to the front side. However, it is unlikely to fit without at least some changes.
About that re-thinking... Nah, I just decided to go with the original line. I first used a sharp paper knife to cut as deep as possible along the side of the tape recorder opening. Using a ruler, I also made careful lines using the opening as a guideline. When it came to actually cutting the plastic, the paper knife turned out to be surprisingly poor, so for the rest of the project I only used it for initiating points for sawing.
|Some care needs to be taken when sawing the front. I used a straightedge and the paper knife before sawing.|
I used a "Japanese" style back saw, meant for wood cutting. I probably ruined the blade but it had seen its best days anyway. This saw took to the plastic surprisingly well, and I felt encouraged to just push violently through the screw holders and other protrusions. However as I progressed I realised the casing would loose most of its support at the same time, and the part remaining to the right side of the keyboard became quite fragile. So I did away with the protrusions with some more care, trying to saw them sideways from below when possible.
|The tape recorder part could be made into a unique, stand alone, Spectrum-themed tape unit. But who cares?|
It might have been a wiser move to saw first the bottom half, leaving the more visible parts for later stage. Then I could have used the "gained experience" for the more important parts. But this way, I can use the existing cut for lining up the bottom half of the casing. Had the bottom been cut first, the resulting alignment might have been unsuitable.
But really, I just could not resist getting first at the meat of the matter!
|And now, what at first was just a mock-up, is rapidly becoming a reality...|
Cutting the bottom half posed no problems, but making the end part from the remaining plastic and solving the heat sink placement is a bit tricky.
Closing the case
I have bent the heat sink from the L-shape to a formless blob. It does not quite go into a neat U-shape, at least without sawing the piece. I'm hoping to avoid that work phase, yet it may come to that.
|Yet another decision to make...|
Adding the pictured end piece gives some more length to the computer, a bit like the original 128k Spectrum. The bent heat sink would fit easily. This direction means that there will be nearly endless sanding of the two parts and still the seam will probably be somewhat visible.
So, which ever route will be chosen, there will be work. But then again so far everything has gone quite smoothly.
(Continued to Part Two)