How To Make Cheap, Good Looking Front Panels

Submitted 5/3/02 by Mike Bray, KA1DDB

I use Radio Shack enclosures for many of my home brew projects and have had very good results using Microsoft Word to produce front panel designs.

The label is printed on "photo quality self adhesive sheets" (Epson S041106). After the label is applied to the panel, I use it as a template to drill any necessary holes, then I cover it with a self adhesive laminating sheet (such as Avery Clear Seal 43039). A "step drill" is used to drill holes larger than 1/4 inch and an Ex-acto knife is used to trim the label and holes.

If you have Microsoft Word 97 (or later), you can download the files listed below. The labels are designed to fit #RSU 11907664 (5 1/16 x 2 5/8 x 1 5/8 inch) Radio Shack enclosures (except for the Tuna Tin 2 of course).

Microsoft Word files for downloading:
NorCal SMK-1
Islander Audio Amp
VE3DNL Marker Generator
Code Practice Oscillator
Zero Beat Indicator
Solar Charger
Tuna Tin 2

To personalize the labels, just "Save As" a ".doc" file and open it with Microsoft Word. The file may then be edited with the "Drawing" tools. If you have any questions, send me an e-mail.

Here is a PHOTO of the front panel that I recently completed for my homebrew Novice Special two tube transmitter.