Theramin Case - Box

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Project by Druid posted 09-16-2012 04:37 AM 2334 views 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mark, a friend of mine who is a musician, asked me to build an “interesting” box to house the electronics for a Theramin that he purchased in kit form. What is a Theramin? It is an electronic instrument that is controlled by the musician moving their hands (without actually touching) near one or two antennas. You’ve heard one as part of the StarTrek theme. Ref.
The height of the box is tall enough to accommodate the antenna, and protect it from damage during transport. The length had to be long enough to keep the electronics and battery out of the antenna’s field of influence. Width was determined by the size of the printed circuit board. The bottom of the box is removable for battery replacement.
The small drawer was requested as a place to store Mark’s guitar picks, and since I did not want it to have any sort of knob or pull, my solution was to use a “touch-latch” (push once to release; push again to latch) commonly used on kitchen cupboard doors. This holds the drawer in the closed position when latched, but allows the drawer to slide completely out when released. One part that is not shown in the photos is the drawer compartment which is fitted closely enough to the actual drawer so that the contents can’t “sneak out” into the interior of the box.
The corners of the box (photo 4) are done with twisted dovetails to make it “interesting”, and the top marquetry was done with quilted maple veneer (supplied by Mark) as the background, with mahogany for the inlay. While the maple looks like the top surface is undulating, it is in fact completely flat, and this visual effect is what attracted Mark to this wood. The raw veneer didn’t know the meaning of the word flat, so getting it flat was another story, but the end result was what Mark wanted.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

11 comments so far

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3339 days

#1 posted 09-16-2012 08:03 AM

I would love to see this box up and

personal. It looks truly amazing. The

grain is exquisite.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3403 days

#2 posted 09-16-2012 09:43 AM

I am with Jaime! This is just a beautiful piece. Your design is wonderful too. A pleasure to see!

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2775 days

#3 posted 09-16-2012 01:02 PM

Interesting piece, great details and beautiful grain. Thanks for the education on a Theramin-was not familiar with it. I’m sure your friend Mark is excited and pleased with your work.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View shipwright's profile


8358 posts in 3281 days

#4 posted 09-16-2012 05:19 PM

Nice one John. Good to see you getting into marquetry.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Druid's profile


2141 posts in 3278 days

#5 posted 09-16-2012 06:54 PM

Thanks for the comments. I can easily understand why Mark likes the maple veneer, so that is why it had to be the focal point. Within a few minutes of receiving it, he was producing some AMAZING sounds to match the grain.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Dave's profile


11432 posts in 3323 days

#6 posted 09-17-2012 12:59 AM

John this is to say the only one of these I have ever seen. Nice and interesting project. Well done.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3750 days

#7 posted 10-11-2012 12:51 PM

i was watching some show on tv the other day and a lady was playing one of these. i had never seen one before your posting this and then a few days later i see another one. kind of funny

View HorizontalMike's profile


7796 posts in 3397 days

#8 posted 12-05-2012 08:46 PM

Very nice!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Jim Jakosh's profile (online now)

Jim Jakosh

23218 posts in 3588 days

#9 posted 01-01-2015 10:08 PM

Neat box. Great build!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3537 posts in 3592 days

#10 posted 10-08-2016 11:10 PM

That’s beautiful! Love that quilted maple!

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View Druid's profile


2141 posts in 3278 days

#11 posted 10-09-2016 02:31 AM

Thanks “Random”, Glad you liked it.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

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