Novena Heirloom – hinge mounting

“That’ll take a day” I thought as I checked outstanding tasks on my Azendoo app. The last couple of weeks have been filled with just such occasions. Frequent days with overfilled schedules falling short of the goal led to this summary assessment. So I make note of what I might have learned and move onto the next task.

Trimming the LCD bottom rails flush to the panel
Trimming the LCD bottom rails flush to the panel

Much of the Novena Heirloom work at present is about bringing the various parts together for initial assembly into something looking like a complete laptop. In particular, the LCD panels required a lot of steps to complete them and get them properly hinged to the bottom enclosure.

Laptop showing newly installed hinges
A set of hinges installed t o mount the LCD panel.

On revisiting the process for cutting hinge mortises on the CNC mill, I realized there were  a number of these prerequisite steps to be carried out before I would be ready to begin with hinge mounting. Among those would be some of the final sanding of the LCD panel assemblies. These sanding operations are carried out by simple manual methods which inevitably lead to tolerance variations greater than those of the corresponding CNC-fabricated aluminum parts. This has led to some significant challenges along the way.

This combination of hand-sanded wood surfaces and cnc-machined metal components is especially interesting in that regard, since there is variation part-to-part with the wood components that has to be accommodated in the machining setups that bring the two materials together. Thus in a small batch production like this, many tasks are essentially a series of one-off processes strung together.  (In a larger production, there could be resources to minimize the tolerance variation in the wooden components.)

Countersinking the hinge plate mount holes
Countersinking the LCD hinge plate mount holes

Fortunately, the vacuum table system I developed to assist with this part-to-part customization has been extremely useful. Minor variations in the wood composite components can be accommodated by applying measured differences to the table adjusters during hinge mounting.

Vacuum table being used for hinging operation.
Vacuum table being used for hinging mounting.

With this installation complete, the value of the custom torque hinge design has been proven. Their four, easily-accessible screw locations make hinge mounting simple.

One of the next tasks will be fitting the lid-latch magnets to the aluminum side plates. When the original face-magnetized designs proved inadequate to fulfill my design goal, I managed to track down a bit of unobtainium in the form of edge-magnetized units in the same form factor. I had been told by several suppliers that these would be a custom only option, but diligence paid off when I found them on the shelf from one of my previous suppliers.

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