What started out to be a quick project, has turned into something that has taken quite a bit of time.  This isn’t a bad thing as I want a quality finished product, rather, it was just unexpected.

Now is time to address the dual purpose cosmetic molding that will surround the KAOSS Pad, on the face of the guitar.  The first purpose is to provide the finished look, while covering the gaps between the wood and plastic.  The second purpose is that it is a structural piece.  This molding will actually hold the KAOSS Pad in the body of the guitar.  Other home brew KAOSS Pad guitar mods that I’ve seen use anything from hacked CD cases, to DVD cases with a hole cut in them.  This is NOT the kind of thing that I will be using on this guitar.

After consulting with a friend of mine, I became aware of a website called PonokoPonoko is a “3D Laser Cutting and Design Fabrication” business that allows people to easily fabricate precision parts by uploading computer designs.   You have the option of choosing from a variety of materials, such as cardboard, colored polymers, stainless steel, wood and much more.

I’ve made this file freely available on Ponoko, so those of you who are performing a Kaoss Pad KP2 modification for your guitar can save yourselves a little work.  Click here to visit the page and make your own Korg Kaoss Pad KP2 guitar faceplate molding*Note* Apparently, my measurements were a bit off.  Here’s a link to the revised KAOSS Pad KP2 faceplate molding file.  This is free, so feel free to make at your will!

UPDATE (6/19/2012) – I’ve successfully fabricated and test fitted a flawless cosmetic face plate cover, to secure the KAOSS Pad (KP-2) to the body of the guitar.  Click this link to visit my Ponoko project page, to order yours today.  Note – I am not charging anything for this design – you only pay the Ponoko fabrication fees (about $10).  

For those of you still with me, follow along for a description of how I made this design!

First, I had to take my measurements (please don’t click on the picture, it is horrible and blurry when viewed any larger and I’m terribly embarrassed).  The two measurements I was concerned with were the width and height of the lip around the touch screen, and the width and height around the outside edges of the unit.  See the picture above.  I won’t bore you with the actual numbers I measured.  If you are interested, just download the free design file. *Note* Apparently, my measurements were a bit off.  I’ll have to tweak the design, and will re-post the file once complete.

If I had a caliper, it probably would have been much easier to get an accurate measurement.  Instead, I was working with a tape measure.  This created lots of extra work (as well as much inaccuracy), as I had to measure everything down to the 1/16th of an inch, and then convert that number into decimal places.  In other words, if I measured  4 inches and 2/16ths, I would have to convert that to 4.125 inches.  Then, I had to convert that number to millimeters, as that is the primary unit of measurement that Ponoko uses.  So 4.125 inches converts to 104.775 millimeters.  Note:  You can convert units easily, via Google.  Try typing “convert 4.125 inches to millimeters” in a regular Google search box, and see what happens.  This will save you a LOT of frustration.

Once I had the measurements, I needed a program to make my design.  Ponoko points users towards a variety of options, including some freeware ones.  I chose a freeware design program called Inkscape, simply because it was first on their list.  Click here to visit the Inkscape page.

Ponoko features some great tutorials for getting started designing, using Inkscape.  I won’t reinvent the wheel, rather, I’ll refer you to this page for more detail.  Again, save yourself some time by using my predefined KAOSS Pad KP2 molding.  Inkscape allows for the easy creation of designs, such as this.

A good tip is to print your design on paper, before paying to have your design fabricated.  Once you’ve printed your design, cut it out, using a razor (or utility knife).  This will allow you to see how it fits in the real world.  I estimate this saved me well over $40 in production fees (and countless days which would have been spent waiting for delivery), as I realized I had to make two separate tweaks to my measurements.

Once your design is finalized, upload it to Ponoko, choose your material and shipping options, and you are on your way to a custom finished faceplate!  Since my guitar is following a black motif, I chose black acrylic as my material.  Also included in the design are four pre-drilled screw holes.  I realized, at the last minute, that I would rather not have to drill into the plastic frame and risk the possibility of cracking it.  When all was said and done, this cost me $20 (including shipping).  You may be thinking that is pricey, but again, I wanted a quality finished product.  You get what you pay for…

Now is the waiting game.  Ponoko says my design will be fabricated within two to three business days.  I will have to wait another two to four days for shipping, on top of that.  I’ll let you know how it looks when it arrives!

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