With my exploration of things in the small microcontroller space - like Arduino, NodeMCU, ESP8266, Teensy, etc. - I've been considering a handful of projects that really need some kind of casing.  I've always been enthusiastic about natural cases for technology devices, and my latest project idea includes an opportunity to produce a case in natural wood.

What I am intending to build is a small alarm clock for Riley.  It will have a small white-pixel screen, with a resolution of 15x7.  The pixels can be dimmed and animate, and should be able to display a time reasonably well, along with some animations for alarms and different events.

I would like to build this clock into a wooden case, with small holes drilled in the front for the lights from the screen to shine through.  The whole clock will fit inside a small block of wood that will seem reasonably seamless, but will be hollowed out to fit the electronics and have a single long USB cable lead to plug into the computer or a wall socket.

I think I finally have enough tools to embark on such a project.  I've been slowly accumulating power tools so that I could work on small wood projects like this, and yesterday, during a Memorial Day sale coincidentally convenient to my birthday, Berta bought me a portable table saw, which is the final piece of the puzzle for producing the wooden parts I would like to use to complete my projects.

I have a few other things in mind for the table saw (and the scroll saw, drill press, dremel tool, and others that I also have in the garage), including a rack for our k-cups, a large back yard Settlers of Catan set, a nice box to hold my dice collection, a meat and cheese cutting board, and some stands to hold up an elaborate Halloween decoration.  I think this new tool will open up a world of new creative possibilities for me.