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Where great old Macs live again!

So this last Saturday, after doing the 3d anniversary podcast, I tackled a project I've been putting off for a while (what a surprise!). What you see in the photo below are five Laserwriter IIs.

These were bought at a school sale several years ago and promptly shoved into an already overburdened garage to await their fate. When you buy stuff at one of these surplus sales you take a risk as you are not allowed to try anything first. At $5 at printer I was willing to gamble.

Three of the Laserwriters had ethernet and I was hoping to get at least one of the systems working with that feature. So after starting all five up I ended up with three of them saying that the fuser assembly was bad and another had a bad logic board. I then spent the next couple of hours swapping parts to verify what worked and what didn't. After all was said and done I ended up with 2 mostly working machines. That is they both printed, but the prints were pretty muddy even after cleaning the toner cartridge roller. I'm sure a fresh toner cartridge will fix this.

So after removing the other working fuser elements from the remaining three machines it was time to send them to the great printer resting place in the sky where there is never a paper jam and toner runs freely through the streets.
Whenever I have to throw out a piece of apple equipment I usually save the logo for later use. They're great to attach to other things in the house, like microwaves, TVs, wiis, or even non rainbow colored apple items. These are going to have a slightly different fate than just an applectomy. I have been thinking for a while that it would be nice to have a retro-branded thumb drive to put mini vMac on.

Instead of just putting the logo on an existing drive I decided to use the logo and the plastic from the printer to make this happen. Five minutes with the dremel and I had my donor plastic. After that it was a simple matter of stripping a thumb drive down to it's core and spending several hours grinding plastic and using liberal amount of epoxy putty.

The final product turned out pretty neat. I used the plastic containing the logo for the main body of the drive with a base of the crenelated plastic on the bottom so it looks reminiscent of the Mac SE or SE/30. I decided not to attempt a cap for the drive as I doubt I would be able to get the right fit. I wish the putty I used was a little closer to the plastic color though it's not glaringly different. I might try to spray paint the next one I do. Does anyone have any suggestions on this?

Views: 74

Comment by Derek on December 21, 2009 at 9:12pm
>> and toner runs freely through the streets.

Note to self: bring self-contained respiratory gear before visiting Printer Heaven.

This is awesome! And as I've already told you and James, the ridged "Snow White" lines on the back are the icing on the cake. Perfection.
Comment by Wholly Mindless on December 21, 2009 at 10:32pm
An acceptable end of life.
Comment by Michael on January 5, 2010 at 3:07am
O' what a creative little soul you are! If I can't get the PBD250 working, it may just have to contribute its logo to a greater cause.
Comment by Kathryn on January 13, 2010 at 7:31pm
Great project. It looks like it was made by Apple. Also, is that a little red "Panic" key? I have one of those that I put on my keyboards, but it doesn't really work on the new flat keyboard.
Comment by JJ on March 15, 2011 at 4:58pm
Did you throw them all away? if you didn't is it your main printer? I Use A Laserjet 5 but I Want a laserwriter 8500.
Comment by JJ on April 15, 2011 at 10:03pm
You could of swaped out the motherboards and put it in the one with the working fuser.

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