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Fan-built Raspberry Pi tablet the PiPad has plywood case

Maker fanatic Michael Castor made his own tablet, complete with touchscreen and hand-crafted plywood case.

Looking for inspiration for a new year's project? Take inspiration from maker fanatic Michael Castor, who's made his own tablet, complete with touchscreen and hand-crafted plywood case.

It's powered by the spectacularly flexible and wonderfully cheap Raspberry Pi micro-computer. Castor explains how he built the homemade slate on, and has published a bunch of in-depth photos on Flickr.

"When I set out to build my Raspberry Pi tablet I wanted something different," Castor writes. "I wanted an all-in-one system that was usable, portable, and Linux based. Additionally, it had to look good."

The PiPad proved a hit at the Maker Faire craft show, even attracting praise -- and an autograph -- from Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton.

The key to making the PiPad was a touchscreen that was compatible with both the Pi's HDMI output and the 5V mobile phone charger Castor planned to use to power the machine. The screen arrived from the Internet, worked with the Pi and the game was afoot.

Baltic birch plywood and carbon fibre were chosen for the chassis because they're easy to shape and Castor had some lying around. A 10,000mAh battery provides 6 hours of battery life, which shows just how efficient today's Android tablets and iPads are, managing much longer on smaller cells.

Castor tells a sweet story about how he was on the plane to Maker Faire and was sure a stewardess was going to ask him about it, but instead she just said, "I love that movie -- you're coming up to the best part!" He was watching Talladega Nights.

The Raspberry Pi recently sold its 2 millionth unit -- an incredible success for a British product. For tonnes more on the mini-computer that could, check out these perennially popular articles:

What have you built with the Raspberry Pi? Are you tempted to try something this ambitious? Craft the perfect comment down there, or head to our homemade Facebook page.

Image credit: Michael Castor / Make