Instructables

Bullet Cartridge USB Drive

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This is my very FIRST Instructable!  I've enjoyed this site for a few years and decided to contribute.

Yesterday I was admiring the USB drives in the Steampunk section and decided to create my own.  With a few hand tools, a couple hours and some creativity I created my own.  This drive doesn't reflect steampunk but fits my personality.  I enjoy simplicity, originality and shooting sports.

For this project I started with two brass empty rifle cartridges.  The idea was to shape but not stretch these to the correct size of a USB drive.  I chose a 25-06 (same size as 30-06 and .270) and a 300 Win Mag (same as 7mm Mag).  Rifle cartridges taper so I knew if the diameters of the body were close the would slide together then stop.
 
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Step 1: Choosing/Disassembling a Drive

Picture of Choosing/Disassembling a Drive
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I went to Walmart and looked for a drive with the most narrow body.  Through observation it appeared PNY brand would be my best bet.  Luckily it worked very well.

1)  Take off the cover with a screw driver.

2)  Find the seam on the plastic body and line it up with you pliers teeth.  Gently break the cover.

3)  Observe construction.  You will need to design your body to match.  On this drive there is nothing holding the board in the metal sleeve on the backside.  We will have to come up with a fix later.
Reesol2 years ago
cool looks like a kazoo.
black hole2 years ago
Amazing! Your frist 'ible is a whole lot better than mine was.

5/5* and voted
First, not frist. :O
Bugsley2 years ago
Great instructable.
DavidNZ2 years ago
Very nice job :D
FIRST!!! hahaha...now that i got that out of my system...

refering to the third step where there is nothing to hold the drive in, i know of a fix for that...SUGRU!!!!! lol you might also try J.B. Weld, but i think that has metal properties to it, and might be detramental to your project... but...i would try sugru. Cool project, and thanks for sharing!!!
(removed by author or community request)
what do you mean by that... i was only joking when i said the first part. i dont care if i am the first or the 100th person to comment.
kill-a-watt2 years ago
good job!

I'm surprised that you did not suggest annealing the case before forming over your sizing die. This would be a good idea if the brass had been reloaded several times or otherwise work-hardened.

To do so, you would simply heat the brass up with a torch and allow to cool or optionally you can "quench" it in water. It's the heat that does the annealing, not the quench so that part is optional.

I think you will find that an annealed case will form to the shape of the USB drive much easier.
moengineer (author)  kill-a-watt2 years ago
That is a great idea! I knew metals got harder under stress but I never looked up the properties of brass. That would make molding and preparing the ends for soldering much easier.
if you were to actually reload the brass case (so it would be ready to shoot again) you would not want to allow the base to be heat softened, just the neck and upper portions..

In your case, this is not the case. The heat can slightly discolor the brass, but I think it is just an oxide layer that can be polished off.
makermike2 years ago
I repackaged a USB drive for a present for my wife this Christmas. When I opened up the original case, I found it the board was held in place with what appeared to be silicone, which seems like the perfect material for this purpose.

However, many varieties of Silicon (i.e., RTV) give off acetic acid (vinegar) when curing, which could cause corrosion long term. There are some types, variously named electronics grade or non-corrosive, which do not give off acetic acid. It's a bit more expensive than what you can find down at the hardware store, but there's no worry about getting the adhesive on the components. Just glob it on and stick the board in place!
Now I know what to make for the hubby. I think we've got a spare 50 calibre casing around somewhere that would be awesome. Great project!