This is my first instructable and I've decided to make a new gadget with ALTOIDS can. This one is a COMBO USB drive, that you can group all your old flash drives into a one, original and custom shape drive. Enjoy and comment please!

Yet, I am brazilian, so sorry about English language mistakes, ok? :)

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

- Old Flash Drives (4 is a good amount)
- Empty ALTOIDS can
- Old mouse pad
- Hot Silicone Glue

Step 2: Marking and Cutting

Picture of Marking and Cutting

Mark the exact size of an USB por of your USB flash drives on the top side of the ALTOIDS can. Use a sharp pencil to mark EXACTLY the size of the port. DO NOT CUT MORE THAN NECESSARY or you cannot glue the flash drive after, ok?

Cut with DREMEL windows for all your flash drives you want to use.



Use an old mouse pad to cover the internal metal bottom of the can. It is a necessary step in order to make internal eletric isolation and avoid chocking hazard and hardware destruction. Place the rubber side of the mouse pad upwards.

Step 4: Glue Flash Drives

Picture of Glue Flash Drives

Now, all you need to do is place each flash drive inside each window and glue it with hot silicone glue. DO NOT USE EPOXI or other fixing materials in order to avoid hardware damage. Use a generous dose of glue to make it very solid!

Step 5: Final Details

Picture of Final Details

In thesis, your COMBO Drive is ready to use, but you need an extension USB cable to connect it on PC. Use a small cable in order to keep it inside the ALTOIDS can.

Step 6: DONE!

Picture of DONE!

Your ALTOIDS COMBO USB DRIVE is done and ready to keep all your data. You have now an original flash drive and with lots of space! The size in GB of your combo drive depends of how many space are on your flash drives. Enjoy!


BatchDesigner (author)2014-12-20

I don't get why you can't just pack your USBs inside the Altoid tins. I could pack about 6-8 average USBs in there...

FLIPminoman (author)2013-02-20

Awesome! I really like it!

80$man (author)2011-10-11

I like it, I reallly like it!!!

At last I can make use of all the old flash drives in my house! Thank you Cesar!
I would attempt to protect the male ports of the drive, because you removed the casings, they might shear off the PC board.

I feel you on the language front. I'm for South Africa, English is only spoken here in self defence, or by the remaining British! :P

Yerboogieman (author)2008-10-15

You spelled "electric" or "electronic" wrong.

80$man (author)Yerboogieman2011-10-11

You got the idea though right?
Play nice, the guys is a self taught english speaker...

Respect Cesar! Cool Instructable!

Thank you very much, my friend, for your explanation. You don't know how hard is to learn English by myself in order to improve my chances for a better job or even for meet new friends around the world. I really appreciate your tip and promise to do my best to speak well your Language! Regards!

creat0r (author)2011-05-01

so wait... how does this work and What is it good 4?

SkateboardingForLife (author)2009-10-11

 lol, why wouldn't you just set your flash drives in the tin? well i guess thats not as much fun.

Kasm279 (author)2009-04-08

i would put the drive's connectors on the inside somehow, to protect the connectors better and also to make the tin look more ordinary. anyway, nice project!

Kasm279 (author)Kasm2792009-04-08

OH! the purple kinkston drive is 4GB, right? and also, wat are the other ones?

rocketman221 (author)2009-01-30

is it possable to put a usb hub in there and sut up the drives to all come up as one big one.

cornflaker (author)rocketman2212009-03-30

Ofcourse it possible, the question is can you? :P

cornflaker (author)cornflaker2009-03-30

Ahh I didn't read the last part of your comment yeah I think its possible to set them up in some kind of raid configuration but I don't know how exactly, I do remember something from a while ago where this guy set up 4 iPod shuffle's in raid


mbudde (author)2008-10-14

This is a really cool idea. Using a mouse pad for the bottom is a good idea too, a lot easier than trying to cover it with electrical tape.

cesarscavone (author)mbudde2008-10-14

Its true. Using mouse pad was the only solution I had in hands, because when I build the Multi Drive, I havent eletrical tape. Yet, mouse pad is very soft and protect the flash drives better. But you can use byke tire air tubes, rubber slices, old rubber gloves or any material that promote eletric isolation. If I can ask you something, please give some stars to my instructable, OK? I received more than 80 comments, but only 5 votes. Regards!

mbudde (author)cesarscavone2008-10-15

All right. 4.5 stars

hollister4400 (author)mbudde2009-03-28

I say 100 stars I tried it and it really works my husband is a computer programmer he knows all about that stuff

averagejo1111 (author)2009-02-22
add this to it and ur set. all mounted together

never mind; i just got confused.

KingJaymz (author)2008-12-12

Aside from a couple of small spelling errors (where you said "Yet" instead of "Yes" in step one and you said "space" instead of "spare" in step 6), and I've seen native English speakers be guilty of much more shameful spelling/grammar errors, I was impressed with your command of English grammar and syntax. I'm not likely to build this one, but good on you. A fine idea, and powerful use of a second language. That's impressive no matter where or who you are. Keep studying that English, as it's obviously paying off. Merry Christmas!

cesarscavone (author)KingJaymz2008-12-15

Dear King: Thank you very much for your appreciation. I give my efforts to speak an English as better as possible, because I have a deep feeling for America. I have good friends there and despite the distance, I feel me very close to them. Yet, my English is self study only... I never be on regular class. Here in Brazil, English schools are very expensive and I, unfortunately, I cannot to pay for it... Thank you again for your comment! Best Regards!

that's pretty good gor a self-taught language... i've been trying to teach myself a language that nobody speaks and i'm failing at it. specifically, heiroglyphics.

fruitkid101 (author)mettaurlover2009-02-26


mettaurlover (author)fruitkid1012009-02-27

and before you as, yes, i'm crazy. and i have a railgun. a big one that makes plasma from its ammo.

Pseudonym (author)2009-02-05

I was thinking it might be nice to switch out the male usb ports for female ones. Then using a male-male cable to connect it. I suppose you could butcher a hub for parts too and only have the one port to connect, but I like the idea of having them separate.

tokymaru (author)2009-01-08

or put one flash drive on each side of the tin

tokymaru (author)2009-01-07

you could use 4 of the sandisk cruzers that have the sliders then you could slide one out at a time

cornflaker (author)2008-12-02

I have a better idea, put a small 4 port usb hub inside it so you only have 1 port to plug in, and they all connect at once

amjadk (author)cornflaker2009-01-04

exactly :)

spock155 (author)2008-12-24

No, because the point is to get a female usb hub connector with the male on the other side :)

Th3H4rRy (author)2008-11-08

I like this idea, I have several USB sticks, May give it a try. What Dremel cutter did you use?

cesarscavone (author)Th3H4rRy2008-11-08

I have used a brazilian model, that can be buyed on TV (it's called Rotomatic). It is not so good than Dremel tools, but to make small works it runs fine. If you whant to know about the diameter or specs of the saw, I need to confess to you that I don't know... It comes together the tool kit. Thanks for your comment and give it a try... you will like the result! Regards!

Nameless37 (author)2008-10-30

That's funny, every person on Instructables that says the originally speak a different language have either none or very few grammar mistakes, well done.

cesarscavone (author)Nameless372008-10-31

Dear Nameless37: It's real funny, but with a reasonable answer... we need to think each word we will write or speak. So, despite our small vocabulary, we try to arrange our words to fit as nice as possible our ideas according the language rules we've learned. Thank you very much! Cesar

Nameless37 (author)cesarscavone2008-10-31

No Problem

maxpower49 (author)2008-10-15

does this only put all of the drives in the same place or do they combine all of space into one

cesarscavone (author)maxpower492008-10-15

This Instructable only put the flash drives in the same place. I cannot discover a way to fit it working together on the altoids tin because I haven't find a usb hub so small. Regards!

casey321b (author)2008-10-15

this is a cool idea and you could label each drive for diferent things like pics on one and so on. also i would think instead of needing a cable why not make each usb drive on a difent side like one on front one on side or you could still use the cable and add tons of flash drives.

darkmuskrat (author)2008-10-13

This is very cool. Before I go and build this however, "where is cheapest place to buy 3-4 thumb drives?" (1-2 gigs each...thx in advance guys)

jj32x (author)darkmuskrat2008-10-14

if you live in the uk then novatech have some pretty cheap ones. also i think they do international shipping so even if you dont live in the uk its worth a try.

cesarscavone (author)darkmuskrat2008-10-14

I dont know where you live, but here in Brazil you can get some for free as company gifts or even as gifts in some magazines. Some asian flash drives works fine and are very cheap. Search at your local dealer and you will find some good options. Thanks for your comment and Regards!

Gonazar (author)darkmuskrat2008-10-13

Try they don't charge shipping!

cyz980313 (author)darkmuskrat2008-10-13 the price is cheap, but im not sure if it s the cheapest

collard41 (author)2008-10-14

a good idea might b to add a mini-hub inside the tin and then connect the flash drives to that. an issue with that is that you will not be able to run anything like a cup warmer or usb fan off it as i cannot supply enough current. but with only pen drives it should be fine. id have thought that it is a bit impractical having all of the things sticking out the end

cesarscavone (author)collard412008-10-14

The main trouble is that the altoids tin have no enough space for a hub and drives... If someone want to try, in order to fit all, must have to buy Kingston Mini ( and a small hub. But it will be a bit expensive and out of the instructable standard, that means to use old flash drives and recycle them...

Thanks for your comment and Regards!

collard41 (author)cesarscavone2008-10-14

id like to give it a try though, with some good design it is fairly possible.. i think maybe that you would have to use some wire and stack them into a 2x2 square rather than a long row and also to have a small hub

cesarscavone (author)collard412008-10-14

HA! HA! Hey pal, I have an idea! Why dont you try to use a small leather wallet to make it simple? Forget the altoids tin and make a cut on the wallet and fit inside the outher and inner leather the hub and the flash drives disassembled. You may glue the flash drives with hot silicone glue and let the cable outside. Glue the wallet with hot silicone or use a duct tape. It will looks cool. Or even better, use any Duct Tape Wallet Instructable and fit the hub on the wallet. Make one and post the instructable for us!

cesarscavone (author)collard412008-10-14

I never seen a hub like that. A good way to join all together is to disassemble the hub before place it on the tin. The case of the hub takes more than 50% of the space.

raykholo (author)2008-08-30

this is stuff im not really good at, but u can make a switcher system with a bunch of relay switches and push buttons the usb protocol is 4 wires --- 2 power and 2 data now -- take the usb extension cable, open up the end that u plug into the computer, and make it stick out of the side of the box, so u can plug that right into the computer (needs hot glue and some way to make it not move at all, and hold up the rest of the box) if u wanna risk it, take the 2 outside contacts (power) and connect them to all of the flash drives in the parallel circuit way or u can use relays for all 4 contacts on each drive all the drives will be inside the box and the buttons will stick out instead someone plz figure out how to do that cause i really have no time and little idea on how to do this.

About This Instructable




More by cesarscavone:How to crimp a Network Cable with a Victorinox Swiss Army KnifeHow to make your own Victorinox "Style" Keychain for about USD 5.00!High Quality Duct Tape Wallet (with check pocket!)
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