How to turn old computer parts into cute little bugs.
Help save the environment at least a little plus make gifts for friends and family
Step 1: Tools of the trade
Gather your supplies, I included but might not use each time:
Circuit Board (obsolete/dead)
Step 2: Stripping
A quick and dirty way to get your parts is to heat up one side of the board where the part is and pull on the other with pliers or fingers. Rocking it back and forth as you do will work it out slowly.
WARNINGWATCH THOSE FINGERS SO YOU DON"T GET BURNT!
Please be careful as you could burn yourself on this step. Always prep your iron before use, cleaned and tinned for maximum efficiency.
Gather as many parts as you can, off any thing you can find.
VCRs, computers, clocks, printers, stereo equipment etc. are great sources for parts
I keep mine in a compartmentalized box sorted by type, color, shape and/or size.
Step 3: The Gathering
Now collect the parts you want to use for your bug. Sometimes I go for a theme, same color or all small parts.
I use resistors for legs (grab 6 of the same general color)
A capacitor for the abdomen (back end)
and a transistor for the head.
Step 4: Parts Prep
Now that you have your parts selected you should get them ready.
Straighten out the leads on each of the parts and use the knife to trim off any large lumps of solder.
Step 5: Soldering Take 1
Tape the 6 legs down in 2 rows so they meet in one spot, this is where the main body will be and the main junction for all attachments.
Step 6: Soldering Take 2
By now your iron should be hot and ready to go. With a delicate touch solder all legs together. You might need some pliers to rearrange them if they don't cooperate.
Step 7: Soldering Take 3
Next is the abdomen, solder carefully so the legs don't come off. Position it so as the solder cools it will be in line with the main body.
Step 8: Head Prep
Now we work on the head, I like the transistors because they can be used several ways.
In this one I went with antenna, that is the outer leads are straightened and bent outward some while the center is bent back ( the neck) for attachment to the body. You can also go the other way and place them down and bent inward like pincers. If you go with a different type you may have to glue it to the main body instead.
Step 9: Soldering Take 4
Now to finish up the soldering, place the head in position and zap it with the iron. If did the head the other way you can add small diodes or resistors here for antenna.
Step 10: Eyeballs
Bugs don't have eyeballs but this isn't your typical bug.
Start with a base color, I used off white here, and make a big spot with a toothpick.
Let dry a bit then use a darker color (this time black) to make the pupil.
A steady hand is recommended for this step, it helps to rest your hands against each other to do fine work like this.
Colors are up to you and can be very wild if you want.
(shown here not attached to body for clarity)
Step 11: Glossy
A final coat of gloss will give the eyes a bit of depth and protect the paint from chipping.
Step 12: Finishing
Now it's almost done, all that is needed is a little tweaking.
Bend the legs a little for a cute pose, maybe tip the head a bit too.
Use the nail clippers to trim them to equal lengths.
Mix and match your parts, the only limit is your imagination.
Once you get a rhythm going it only takes a few minutes to put them together.
A great past time of you are watching a garage sale and don't have much else to do between customers.