Your old non-sticky multi-tool pouch
A dead or obsolete hard drive
Small piece (less than 3" square) of tough fabric like denim, canvas, or heavy cotton
Appropriate Phillips or Torx drivers for opening hard drive
Vice grips, pliers, and/or bench vice
Sewing machine or hand sewing equipment
Safety: Mind the scissors and needles, don't poke a screwdriver through your hand, careful using the razor knife. The magnets retrieved from hard drives can be very powerful. They can snap your fingers, destroy CRT monitors, erase precious data on your hard drives, memory cards, and credit cards. If you don't have the right tools or skill set to attempt this project, please don't.
Step 1: Hard Drive Opening
Step 2: Locate Cover Screws
Here are a few other hard drive related Instructables you may find helpful
Step 3: Pry Off Cover
Step 4: Retrieve Magnets
You may have gotten unlucky and opened a drive (usually only a very old drive would have this) that uses a stepper motor, it will have no magnets and instead use a little spur gear to move the arm. Throw away and return to step 1.
Step 5: Remove Magnets From Backing Plates
Do NOT heat the magnet to loosen the glue, as heating magnets to the temp required to loosen glue causes them to lose there magnetism. Do NOT try and chisel them off, the magnets are brittle and will crumble to bits (sticky bits, all over your screwdriver).
The only other method that worked for me was to pinch the base horizontally in a vice with the magnet face up. Using a large pair of channel locks layed flat to grip the outside edges of the magnet I rotated in a circular motion.
If you have well glued thin magnets, they may break, if the pieces are big enough the project may still work. If not, go find a different brand junk drive and start over.
Step 6: Prepare Your Old Tool Holster
Step 7: Cut Magnet Cover Fabric
Step 8: Partially Sew on Magnet Cover Cloth
Step 9: Insert Magnet(s) and Sew Close
Once you slide in the magnets sew the lower part closed. If I was at all patient this may have worked better hand sewing. But, I used the machine, it jammed once, so I won't be getting any technique awards. I found setting the needle position dial off-center allowed me to keep the presser foot away from the magnet. Remember to gently pull the whole holster as you stitch to overcome the magnet sticking to the needle plate. I am using a "jeans needle," seems to hold up on thicker fabrics like this.
I have taught myself to sew by doing things like this, so if anyone has any tips please post. Sewing is definitely not my strongest ability.
Step 10: Enjoy Magnety Goodness
This is my entry for the Instructables/Etsy Sew Useful contest, if you would like to purchase this holster, my Etsy listing is here. I am sure (actually I am hoping) you would much rather make your own.
Some caveats and warnings. I work around computers, televisions/CRT's, and other sensitive electronics. To my knowledge I have not gaussed any monitors or accidentally erased any hard drives, but I am sure it could happen. I find myself occasionally sticking to car doors and computer racks. I would NOT wear this if I was working around metal shavings, they would stick to the outside of the pouch and probably stick in my fingers the next time I opened the holster. But, if you work in a place like that, you probably already figured that out.