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Making a Steampunk Portable Harddrive Case
So you already have a steampunked monitor and keyboard and hate that your portable harddrive doesn't match, well here is a way to make that important piece of equipment match and protect it to boot.





Materials Needed:

-Portable Harddrive - I used a WD My Passport
-3/32 x 4 x 36 in Balsa wood piece - bought mine at Michaels Craft Store
-1/4 x 4 x 36 in Balsa wood piece - Michaels Craft Store
-Sheet of medium thin Brass - Hobbytown USA
-Bag of Brass Rivets - Michaels Craft Store but Tandy Leather Brand
-Piece of Tooling Leather - Tandy Leather - Tooling Shoulder
-Black Heavy Thread - Tandy Leather
-Gilded Plastic Gears/ Brass gears - I used plastic ones I gilded from Hobbytown USA
-Leather Dye - I used Tandy Eco-Flo Briar Brown
-Small Digital Clock with fake gold setting - Rockler Hardware
-2" Quartz Brass Fancy Clock - Rockler Hardware

Tools
-Drill preferably drill press
-Dremel Rotary tool
-Rivet Setter - Mine came with the rivets
-Sponge
-Rotary Leather Punch
-Sandpaper
-Superglue
-Sharp Ultility Knife
-Forester Bit set
-Black Sharpie
-Pencil
-2 ziplock bags

Step 1: Cutting Things to Size

We are going to form a wood and leather case that will protect the harddrive.

Place your drive on top of the thicker balsa wood and trace around it staying as close to possible to the actual size of the drive.
Repeat with the thinner wood.
Now use utility knife to cut out the wood. Should go easy.


Place the thinner piece of wood on the bottom of the drive and the thicker one on top. You should have a wood/drive/wood sandwich. Use this thickness to determine the wrap around size your leather will have to be. Make the height of the leather piece several inches longer then the drive size as you will be making a flap to cover the top.

With the leather now temopary wrapped around the drive as well use that size to cut another piece of the thick balsa wood to become the wooden bottom "plug" of the case. Round the corners with the knife to fit the curve of the leather wrapped "sandwich"
Thats a nice little project, great bit of kit to carry around. Might I suggest looking into thread wrapping and covering the black wire?
This is also a path I might go. I just didn't have the time yet to look into it yet. I was trying to meet the epilog challenge deadline, and I barely made it with what I have done. <br> <br>I've seen cloth coverings done but I haven't sewn anything in almost 20 years and thats one of the few crafting skills I just have very little interest in.
<p>Not sure if you are still working on this, maybe this will help a future project, but you can take the outer covering from paracord and then some gloss brown/black paint to make the plug look like bakelite.. I have seen other folks use the paracord covering and it looks really nice.</p>
Love it..
I see you have not had a comment since Sept, just wanted you to know people are still appreciating your craftsmanship.
1) Beautiful mind... <br>2)Keep pressing on with where ever this project is taking you. <br>3)How ever I would be first in line to purchase your product, if this were a purse or clutch, my late father was a Horologist, and I love clocks. You have done a very classy spin on your steam punk portable hard drive case.
About two years ago, I made something similar for my old but reliable Tungsten T3. Here are some shots for you to enjoy:
That is pretty nice looking from what I can see. You should post at least a photo instuctable showing it off.
I didn't know about Instructables at that time so didn't t mind about taking step by step shots for that...Looking back, it should have been nice, so I keep it for my next project...
with the gears behind the viewing window, it looks really good.
Things probably would have been easier had you run the motor and diode in parallel rather than in series (each with their own current limit resistor.) Generally motors pull a lot more current than LED's, and in a series circuit, all devices have to pass the same amount of current. With a parallel circuit you can separately choose your current limiting resistors for each device.<br>The drawback to a parallel circuit is that it will burn more power and generate more heat.
There should be an output for a LED somewhere, preferably one that blinks only when the drive is reading or writing, connect that to a transistorswitch to power your cog-motor. That woulod be cool.
Just what I was thinking. <br>However, a opto-isolator would probably work better. It's a chip with an LED on the input and a light-controlled transistor on the output . Since there was an LED for the drive status to begin with, it should work well with minimum support parts.
The new circuit I have to run the motor also has a yellow LED to light up the gears. However it is going to be on when the motor is one. Since I'm not willing to open the hard drive (yet) the circuit control is just a simple switch. I have an opto-isolator chip somewhere but I thought they were mainly used to isolate seperate power suplies from a signal. I'll look into it perhaps for version 2.
Are there any problems with heat buildup?<br><br>Very nice 'ible. Something relatively easy that I could make at home. I've got a Seagate 320 Gb just asking for it....
Well...maybe. I've been using it at work since I've made it and on two occasions the case has felt slightly warm. Other times I've not noticed any extra heat and it had been plugged in for hours then as well. I don't know if the warm feeleing is any more then what it used to get without a case or not but I'm now keeping an eye on it. For version two of it I may try to include some sort of more airflow.
You can find suitable motors in a DVD drive that you'll be really happy with I'm sure. In most DVD drives there are separate motors for spinning the disc, moving the laser assembly, and for opening the tray. The ones I've seen use 12V for these motors but they work just fine with 5V from a USB cable, would probably work fine in your application. One is direct drive and two are geared, you can roughly adjust the speed by adding a resistor. In this video I used the disc spin motor, full speed first two spins, then reverse and slower (35 ohm resistor) on the green spin. Short video of my project is at Utube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol4bRcQkBKg
I love the idea, regardless of the functionality of the cogs!
hi sir, i'm french i speak litle english sorry for my langage,<br>i have one id&eacute;a for lvl up your instructables, can you add a smal motors tomove the &quot;gears&quot; under the ring of glass.<br><br>for the power you can use the 5v dc of the usb and includethe motor in your box no ?
That was the original plan. I have a motor and the hole all drilled. I've been having some trouble getting enough amps to power it. (I think thats the problem) I need a circuit to increase the usb output. The toy car I took the motor from (ZipZaps) has a 1.5 volt battery in it so the motor should work with very little voltage but like all motors it needs some amperage to run. I only have very basic electronic skills so I abandoned this for now but want to make the gears spin. The idea being it looks like they are part of the clock componets.
It would be cooler if you just made some windup clockwork make it spin, then you wouldn't have to worry about the motor and Amps, and you could have one of those oldtime key winder things.
does the clock work because it would make a great wallet
Yes the clock works. It is friction fit with a ruber gasket into the wood/leather/brass hole. I didn't permantly attach it so the batteries can be replaced and the time set on the watch. On a wallet I would permanely epoxy it in and leave a access port/ flap hole inside the wallet.
yes that would be needed also I would use some find sand paper to give it a worn look

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Bio: I currently am working as a software quality assurance tester. I have enjoyed woodworking since I was a kid and have started to build up ... More »
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