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Oak Raspberry Pi case for under $10

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Picture of Oak Raspberry Pi case for under $10
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Not wanting my raspberry pi to just sit on my desk unprotected (and frankly, kind of boring), I went in search of a case.  However, most of the cases which caught my fancy were quite expensive, anywhere from $20 to $45!  So, instead I decided to make my own instead.  Originally, I was planning on using plexiglass or acrylic for my case, however, upon wandering around home depot trying to find these, I came upon some cheap sheets of red oak which looked very nice.  That then, ended up being what this case is made out of.  However, you can use any type of wood you fancy.  If what you use is thicker than what I used here (1/4"), then you will need to adjust the lengths of screws which you buy.  This is my first instructable, so I hope that you guys enjoy! I am also open to any feedback you guys have on how I can improve anything.
 
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Step 1: Materials and supplies

Picture of Materials and supplies
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Aside from your Raspberry Pi, all of the materials needed for this case can be found at your local hardware store (in my case, home depot).

Materials:
One 1/4" x 3.5" x 2' Red oak hobby board ($3.50) (a hint, you can get this cut to length at the store)
Twelve 1/4" Hex nuts ($1.50)
Eight 1/4" washers ($1.20)
Four 1/4" x 2" Hex bolts ($0.80)
Two #4 3/4" long machine screws (I got a pack with 8 screws and nuts) ($1.20)
Eight #4 nuts

Total cost with tax: $8.50

Tools:
Power drill (or hand drill if you want to go old school)
7/64" drill bit
1/4" drill bit
Small 'C' clamp
Sandpaper
Pencil
Ruler
Smallish screwdriver

Other:
One raspberry pi

Step 2: Getting started on the base

1) The first step is to take your two foot hobby board and cut two 6" lengths from it.  As I don't own a wood saw or a miter box, I borrowed Home Depot's and had the wood cut in the store.

2) Take your sandpaper and sand down the rough edges where it was cut.
kerens12 months ago

i made it a little bigger so that I could fit in my breadboard too.....

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jgroner4 months ago
Very Nice! Just finished mine from this instructable! Took about 30 mins and I had almost everything laying around so I got out under $5!
rgrimble made it!5 months ago

Made with some changes. I used #10 screws.

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mstaj11 months ago
Neat project, I built mine following your pattern with just a few changes:
1) I have an older RPi with no mounting holes, so I used standoffs embedded in epoxy putty.  I think for future builds I would also use standoffs, not the #4 screws.
2) I installed a 1/4-20 T-nut for mounting on a tripod
3) cut a slot for the RPi camera cable , and drilled a hole for a camera mount from Pimoroni
4) Spray painted the nuts, bolts, and washers flat black, since I had the paint already.

Better planning on my part and I would have made the camera mount neater, but I ran into interference problems with the USB port the camera and the camera cable. I also have a tight fit squeezing the microUSB power into the case, it hits the post at that corner.  I'll take that into account for my next build
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Nick_de11 months ago
Nice! :) For more wooden cases for your raspberry pi please take a look at www.bitcrafts.eu
Amraxis11 months ago
Different Home Depots will stock different items. The one I went to didn't have any 1/4" hobby boards at 3 1/2" wide, closest they had was 4" by 4 feet, ugh I only needed a foot haha.

Apparently it is hard to find hex bolts that long that have the thread that go the length of the bolt. Had to settle for machine bolts. Oh well, will still look pretty good.

Could also use wing nuts, or acorn nuts; or brass hardware. Make it look a little different.
prakis11 months ago
That's cool.
MrLeg11 months ago
I'm thinking of doing this with wooden dowels, and maybe using a wood-burning tool to put a pattern on the top. Thanks for the idea! Cool design.
patcheye11 months ago
You can also try standoffs for a computer, various sizes are available from online computer geek-type store, like Newegg, Cyberguys and many more. I made a tabletop slotted holder with them to separate the slots, some are wider than others, as some are for papers and some are for my various E-xacto knife kits. I got round standoffs in brass, which are a little more pricey but you will have round tubes at your corners, without having to sleeve machine screws. Don't forget to buy the matching nuts as the nuts are as hard to find as the standoffs. I have built many small projects with them and they hold well and are not bad to look at. I have used many hobby boards, and prefer 1/2" to 1/4" as i can then recess the holes and use a dowel plug to cover it.

I used to build computers for my friends, so I had some in my Miscellaneous Computer Parts box. Standoffs are a little sturdier than machine screws, even sleeved, as they are built to accept both side loading and weight bearing. If I don't have anything, I always check the computer stores for parts I can use as they are always of a very high quality and built to close tolerances. I bought what I thought was a good deal on EBay and found nothing in the entire lot I would use. On the other hand, they only cost $10, and that is a cheap price for a good lesson.
gcanders11 months ago
Thank you so very much for posting this and giving me a solution for my Arduinos! I am sick of working with them in those crappy plastic holders. I wanted something permanent and this is most likely my answer. Nice work, good sir.
ralphab11 months ago
In place of "set nuts" cut a piece of tubing the right length and slip over screw and tighten to secure.
If you have a dremel or 1/8" drill bit, you could drill vent holes or make a pattern in the wood like you see on some wooden cell phone cases. This is great as is!
I like the clean and simple approach. I think I'll do something similar, though I might try to hide the bolts at the top by using screw-in furniture inserts. I have some left over from another project, and I like the idea of what appears to be an all-wood container that is open on the sides.
desertranger11 months ago
Problem is with all these slick and pretty cases (mine's cllear plastic) i thehs tlll have wres running our of them every which way.

Still a nice project though.
MeVirtually11 months ago
I currently have my pi in a small cardboard box I had laying around with cutouts I made for the ports. I'd been thinking about an acrylic solution, too, but I love the wood look!

One idea I'd like to figure out is to have the bolts look more like posts (no visible threads of the bolts, just a smooth surface).
I only needed HDMI, USB host, and USB power ports on my RPi. My solutions was to use the Element14 box it came in and cut perfectly sized holes for each of those. I toss it in my backpack and carry it all the time. It's held up great.
I only needed HDMI, USB host, and USB power ports on my RPi. My solutions was to use the Element14 box it came in and cut perfectly sized holes for each of those. I toss it in my backpack and carry it all the time. It's held up great.
schou MeVirtually11 months ago
Get some aluminum or steel tubing, cut them to length, and slip them over the bolts.
MeVirtually schou11 months ago
Thanks for the idea. I went to pick up the materials and looked for that, but the employee working that section suggested some spacers to slide over the bolts, which were just the right size, so I went with that.
rsucgang11 months ago
Very nice! I love the woodwork and clean presentation.
nebupm11 months ago
It is a very novel idea and a cool work. I liked it.
Project 2311 months ago
http://www.instructables.com/community/Instructables-android-ios-app-improvement-idea/
jbntx11 months ago
Looks very nice, good stuff.
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