"And as they stared in wonder at the glowing box the small device off to their left began to whirr and behold! a luminescence began to grow and fade rythmically while the box's images flashed and changed."
I've been away for a while but I haven't been idle! Here's the first of a few new Instructables on their way!
As an applications developer you can imagine that I do a lot of transferring data. Home to work and back, out from behind firewalls and back etc. I also need to store my own applications that I've developed an of course my writing so that when over at the folks' or friends' houses and an idea strikes I can immediately write it down or use my little tools! So you get it . . . I utilize these little drives extensively but, as usual, I was not pleased with their out of the box look . . .from the branding all over them, to the distinctly modern look, right on down to the mere fact that they are encased in plastic . . . ugh!
Solution: pry them out of their boring little cases and create something worthy of the high profile data stored within! Read on to discover how I applied my love of tinkering and the steampunk aesthetic to a more ordinary device than previous projects!
Step 1: Gather Materials and Tools
"The bench, old and weathered and cracked, stood resolutely in its place. Upon its wizened surface were carefully placed, an array of tools and materials, the fading light glinting off of their metallic faces. They waited with patience for the morrow upon which their crafter would return to his work"
For this project you'll be needing the following materials (some of these are optional depending on your design decisions):
* USB Flash Memory Drive - available nearly everywhere these days
* Length of Copper Pipe (The diameter depends on how wide the circuit board on your drive is. I used 3/4"
* Variety of sizes of brass tubing
* Hot glue
* JB Weld or JB Quick (if this isn't available near you then some sort of strong 2 part epoxy)
* Silver soldier
* Jeweler's flux
* Silver banding (used for making bezels)
* An assortment of brass and steel watch parts
* Metal polish (I used silver polish)
As well as the following tools:
* A vise
* A hammer
* A torch (if you will be soldiering anything to the case - i used oxygen/propane)
* Needle nose pliers
* Pipe cutter for small diameter pipe (a saw will work too but the cutter provides a nice perpendicular cut!)
* Jeweler's saw and several blades
* Spring loaded Center punch (doesn't have to be spring loaded but it helps immensely)
* Drill with various bits
* Fine files
* Sandpaper in varying grits (100, 600, 1200, 8K)
* Hot glue gun
Of course this list is either too extensive or incomplete depending on what sorts of things you wish to do to create your case. This is just a list of what I used to create mine.
Obviously one does not have to use brass tubing, copper piping, and watch parts . . .you could do it with steel pipe, brass tube and old computer parts for a more dystopian/cyberpunk look as well . . .it's entirely up to you!
Part of the fun with the whole steampunk aesthetic is the creativity possible within it's somewhat loose boundaries! I am a writer at heart and with luck will be so by profession sometime soon so for me a lot of the fun is derived in creating a background story for each piece. I imagine workshops and a world gone awry and provide little tidbits of this story as intros for each step. I feel that it gives my pieces a figurative weight which is enjoyable! This is an opportunity to express oneself and create something truly personal and wonderful! Leap at the chance!
Read on for instructions of the actual build!