Picture of Steampunk solar USB charger
The full title for this project is the "Sun-Powered Lithium Polymer 2600 Milliamp Hour Voltage Box," but that wouldn't fit in the title line;-)

This instructable will not show you how to build a solar charger device. I bought mine. But there are number of fine Instructables that will show you how to do this, so if that is your goal, keep looking.

This simple instructable will show you how to build a steampunk themed case for a very modern looking solar charger, and some techniques that can be used to build a steampunk case for any number of devices.

This case serves a number of purposes: The first is to store the solar/USB charger and all the accessories that come with. The second purpose is to serve as a stand to charge the device in the sun, reducing the risk of scratches or damage. And the third is to just look really cool;-)

I'm shocked, honored and amazed, but this was actually a GRAND PRIZE WINNER in the Cabot Woodcare contest!

• Solar charger
• Wooden box
• Brass corners
• Scrap leather
• Scrap aluminum
• Label (optional)

Supplies & tools:
• Stain & paint
• Power drill
• Rotary tool
• Pliers
• Utility knife


The details are everything here! The brass corners, the stain, the vintage fonts, and printing them on parchment paper: a perfect combination of ideas to give an excellent look. Good work! Thanks for including the font names by the way!

TMarizzle2 years ago
Totally stealing this box! I thought about possibly making the lid of it almost like a miniature door instead of sliding it completely off. I'm not sure how to keep it closed though. Maybe a little latch or some magnets? Anyways, awesome job on the box.
Winged Fist (author)  TMarizzle2 years ago
It's not stealing if you give credit where credit is due;-) Hey, this little box scored me a $1,000 grill... Hope your's serves you that well;-) Good luck with the locking mechanism, and please do post a pic if you make one like this!
diegofenner2 years ago
You are a true artist.
You could make a living from this kind of artwork! Amazing =)
Do you have any suggestions for a desk lamp? I have one that's horrible, standard white..

Congratulations again, it's an art piece.
Winged Fist (author)  diegofenner2 years ago
Diegofenner - I posted a project earlier this month that you might find of interest... Maybe some ideas for your boring desk lamp?;-)

Plumber's lace-curtain luminaire.
Thank you! :)
Winged Fist (author)  diegofenner2 years ago
Thank you for your kind words diegofenner!

I'm sure there are plenty of thing you could do to spice up your boring desk lamp... If your looking for a steampunk flare, maybe some metallic copper spray paint and an old-fashioned style Edison bulb?;-)
Very very cool...
The label makes this project! I love it...

Here is a trick you may or may not be aware of. If you printed the label with a laser printer, you could "Iron" the label directly onto the wood then finish it.
though, I think the actual label on your project "adds" to the appeal.
Winged Fist (author)  SlickSqueegie2 years ago
Not quite sure how well ironing would affix this label to wood. Also might end up burning the label! But so far the glue stick has done the trick. If it comes off, I may add a coat of polyurethane. Thanks for the suggestion!
I worded that in-correctly... I fyou printed the label out with a "laser printer" in "mirrored" format. The iron process transfers the toner from the paper to the wood and then poly over it... I should do an instructable on this. lol
Winged Fist (author)  SlickSqueegie2 years ago
Ahhh, now I understand! That sounds like a really cool technique. You should certainly write up an Instructable, and I will keep this in mind for future projects. But for the purposes of this build, I think you're right that the physical parchment paper label really gives this device an authentic 19th century look and feel.
ehudwill2 years ago
Congrats on the win. Great project.
Winged Fist (author)  ehudwill2 years ago
Thanks ehudwill!
Great instructable! I love the label!
Winged Fist (author)  bricabracwizard2 years ago
Thanks bricabrac - I put a lot of thought into the label... I think it really gives this build a touch of steampunk authenticity, while actually explaining what it does;-)
Winged Fist (author)  ricardouvina2 years ago
Oi Ricardo - Eu fiz isso em nossa casa na região dos lagos;-)
Parabens pelo projeto!
Schmidty162 years ago
nice man but i wold have mounted on the back so u could flip it over and charge it easier
Winged Fist (author)  Schmidty162 years ago
Schmidty16 - Do you mean mount the solar charger on the bottom of the box, on the outside, or mount the USB port on the back face of the box, opposite the knob?
Winged Fist (author)  Schmidty162 years ago
That wouldn't protect the delicate charger from scrapes and scratches, and kind of defeats the purpose of having a protective storage box! But I'd be happy to see a picture of yours if you decide to build one like this;-)
you could put pexi glass around it and im just making suggestions and i vent made one yet
batman962 years ago
Wow didn't believe it, but the direct translation from Google for the label of that puzzle is "head breaks"

I don't know if I believe in Google translate anymore.
Junophor2 years ago
Just great job!!
Winged Fist (author)  Junophor2 years ago
Thanks Junophor! Means a lot coming from a master of the steampunk art;-)
Lovely build. :D

I always wanted the patience to put special finishes on things!
Winged Fist (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thanks! If you've ever polished your nails, its not all that different from adding a coat of stain;-) Don't tell anyone, but sometimes I cheat and use nail polish on my projects instead of paint or stain;-)
I must say I love the label, it's perfect!
Great job as always Winged Fist!
Winged Fist (author)  BrefelanDesigns2 years ago
Thanks Electfire! Those typography classes I took in a previous lifetime really paid off;-)