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Here is the fabled steel encased Creative Zen that matches my newly created Steampunk headphones. Those can be seen in my other entries.

Difficulty: either learning how to weld will make this a bit hard, or having someone weld for you will make the cost go up. You also have to know how to use a rivet gun, a power drill, and a tap wrench. On the other hand, you probably could substitute metal epoxy for the welding, since it's not holding much weight...

Step 1: The Base.

Made the basic shell in my senior year of high school, in Welding class (one of the best classes ever, in my opinion)

Took a scrap of sheet steel, probably 1/16 thickness, and bent in into a C shaped channel that my Zen would almost fit into, except for the control buttons on the side.

Then I ground out the gaps in the edges of the C to allow the buttons to fit.

I took a scavenged hinge and, after a failed attempt on one end(a crappy weld) I managed to Oxi-acetaline torch weld it onto the other end of the C.

Sorry the pic is sideways. Grink! goes my neck.

Step 2: The Lid

For the lid, I used another 1/16" sheet of steel scrap and bent it into the L shape I wanted, then hacksawed/filed/sanded the screen opening out.
Then I drilled the holes for the screws that would anchor it to the hinge, and tapped them with a much-searched-for M5 tap (the school shop had only English standard taps, and my garage was full of metric screws)
Then I screwed it together with loctite, and ground off the protruding ends of the screws to be flush with the sheet steel.

Step 3: The Padding.

I needed some kind of shock absorption, so I superglued a cut-up mousepad inside the lid, grippy side towards the Zen.
The stuff also keeps it from moving around in the several mm of vertical space it has in there.

Step 4: The Clasp.

This thing has gone through several less than satisfactory methods of keeping the lid closed, and right now there is a key chain looped over a bicycle chainring bolt keeping it shut. Looks interesting, and is all metal, but I worry about the Chinese whatever-it-is snapping at some inconvenient time. Whatever.

Step 5: The Decoration

I added the gears a year or so later, on a break from college. Had a bunch lying around from a dead, dissected printer. Looks kind of odd, white nylon gears on a steel device... but I'll figure out some kind of magnesium paint or something to make them look the part.

This pic is also sideways. Erk.

Step 6: Afterthoughts....

It just occurred to me that this thing has none of the wonderfully Olde Tyme stuff that we call brass and are so fond of (some of us are)
I believe I shall find either some brass instrument case corners, or some cheaper steel ones and subject them to the flame, and I shall have a less sharp and gougy device.
pics shall follow.........
You could make the whole thing out of brass and copper, that would mean you could solder instead of welding, and you could also solder brass clock gears on the back.
Nice! For the gears in the back paint it gold! :P
Props! I love my Altoids case I made years ago for my micro, but don't have the resources to make one like this for my big player. Two other ways to consider painting the gears- Paint them silver, then get some gold leaf to give it a worn antique look. I would probably go for layer if gray, topped with black and give it that worn metal/gun metal look. Of course, LACQUER! Isn't it awkward to hold/carry with the gears on there?
I agree. The white cogs make it look a bit weird.
actually, weighing what it does, it was kinda prone to slipping from my hand before... but the gears accomplish the same thing as Knurling does on say, a Maglite (brandname, restrain your legal-stormtroopers!) or Mountain bike barends: grippiness!
finally someone makes a creative instructables
Sorry man but the plastic gears killed it............................ other wise pretty awesome, im thinking of making something similar for my iphone.
Ok that is VERY cool. Unfortunately I can't weld yet... I will try this next year in metalshop though!
Instead of those plastic, white gears. I would put gears from an old watch that doesn't work anymore or that you don't need and make them look old and rusted.
how'd you get the steel to look like that?
i was looking up "ways to protect your ipod" but i think this dominates!
Cool idea i am DEFINETLY trying this

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Bio: I enjoy making things of all sorts, with an emphasis on bicycles, tiny/useful/just plain nifty devices, cartoonish arch-villany, and not destroying the planet ... More »
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