Introduction: USB Shiftage Key!!

This Instructable will show you some basic USB modding techniques by guiding you through the construction of the shown USB shift key, you can of course use any keyboard key, or indeed any object at all to fit a USB flash drive into.

This instructable used...
1x Kingston Data Traveller 1GB - Chosen for it's reliability size and low prices - I got mine for 1.60.
1x Donor keyboard key - I used the shift key because its easily obtainable, easily recognisable and big enough to house the usb key.
1x Tube of general all purpose filler - You could also use epoxy or hot glue if you like.
1x Pot of acrylic paint to match the cooler of the keyboard key.
A wee touch of tippex (or "liquid paper")

And the tools...
I used a decorators sanding block but sanding paper would do.
You might need a small drill bit to create a small hole on the key so an LED can shine through IF the key you use is completely opaque.
You might want a paint brush - obviously to paint with.

This Instructable has no real reason to fail, it worked for me and uses techniques which should cause no damage to your own items. Nevertheless for legal reasons i must disclaim= follow this instructable at your own discretion and in knowledge of the risks, i accept no responsibility for damage to USB drives as a result of falsely following this instructable, or this instructable not working for you.

Step 1: Bust Out the Electronics!!

Grab a pair of pliers and take the USB drive apart.
Take the side which isn't the LED side off first, once you have the drive itself out then move on to the next step.


I sealed my usb drive with Tippex once it was out of the casing, this was to avoid static damage to the device, it was just a precaution and may not be 100% necessary.

Step 3: Adapt Your Key

Find which ever key you want to sink your USB drive into and remove the little stand-offs from the inside. I did this with a pair of needle nose pliers.

Once you've done that take a craft knife and remove a section on one end of the key that is the same size as your usb connector.

Step 4: Pack Out, and Cover Up

The next step is to add something to your key to fill the space left to one end, if you don't do this step the the drive will shoot backwards into the key when you try to plug it in. I just used a little bit of a rubber spacer.

I then precision engineered a slice of a tic-tac box to cover over the whole thing. This sat just on top of the drive about 2mm lower than the top of the key and filled the whole space of the key. This step is to fill up some of the space already so that we need use less filler/epoxy/hot-glue when we start the process of finishing the drive.

Step 5: Fill and File.

Fill the remainder of the space with your chosen media. When it sets/dries, sand it down.

I built mine up gradually, laying in one lot of filler, letting it dry a little, compacting it, and refilling the key. Repetition of this technique allowed me to build a dense protective layer of filler in the key. Because it was compacted/pushed down it became stronger.

Step 6: Clean and Paint.

The next and final step is to clean up any filler that's made its way onto the key itself. I just used a licked finger, if you don't have any fingers yourself you might want to find someone with nice clean fingers that you can lick. I then painted my filler in a 'Flat black' acrylic paint. This dried to look surprisingly like the key itself in colour. Good times.