Are you sick of picking up your mouse and the batteries falling out or rocking out in Rockband only to have your batteries fall out mid song? Do you have some form of tape holding your batteries in? Do you want you credit card to work for you instead of against you?
This Instructable will guild you through the process of making a kick ass battery cover for your lost or broken small device battery cover. This works with almost everything I own except for some TV remotes. In this Instructable I'm going to show you how I made two different styles of battery covers. I use two different examples not because I feel like you can't adapt this to any device but because I have a mixed array of pictures from two different devices! I hadn't even realized that this was the best Instructable ever until I was about mid way through the first cover.
The Instructable hopefully will become a launch point for many more on the use of old "Credit Cards". I use the term "Credit Card" as a generic term for any small piece of plastic that various company's hand out, some for free and some for your soul. You can get a stock pile of these by going to any store that offers a club card or membership cards. For this Instructable I will be using a gift card from Game Stop and a Wells Fargo ATM.
Is there a better use of a Credit Card out there? YOU TELL ME!!!
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Step 1: Materials Needed
Household Items Needed:
2--- "Credit Cards" or like card. Any plastic card will work for this Instructable! I would recommend at minimum two of these before starting as I over cut the first one I made.
Note: From here on out I will be referring to the card as a "credit card" for simplicity.
(you can get these for nothing at places like the grocery store or any other place that furnishes "club cards").
1---- Pair of scissors.
1---- Device that heats things up i.e.. Lighter, matches, the stove, heat adjustable soldering iron...... Gas Stoves are best because they serves two purposes, heat and a platform for bending, I will be using a combination of the lighter and the gas stove.
1---Medium C-clamp-- Depending on the technique used you may or may not need this. Read ON!
1---Sharpee Pen or felt tip pen
1---Crap in "eye removal tool", referred to as "ERT" from here on out. Or you can use a nail, a paper clip or any other small cylindrical metal object.
1---Something straight edged for aligning your marks. I used another credit card for this as the size was appropriate and it had a nice square edge.
*Optional or Additional
1---Can of Plasti-Dip ( even if you don't plan on using this stuff for this Instructable I would suggest picking up a can as soon as possible, it has thousands of uses ).
1---Set of alligator clips with wire tying them together
1---Clock with pendulum arm or as I call it, "My Centrifuge".
1/2---Set of Common Sense (perhaps the hardest thing to come by for this Instructable). Perhaps this should be the first on the list or on any list.
Please See All Squbbles (square bubbles) for additional instructions and information
As a warning to all, this Instructable involves the use of heat and sharp objects so please take care and focus on what your doing while doing.
Step 2: Measure Twice
This step is very easy. I take the card and set it on the device and mark out where the slots on the device are. I align one of the sides of the card to one side of the opening to make for less cutting and a higher level of accuracy. I make sure of my measurements after I make my marks by putting the card back up to the battery compartment and giving it a twice over.
Please see pictures and hover over picture Squbbles (Square Bubbles)!!!
Step 3: Cutting
Cutting plastic with scissors is relatively easy. Since it is so easy care needs to be taken so that you do not over cut the card and create weak points in the plastic. While it only takes about 15 minutes to make a cover why not take care now so you can move on to something else that needs one.
Step 4: Now We Bend, Mold, Stab and Shape the Rockband Controller Cover
As mentioned earlier the gas stove is my preferred method of heating/bending for this Instructable as it is a two bird kind of thing. I would recommend starting out with about 5 second of heat applied to the metal as you want to heat it just enough to get the plastic WARM enough to bend, not melt.
TURN THE STOVE OFF BEFORE THE INTRODUCTION OF PLASTIC TO THE AREA, PLASTIC IS FLAMMABLE AND THE SMOKE IS TOXIC.
***For the Rockband Controller we only need a slight bend on the two tabs to get the Credit Card to sit flush with the back of the controller. Then we take the ERT, heat it up and poke a hole in the area where the screw hole is, I just kind of guesstimated (can you believe that "guesstimated" didn't trigger spell check) where the hole goes, it seemed to work out well for me. If your comfort level isn't high enough you can set the cover back in the controller and mark out where it should go.
I suggest doing this in a ventilated area as there is a risk of creating toxic smoke as the heat level required to melt plastic is higher in this step. I didn't get any smoke through this project but I don't want you to get yourself a case of the cancer. As an alternative you can use a Dremel tool or drill for this but then there is carcinogenic dust. Lesser of the two evils?
Step 5: Rockband Controller Finished
So we marked, cut, stuck and bent this cover into submission. Now all that is left for this one is to put fresh batteries in the controller and put a screw in it.
Step 6: Now We Bend, Mold and Shape the Mouse Cover
For this step I have used the C-Clamp to clamp the Butter Knife to my end table. I use this instead of the stove only because the width of the metal on the stove was larger than the bend that was required. As with the stove technique I have taken my Candle Lighter and heated the knife for about 5 seconds. I set the cut Credit Card on top and bend the tabs down to what I believe to be 90 degree's.
For the second bend it goes pretty much the same as the first except this time we need to make sure that the depth of the bend matches the depth of the slot on the mouse. For this I just set the tabs in the slots and did another guesstimated measurement of the depth that it set in.
Step 7: Mouse Battey Cover Finished or Maybe Not
So we marked, cut, clamped, heated, bent and what are we left with? A Bad Ass Battery Cover!! All that is left is for you to squish the cover together a little bit and fit it into place. You can stop here with a pretty good battery cover that is kind of stylish and will last quite a while but why when we can do one better?
Step 8: Introducing Plasti-Dip
This stuff is great for lots of things but this may well be one of the most practical uses that I have found for it.
This is not going to be a step by step on the application of Plasti-Dip as the can explains the process well.
First we are going to get out our alligator clip and attach it to the very edge of our Credit Card Cover.
Next we open up our Plasti-Dip and slowly dip our cover in. Make sure that you have coated the whole thing and then slowly pull it back out.
Now simply attach the other end of you alligator clip helper to something that can support it so it can dry. Notice that I have placed a piece of paper under the dipped cover to catch any thing that may drip off of the cover. This stuff sets up on the outside fairly quick but there is the chance that you could get some running.
You will notice that when your cover starts to dry it will form a "skin" of dried plastic. Now is the time for you to press on the "skin" to smooth out the coating as there will be a couple of high spots on the surface.
To cure this unevenness there is another way that I have found, its gonna seem silly but it works. My centrifuge. After the initial skin has formed, take your alligator clip end and attach it to something that is going to create some additional gravity. As you can see from the pic it doesn't take much as I've used a cheap clock. You can use a ceiling fan set on a low setting.
Step 9: Finished Product
This took 15-20 minutes total for me, minus the curing time of the Plasti-Dip. I have since made several other covers using this same method. I have also tried laser cutting some PETG, mylar, ridged vinyl and I by far like this method the most. IF YOU USE AN ACTIVE CREDIT CARD YOU ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO SAVE MONEY and at the same time save money!!!!
Destroy those credit cards today and thank me tomorrow!
If you like this tutorial or find this to be useful please post feedback as it took me about six months to write this Instructable!