In this Instructable I will show you how to create your own customized ergonomic pen with a built in USB flash drive. Shaped ergonomically to fit your personal writing style. This is a project that I do with 11-12 year old students and it is suitable for kids as well as adults.
You will need:
MDF 125mm x 30 x 20 (softwood will work but MDF is very easy to work with)
USB flash drive
Half round file
Drill. (A pillar drill would be best)
3.5 mm drill bit
Spray filler. (Car body filler that is sandable is best)
Note: I use Instructables as a teaching tool in my classroom so please keep this in mind.
Step 1: Marking Out
Measure and cut your MDF to the right size. In this case, 125 x 40 x 20 (mm)
Mark out lines for where you will plane down the corners to create a 'octagonal' shape on the end of the work.
Step 2: Plane Away
Plane the edges down to the lines. Hold your work in a timber vice.
Step 3: Shaping
In this step I roughly marked out how I hold a pen when writing and worked out how I needed to shape the pen. I use the plane to 'round' the work from the rough octagonal shape from the last step. Then I planned down the top of the work considerably for my index finger and shaped to sides for where my thumb and middle finger would grip the pen. Using the half round file, utility knife and sandpaper to shape my pen.
MDF sands really well and I found using a foam rubber sanding block made the job easy.
Step 4: Breaking Stuff
The USB flash drive I used was a rubber bracelet type that was given to me as a prize. It was nice and easy to get he drive out. All USB drives can be taken apart and used.
Take care not to damage anything.
Step 5: Drilling
Drill the hole for the pen cartridge. Set up the pen in the pillar drill so the it will drill nice and straight. I had to make an extra long drill bit by brazing a steel rod onto a 3.5mm drill bit. You can buy shorter pen cartridges....wish I had thought of that!
Set the depth on the drill to allow the pen cartridge to protrude by 3 mm or so.
Mark out the back of the pen to take the usb flash drive. Mine was a rectangle measuring 12mm x 5mm. I drilled three holes inside this rectangle then carved out the rest.
Step 6: USB Hole
Hole for the flash drive carved out using small, hand carving tools. Be careful and the MDF may split.
Step 7: Sanding, Spraying & Paintning
Sand down the body of the pen with finer and finer grit sandpaper.
Then spay with the sandable filler. Allow time to dry and sand again with 800 grit emery paper.
Wipe clean with a cloth.
Spray paint with the colour of your choice.
You should be able to achieve a high gloss finish.
With the use of masking tape, you can achieve a really cool look. I went for basic black.
Step 8: Glue Stuff In.
Glue the pen cartridge and the flash drive in after the paint has dried.