The perfect gift! These have been very popular as desk ornaments, or on a window sill. great for anyone who uses a computer in their jobs or for fun.
I have been making these for a while now, and whenever I go to craft shows, they are the first thing to sell..
Glue. I prefer GOOP, but Super Glue could work as well.
1 dead hard drive
1 floppy drive
9 floppy disks
about a foot of large gauge copper wire
about a foot thin gauge copper wire
brass (or any thin metal) sheet
Various implements of destruction. such as:
needle nose pliers
set of very small torx or hex wrenches
selection of screwdrivers, phlips and flat
If this is your first time doing disassembly of a floppy and hard drives, some Advil may be in order as well. Finding that last stubborn screw can be a test of the soul. luckily, we don't have to be all that gentile on our disassembly.
For the CD and Floppy drives, I usually prefer laptop drives, but desktop drives will work as well.
Most, if not all of this can be substituted by stuff that is the right shape or size. Be creative!
Step 1: Stripping the Parts
Most computer dorks (like me) have boxes of old stuff laying around that is just too good to throw out. this is the chance to get some use out of it, and hopefully thin out the collection a little. To start, you need to take the 9 floppies, the floppy drive, and the hard drive and strip them down for the parts we need.
The easiest way to crack open the floppy disks themselves is to grab either end and twist it like you are wringing out a towel. you should feel it *snap, and then the sides should come apart pretty easy. Take the black disk out. gently peel the black plastic disk off the metal center. the center is the part we want to save. do this for all nine.
Step 2: Stripping the Drives
Fist thing, for the next steps, I really recommend wearing some gloves. The floppy and hard drives can have some rather surprisingly sharp edges inside. A set of safety glasses when prying things off may be in order as well. You have been warned.
From the floppy drive we need the center motor winding. I can't give you hard core solid instructions on disassembling the floppy, as they are all somewhat unique. best thing I can say is take out all the screws you can see, and then start prying with a screwdriver. you want the main motor assembly.
The hardest part of this procedure is getting the motor "cap" off the drive without damaging the windings. The best way is to work a screwdriver just under the edge and twist, prying it up. move over a fraction, and do it again. eventually it will pop. then gently work the motor winding off the spindle the same way. Save both the cap and the winding,.
Disassembling the hard drive can be a pain, but there are many treasures inside. different manufacturer's have different architectures. Usually there are a series of screws holding the drive case together. Make sure you check under the stickers, they always hide a few. once it's open, remove the screws holding the drive head and platters in. once the platters are out, take out the drive spindle. this will be the base. If the drive spindle does not come out ease, you could very well leave it in and use the entire bottom as the base for your flower.
Disassembly is similar to the floppy. take out the screws and start prying.
Step 3: Flower Head
Take the motor cap from the floppy. Place it up side down on the desk. place the motor winding on top. glue 8 of the floppy centers around the winding. I usually start with 4, making an X, then glue the other 4 in the gaps after they have set up for a while. It prevents things from sliding around too much. When all 8 are set up pretty well, glue the last floppy center on the top.
Let it dry over night. I have wrecked more than a few when I got over anxious to move on.
Step 4: Mount Head
Flip the head over so you are looking at the front of it. Take about 6 to 8 inches of large gauge wire. It should be stiff enough that it takes some effort to bend. make a small loop and bend to a 90 degree angle. feed the wire through the head of the flower, and glue the loop to the inside of the head.
Wait for the glue to dry, then glue a second coil over the center to hide the mounting, or anything else you have laying around. small gears work well. bend the wire coming out of the back into an S shape, mimicking a real stalk of some kind. using a needle nose, bend another small loop in the end. this will be used to mount it to the base.
Step 5: Leaves
I usually have some extra thin gauge tin or sheet metal left over from disassembling the CD and Floppy drives. Cut out two pointed ovals, basically leaf shapes. Crease them down the middle and draw lines with an exacto knife or screwdriver.
Cut about 3 inches of stiff wire. make a slight bend, and glue the leaves on.
When the glue is dry, take some of the thin gauge wire, and wrap the center. use the remaining ends to attach it to the stem of the flower. I usually let the rest hang down and wrap up the ends to form little tendrils.
Step 6: Finishing
For stability, I usually glue one of the hard drive platters to the bottom. Makes a nice base. I also place a drop of glue on the connection point between the leaves and the stem, as well as the screw holding the stem on the base. This will keep them from loosening up over time.
I have also attached bugs made from IC chips to small wires and attached them to the base. the ready made mounting points have all kinds of possibilities.
Different hardware will have different configurations inside, so if you make a few of these, they are almost certain to be unique one-of-a-kinds.
For more ideas, check my gallery here: http://photozz.deviantart.com/