helo. this instructable is a guide to make a laptop case and a messenger bag out of an old computer with the help of only a backpack, scissors, screwdriver, and duck tape (optional hot glue and foam) It can be completed in under an hour (It took roughly 45 minutes when it was made for this instructable but that was only after the materials were at hand and the plan was written out). Not only will you turn heads having a computer over your shoulder and a monitor in your hand both are extremely durable and can be used as suitcases for the voyages of your life.
Step 1: Gather Supplies and Tools
Supplies- Old Computer (tower and monitor), Backpack, Duct Tape, and optional Hot Glue
Tools- Scissors and Screwdriver
a minimal amount of supplies and tools are needed. all in which can either be located dirt cheap, found around the house, or in the best cases found trash picking. a backpack was originally going to play a larger role but as time when on I found great substitutes to my original plan. *noted variations that were in either the brainstorming or the original plan will be noted with these stars*
Step 2: Lets Get to Taking Things Apart
the fun starts. There are 3 main things to take apart here. The computer (also identified as the tower), the monitor, and the backpack (this segment of the instructable follows that order)
now that we have what we need in front of us lets begin to accomplish.
the taking apart can be completed in any order, i find it easiest to have the deconstruction complete and all the components organized before moving onto the reworking but feel free to be a dog seeing color and do your own thing
-i went biggest to smallest starting with the tower. First is first and slide open the casing. (some casing can require a little more work to get open such as unscrewing or buttons to press.)
!!NOTE: this computer was kept around for parts for years and a couple years back I had removed the power supply to implant in another pc. you will need to remove that also before continuing and that generally should only consist of removing a couple screws and maybe a cage or so forth!!!!
-the main idea now is gutting it out, many set ups are different and might require more or less work depending on the model.
-i began with unscrewing and taking out the motherboard. I recommend beginning to organize the screws that you take out now because at one point some will be used further down the line (there was at least 7 screws not including what needed to be removed for the usb and dvi ports) !!! KEEP the connecting cables that attach the peripherals to the mother board they WILL BE USED with this project.!!!
- from there it was off to the cd drive which for this casing essentially just clicked out. (i decided to keep the floppy drive in to use as a divider for the completed messenger bag/ suitcase)
-next i wanted to remove the face plate off of the cd drive so that I could reattach it to add to flare of the finished item. on the back of this cd drive there were 3 small tabs that had to be pressed to remove the face plate. I took the plate and duct taped it in its original location. (the duct tape seen in the photograph on the front was meant only to temporarily hold it in place while I duct taped it on the inside and can be removed upon completion
-This is the part that takes the most time. its like an onion almost except we need to get through all the layers of unscrewing just to take off the parts we see first.
!!! What we need from the monitor: 1.front casing, square cage, and if your like me the display knobs (they are pretty much just for looks)
-unscrew the back, and remove shell, unscrew some more (alot more), then remove cages, try to pull things apart but doesnt work, easter egg hunt for the hidden screws unscrew those, unclip random parts. as i mentioned before all we need is the FRONT CASING and the SQUARE CAGE(the square cage is the grey box you see separating from the tube/screen of the monitor and later see alone sitting in the front casing) and after it is almost all undone those 2 parts should finally be able to be harvested.
-I went back after getting the previous two pieces to grab the 3 knobs and duct tape them back into their spots which should be the last thing for the monitor as a whole. *I did not use any other parts of the monitor for this project but in the original plans one of the cages was used in the laptop case as the back*
!!! the main pieces of the backpack used are the back and the straps!!!!
-so many possibilities. I used the scissors to break the thread and then ripped the rest from there. I also give an example of how to cut the thread lining with an razor and even cutting the individual threads on the inside.. you could also just cut the bag itself and disregard the seams at all.
Step 3: Construction of the Laptop Case
Here is a list of the parts that we are going to use from the deconstruction to make the laptop case; faceplate from monitor, square cage, screws from monitor, back of backpack and straps. Duct tape is essential. and if you are making this to truly protect your laptop rather than just have a handbag foam will probably be your best bet like I used but an old sweater or comforter would do just fine.
the frame that you are building this up from consists of the faceplate
lay faceplate face down and place the back of the backpack down with the inside fabric facing up
start with punching holes with the scissors(or other tool) in the corners where when it comes time we will be bolting the square cage to.
use duct tape to tape the back in (option if available use hot glue to glue back to faceplate
If using foam cut to the shape of the square cage
place square cage back into the faceplate with the foam inside
now its time to screw the cage to the faceplate. (use all your weight to press down to get it as snug as you can) screw at least the four corners (that is what I did and it is mighty snug with only the 4 screws)
If you are padding it cut foam pieces to put around the top edge of the square cage. I hot glued it down but duct tape should work fine on most foams
originally it was planned to have a soft back from the front of the backpack with the pockets in the back but i decided last minute to use one of the panels from the tower to make the side. other options i considered were duct tape covered card board or using one of the other pieces of the monitor cage.
now cut a new piece of foam to match the whole inside the padded square cage. this not only keeps the laptop protected but keeps the case shut when closed
next i hot glued that piece in place on the panel and line it up so that with the panel the case would stand straight on its bottom.
being that this is a case it has to have some way of opening and closing. I chose to make a duct tape hinge on the bottom of the faceplate connecting to the bottom of the panel, now that its connected close it and stand it straight.
if you see a disconnect between the faceplate and the panel cut foam to fill and either duct tape or glue it onto the panel. put layer of duct tape over that new foam and make sure it still opens and closes nicely while having a pretty duct tape outer.
* I originally planned to upholster the interior but really fell in love with the aqua foam.
I attached one strap on each side of the case so when carries my computer doesnt fall out.
It worked completely fine from there and I had a great looking new laptop case. I have added 2 new things since originally making it that includes velcro on the inside to keep it closed and an old belt cut down at the top
Step 4: The Traveller
Its more of a mix between a messenger bag and a suit case. fast to make and very useful.
Begin with the hollowed out tower all there really needs to be added is the strap. we will be using the second R for this one.... REUSE
we will be using the connecting cables from the motherboard for this act
so 2 cables and duct tapes gets a good ol' durable strap. i tried many places on the computer to have the straps each one pretty much just as well as the other. so take that good time duct tape and layer it up to connect the strap to the tower.
you can add dividers and pockets inside, but i chose to utilize open space for my personal project.
so now its just pack it up slide the panel from the open side back and ready to go. for me it makes a good day trip bag.
Step 5: Good to Go Good to Be
There you go you have your self a new laptop case and traveller. hope it will help questions are welcome. - (this instructable was written by salvatore of helo projects)