Make Your Own Steampunk USB




So...I've made my second Steampunk USB and this time I've documented it.
Now I have lots of pictures so that you can see and understand how I've done it.
Hope you enjoy this.

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Step 1: Make the USB Body

Take a copper pipe and cut it to the dessired lenght (this depend on the size of your flash memory)
Use a saw and cut the resulting piece on its lenght, then bend it until you obtain a copper plate.
From this copper plate you will cut a pice that you will bend it in an U form an a pice for the lower side.

Step 2: Make the Front Piece

Take another piece of copper pipe and transform it in a plate.
From this you will make two pieces that have a hole fore the USB  male plug. One piece goes on the front side of the USB and one is for the cover.
To make these pieces use you USB and trace the corect size on the copper plate. Next drill a hole large enough for a file to go trough. Then use the file to give the hole the correct form and size.

Step 3: Solder the USB Body

Take the U shaped piece and the lower piece and solder them together.

Step 4: Make Holes for the LED and Attach the Front Piece

Mark the point where your USB LED is positioned and drill a hole. I used the file to give it a rectangular form because I think it goes better with the USB shape.

After you've made the hole, solder the front piece in place and file down the excess copper and solder.

Step 5: Make the Cover

The cover is similar to the body. You have an U shaped piece, a lower side piece, a front piece with a hole for the USB plug and a back piece. I also made two pieces from copper wire to hold the cover in place. You can see this thing wery clear in th photos.

Step 6: Insert the Flash Drive and Secure It in Place

To secure in place the USB flash memory I've used transparent silicon.
First you have to fill the USB plug with paper so that it doesn't fill with silicone when you push it trough. Then fill the body with silicone and insert the flash memory. Scrape off the excess silicone from the LED holes so that you have a smooth surface.

Step 7: Mount the End Piece on the Body

After the silicone has dried, solder the end piece on the body and remove the excess copper and solder with the file.

Step 8: Add Ornaments

I've made these ornaments using copper wire and little brass rings witch I've obtain from guitar strings. What I've done is just an example. You could do whatever you want. Let your imagination go wild.

Step 9: The Finished Product

This is the result of my hard work. I've wanted to make another USB steampunk for some time but never had the time. Now I've got a little motivated by the USB contest. So if you like what I've done let me know. I like feedback. So feel free to rate it and vote it.

 Thank you for the interest in my work.

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    19 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Well here they are, the long awaited pictures of the flash drive I made.

    Before anything else, I would like to say thank you to the author ZoDo.
    Without his help, I wouldn't have built this.

    The pictures don't show it, but I used a Sandisk Micro Cruzer, because I hated the sliding case design, and because it has an Amber fading / breathing led. So it looks amazing when plugged in.

    The Glass lens is real glass from some optic thing I took apart, don't remember what it was.
    The flash drive is hot glued in, I tried silicone first but it shorted the flash drive.
    The end cap is the only thing not soldered. I didn't feel comfortable soldering with the flash drive in, so I hot glued the end cap on too, this was going to be temporary, just so I could grind it to shape, then JB weld it on after, but after plugging it in I decided to leave it hot glue, because it lets the light out around the end cap too!
    And the chain that holds the cap is stainless steel, it came off of a grill, the grill had this little metal thing that you insert a match into to light the burners if the igniter was to quit and it was chained to the grill with this little chain.

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Nice job, I'm impressed. Really like the way it looks. It's a combinations of my both flash drives. I like the chain idea. If I ever make another steampunk usb I think i will use a chain to link the cap to the body...but I will try to use a copper chain or a brass one, I think it goes better with the design, but that's just my opinion. You can find them in shops where they sell matterials for handmade jewelry.
    P.S. Why don't you make an Instructable out of this and share your creation with the community?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I thought about an instructable, but I didn't take any process pictures because I had to try things over so many times, because I Just couldn't get some things to work.
    If I make another I will though, and I probably will make another, I already got lots of requests from friends.

    I personally like the stainless chain because it sets itself apart from the brass and copper, plus I didn't have a copper or brass one. And jewelry chains are usually bent, this one looks like a miniature chain.

    Actually the brass lens cover was part of a CB radio jack, that was shiny, but i put it in a drill and sanded it because I knew it was brass, then I cut it off with a hack saw blade while spinning it in the drill.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Hello guys, I am new here and I'm interested in this steampunk USB. I got the USB, brass rings, copper wires, and everything else except the copper pipe. I went to my local Home Depot but I couldn't find it. Anybody know if I can get this copper pipe from any house appliance?

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey Great instructable!
    I've got to ask you something though.
    When I try to solder everything together with a mini torch everything that has been previously soldered on melts I can't hold everything together.

    How do you solder on other stuff without melting what's already there?
    Do you use an electronics soldering iron?
    How did you solder then end plate on without melting the flash drive?

    Thanks for the inspiration.

    4 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I know what you mean...I encountered this problem when I soldered the small ornamental pieces. I also used a mini torch. My solution for this is to put the pieces that you want to solder, in place and wrap them tight with wire to hold them still while soldering. This way, even if what you previosly soldered is melting , it won't move from it's place. Or you could use a damp cloth to cover the parts that you don't want to melt.
    And as for soldering the end plate without melting the flash drive...the drive is protected from the heat by the silicone. Just put the flare from the torch on a dried piece of silicone and you can see it is very resistant to heat (at least the one that I used was).
    Hope this helps you.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction


    Actually that is what I thought of doing, wiring everything on and doing it in one shot, I had just been waiting for your reply before I tried again.
    I guess that's how I'll do it. And wow, I didn't know it was that heat resistant.
    One more question did you leave the wires holding everything on until you soldered the end on?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    For this model I only used wires to hold the onaments in place...the rest didn-t caused any problems. I've soldered everything in the exact order as in the instructable. Maybe you are using a bigger torch then mine. I've used a small torch design for use in electronic soldering : (this is the exact model that I have) but if you are using a torch design for soldering copper pipes then I gues you can't avoid melting everything because the flame is a lot bigger.
    P.S. When you are finish with this, please send me a picture.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Ok, thanks
    I will send a picture when finished.
    I'll try a smaller torch.

    Win GuyZoDo

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    OK, but I'm in the middle of another Steampunk project right now and I need to finish that one first. I'll let you know when I get started, though!
    :) ,
    Win Guy