I had an old carburetor I was cutting up to make a cutaway out of, and this project just kind of fell out of my brain and splattered on the table... Why not take the other scrap part of the carb, and turn it into a MOUSE for my computer!?
That was literally the extent of my planning. Next step: have at it with various sharp instruments!
1 working mouse
2 rivets or bolts to use as buttons
Misc. nuts and bolts
Sheet metal for base
Scab bicycle tire tube patches or other thin soft anti scratch material
Drill or Drill Press
Marking tools- awl, marker, ruler, etc
Additional metal cutting tools- aviation snips, notcher, punches, etc.
Step 1: Cleaning Parts
When cleaning carbs, I have settled on a process I thought I would share here. Turns out Pine Sol makes an EXCELLENT aluminum cleaner and degreaser- so I soak the entire carb, disassembled, in a vat of it for about 24 hours.
Once the carb has soaked, rinse with warm water.
Next, using compressed air and carb cleaner, clean it all again.
Finally, spray all the parts with WD40 or another light oil, and reassemble (except... we are going to cut it up some more!)
Step 2: Cutting Down to Size
For the main body of the carb, I simply used a hacksaw to cut it down the middle. If I were to do this again, I would have used the larger half of the carb to make the mouse of, but since I am planning on making a cutaway of that part of the carb, I used the thinner half.
I had to do a LOT of trial-and-error machining... Like I said- there was no plan, just start cutting. I ended up machining the entire underside of the carb at an angle so that the mouse inards would fit and still have enough room for the scroll wheel to stick out the top.
The mouse itself was fairly simple. I had to cut all of the extra stuff off and make it as small as possible. I started by shaving a few pieces off using the band saw, and as I got closer I made "fine" cuts using the belt sander...
Step 3: Testing and Fitting
Figured I would throw this in just for fun- It didn't work. My first idea for the buttons was to use some bolts and some springs, but they kept getting stuck. Also notice how much more cut down the mouse innards are.
The final solution was to use some zinc coated soft iron rivets- they will fall out if you flip the mouse over but they work great! I even managed to get the wire for the mouse to go through the carb's fuel line. Means it sticks out back and to the side, but so far it's not really in the way.
Step 4: Final Assembly!
Slap it together and try it out! Works pretty good, but not perfect. Sometimes the mouse will slip inside and not read movement well, and the right button sometimes has to be pushed a little harder to get it to click. Also- the scroll wheel quit scrolling after about 2 days of using it... I do still need to attach something to the skid underneath to keep it from scratching, although it hasn't scratched anything yet. I plan on just sticking a few Scab brand bicycle tire tube patches on it.
Not to bad for not having a plan. Been using it for about 2 weeks now and I love it!