Trash to Crystal Chamber




Introduction: Trash to Crystal Chamber

In a galaxy not so far away,there was a maker with too much trash around him.So he decided to create something amazing,unbelievable... and kinda cool.

Every maker has one issue-too much things that he does not have the will power to throw away,because in the back of his mind there are a few lines of code:

void loop () {

Serial.println("Hey I might need that!")



So yeah,today we are solving that problem by NOT throwing away anything,we are harnessing the power of the Force and a lot of random stuff to create a great artifact that will change the way people look at our "trash".

Now,full disclaimer-I am aware that you might not have the same things laying around,but PLEASE feel free to improvise and look for the part that works for you.

Also you might not be a fan of StarWars,but hey,you have to be fan of some other sci-fi movie,series or a book right?Than what are you waiting for-clean up by not cleaning up!

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Step 1: Tools,parts and Safety.

Tools:Hand tools,Soldering Iron

If you have a Dremel you're all set,I am using a homemade DIY rotary monstrosity(yeah the one with the 775 motor) and it did the job alright!

Parts:Things laying around-metal parts from old things you cracked open to see what's inside or just for the fun of it.Random stuff that is around you and no one has any idea how it got there.That thing you saw at your friend's house and have been nagging for it since last Wednesday...yeah I think you get my point.

Other:Now i don't know where to put this-in tools or parts-it kinda depends on you.Glue,all of it,all kinds of it-epoxy,fast drying,slow drying,barely drying...that mushy thing you mix from two parts and turns into stone.

Basically whatever you can get your hands on.

SAFETY: USE.COMMON.SENSE-cats don't have it,you have to think for them too...some wives too.Beware of your surroundings and consider everything and everyone an enemy to the idea and the project...especially the aforementioned byproducts of evolution.

Step 2: Crystal

So,you barricaded yourself in a distant corner of the house.Spilled around the product of years and years of collecting parts that you will use ...some day.Now where to begin?!?

The Crystal of course!

You have many options here,but i will show you two ways to do it:

-Cut up a cheap screwdriver.Many of the ordered from China DIY kits come with tools,there you can find that clear and hard as a chewed up gum screwdriver.Cut it up randomly-we are looking for something crystal shaped,but hey,who am I to judge-Be creative!

-LCD Backlight.In ALL of the old CCFL backlit LCDs you will find a BIG,MASSIVE,HUGE,PRICELESS piece of clear plexiglass.Cut a piece with the desired dimensions and start shaping...then polish it,then polish it some more because you got bored of rubbing and missed a few spots,after you polish it you realize it didn't matter so much because the interesting crystals are ones with the defects and defects make light bounce,remember that you will need it later.

Step 3: Let There Be Light!

Alright,now you have that precious clear piece of whateverness.Time to LED it up!

Dig around you have somewhere sure of it.If you don't have,I'm disappointed-run to Radio-something and buy the LEDs that best fit your needs.

I'm using one regular red LED and one rather overweight clear red LED.

I found a brass part from something and shaved the boring LED so it can fit inside,pushed the negative to the metal and put some heatshrink on the positive,stuck that optimistic lead out the back of the part,later stuck two pieces of 3mm rod(from computer CD Drive) in the holes of the side of the brass thing and dabbed some epoxy on the front...because I can(really no good reason for it).

For the big brother I used a casing from a 6.35mm stereo jack I had laying around and some heatshrink on the LED so I can limit how much it pokes out the front(so it looks like a focus lens and not like a oversized LED).This time negative and positive poke out with the positive with heatshrink on it.At the end i shortened the casing.

The END...jk still a bit more work.

Step 4: The Crystal Mounting

Nice,Great Job everyone!Go get yourself a cookie,rest,scream at the cat for 15minutes because its all the way in your parts piles and get back to work.

If you have been following along you should have:

1).A Crystal

2).LED for the top

3).LED for the bottom

Now you need something to mount your crystal to and form the center connecting part that will hold everything together.

I am using a press ring for HDD data plates,some rivets with removed aluminium sleeve(the thing that actually becomes the rivet),a stator from a HDD with some wire on it and two metal rods with unknown origin.

After pushing the rivet nails through the three holes for the stator bolts and epoxying them in place I glued the crystal in the center.Then the unknown rods were epoxied between the stator and the press ring.At the end I mounted the big(top) led on the other side of the stator and wrapped the negative lead to one of the rivets.

Step 5: Top and Bottom

Lets wrap this up shall we!

Now you have your Crystal mounted and ready to be powered with all the might of the 3v BIOS battery we are going to use...BUT,before that we need to make a top and bottom part for the device.

As a Top I am using a piece of a flashlight(the rotor fits perfectly inside,even without a drop of glue!),a small lens from a VHS camcorder and a metal piece with a hole that kinda fits the lens.

It isn't rocket science to see what happens next-the lens to the washer shaped thingy then that glued to the flashlight piece.I have to mention that I polished the devil out of that flashlight to make it look a bit better(scratched up black paint is not much to my liking).

As a Bottom I am using an aperture from camera lens(DON'T FREAK OUT if you don't have that,just use something else circular and interesting looking,or just make it look interesting,the sky is your limit...not really) and the metal thingy around a cheap Chinese speaker.

The little,tiny,small,outsider LED with the over engineered enclosure is forced behind the aperture and epoxied in place.That is it...really...

Step 6: Assembly

Hey you did it! Great! Amazing!

You are now the proud owner of few small modules that don't make any sense to anyone else but you.

What I did here might be completely different from what you are going to do...see we might have some parts that differ,but the main idea is the same.PUT.IT.TOGETHER


By this time you should be aware that some electrics will be needed,so here they are:

A battery from a BIOS(old PC,mine is from Lenovo T61 laptop,no one cares,moving on)

White cable (or any other means to pass negative and positive to the top side without ruining the completely sci-fi feel of the device we have.

Some sort of switch-I'm going for a massive overkill here so I'm using a reed switch from an arduino module that I had laying around and possibly never going to use anyway.Here you can use regular switch,make your own reed switch(quite easy actually),voice activated,moisture activated,gas activated,cat activated,wife nagging catch my drift.

Now you have your electronics laying around,you need only to wire top to bottom-bottom to switch-switch to battery and glue the modules to each other.

You are done buddy.


No...It's not.


Kay,once you glued everything,wired everything,completely lost track of that furry friend of yours...and your cat.It's time for all the glory.Display case.

Here you have all of the choices(like till now you actually had any restrictions):

I am using an acrylic cylinder case/box for perfume and built everything to fit inside snuggly,but you can use whatever you like,or have,or both.

From transparent boxes for qtips,nuttella jars,regular jars,pedestal etc.

Great,I hope you are happy with your creation as much as I am with mine.

Few last words:Don't give up.Go trough your parts as many times as you can.Observe and try to imagine the design with the parts you have around you,don't be discouraged if you don't have the same parts as me,my design is more of a guideline,a source of inspiration and creative drive than a direct tutorial.Most importantly have's all that matters.

P.S.If you like what I did or didn't and made something better,don't be shy,share!

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    3 Discussions


    1 year ago

    That's awesome! I love the use of the screwdriver handle!


    Reply 1 year ago

    That is the only thing is good for really... ;)