Materials for the corpus:
• Copper tube, 18mm,
• Two copper end caps, 18 mm,
• And of course a USB flash drive.
Materials for the decoration, e.g.:
• Nuts M4, brass,
• Cap nuts, M4, brass,
• Earth cable (ground cable), 10 mm^2
• Brass wire and „spacers“ from jewelry supplies store.
Further decoration: Anything you wish, e.g.:
• Cogwheels from an old alarm clock,
• Leather from an old shoe,
• More decoration from a jewelry store,
• Metal drill,
• Dremel with cutting disc,
• Key files,
• Instant glue,
• Round nose pliers
With the hacksaw saw a part from the copper tube at least as long as the USB stick.
Make a rectangular hole in one of the end caps. In the size 12 mm x 4.5 mm. This can be done in two ways:
1. Cut two slits into the cap with the cutting disc of the Dremel, and remove the inner part,
2. Drill two or three holes with a 4 mm drill into the cap.
In the picture above the two possibilities for the cap on the front side are shown. Choose one of them (meanwhile I prefer the version with two or three holes). The cap for the back end is (in this version of the stick) not modified.
A word of security here: especially if you use a cutting disc, please wear safety glasses. The cutting discs are a little damageable - one wrong movement and little shivers fly through the room. And wear a face mask (as you know from ER e.g.) because the copper dust can lead to hour long sneezing fits (as I had to learn by myself).
In either case do the rest of the work with key files to create a rectangular hole which is big enough to hold the terminal of the USB stick. While filing use the USB terminal regularly to check the size of the hole.
Next free the USB stick from the ugly plastic case. This can be done with a sharp knife and a screwdriver and sheer force, but I recommend the to use the Dremel with a cutting disk. Use low revolutions, because otherwise the plastic melts and the disc gets dirty.
Now you have all the parts for the corpus.
Let’s assemble the corpus. First put a little instant glue onto the inner part of the end cap with the hole and put the USB stick straight into the hole. Check if the the stick is really upright, so that it later does touch the copper tube. If you want to be really sure, that there will be connections, wrap the electronics with some paper.
Then put some instant glue onto the outside of the tube next to the end and put one of the caps onto the tube. Repeat this with the other cap. Now you have the raw corpus of a steampunk USB stick.
If you like a plain design, you can leave now and enjoy your USB stick. Otherwise proceed to further decoration.
The bare corpus can roll easily from the desk. So we need a sort of feet. To create these cut some centimeters from the earth cable and free it from the isolation. Bend the cable with round nose pliers into the desired form. The M4 nuts fit nearly onto the 10 mm^2 cable - you can use a little force to press them onto cable or use a Dremel with a milling attachment to get rid of the thread of the nuts. Then they will fit perfectly onto the cable.
Glue everthing together with instant glue.
Finally here are pictures of the current family of my USB sticks: the „baboon“, the „shoe“, and the „platypus“.