Hostile Environment Mp3 Case

I made a protective case to keep my new Creative Zen V Plus safe from hostile elements in a weld shop environment. The three elements I was most concerned with are:welding sparks, grinding shrapnel and metallic dust.
Welding sparks can be hot enough to melt into plastic they land on, but I have yet to see one melt through. The exterior lens protectors on welding hoods are .03" thick polycarbonate, and my welding hood gets much closer to the action then my player.
Grinding shrapnel can be both hot and dirty. Some grinding/cutting results in melted metal shrapnel flying in any direction. We use plastic weld curtains in the shop to keep from spraying our neighbors. The fiberglass and zirconium oxide used in the grinder consumables is very dirty and tends to stick to whatever it lands on.
Metallic dust is created when the 10,000 degree F arc from the welder turns metal to liquid, some metal is vaporized along with any oils or oxidization and this gets into everything. We have lost more than one computer motherboard to this dust. Also nearly everything plastic builds up a static charge that grabs this dust. Somehow the dust tends to etch into the plastic and is very difficult to remove.
I purchased a $2 plano tackle box and had some very low density foam from an old RC car to make my case.
Please visit my blog

Step 1: Get the Box

find a plasic tackle box that is made from the flexible plastic as small as will fit the player and the plug jack from the speakers.

Step 2: Layout

plan where to remove ribs from the box to fit your player

Step 3: Remove Ribs

I went ultra low tech and used a side cutters and utility knife to remove the ribs

Step 4: Start Cleanup

i used a spiral upcut bit chucked in a drill press to clean up the ribs, a dremel would probably be easier and safer.

Step 5: Final Cleanup

a hot soldering iron to make the cutout where the cord will pass (at top of picture) so it doesn't leave a sharp edge. then use the utility knife to trim off the melted plastic.

Step 6: Foam

i used rod tip cement (low temp hot glue) to stick the foam to the case. I didn't want to get the electric knife out so I used a bread knife instead. the foam in the cell on the left is full height of the case to restrict dust.

Step 7: Insert Player Now

I am using a pair of gateway powered speakers to listen to my device. has new powered speakers for 6.99. the speakers will get filled with metal shavings and destroyed in a weld shop.

Step 8: Close the Lid

I wanted a clear container so i could still see the display

Step 9: Let's Weld



    • Faux-Real Contest

      Faux-Real Contest
    • Epilog X Contest

      Epilog X Contest
    • Sweet Treats Challenge

      Sweet Treats Challenge

    13 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

    nice :D now you can make the small 9v charger and mini amp with speaker


    11 years ago on Introduction

    nice case might do something like this for my sansa as a travel case and steamkit yeah ipods are kinda overrated

    2 replies

    i agree they are overrated. okay no radio but you can buy it. they have games. you game take the video and put it on tv from your ipod. you can surf the web on then. they seem like the best mp3 players

    True but the ipod classic 160gb is a dream you can store tons of movies and the battery life is really good and also the interface is very easy to use!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    You might also want to put some foam on the lid, to not scratch the screen of the player.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I like your thinking. This together with the Vespa speakers 'Ible has given me an idea for an "accessory" for my bike... watch this space. Also SteamKit seems to have a good idea, if you can find some heavy enough clear flexible plastic then a button access panel would be a bonus. (You know how it goes- you're in the shop, doing manly things like WELDING and DRINKING BEER and then your mp3 player on shuffle decides to play your secret stash of Enya or something)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Great job man. The glue is drying on mine right now. I used an old tupperware container and glued the speakers onto the lid so It will be portable and move easier around the shop as I tackle different tasks.


    12 years ago

    in the empty cell you should put a charger

    3 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    i don't think that you could unles it is an extremely small charger because a zev v plus is abou the legth of a AA battery


    Reply 11 years ago

    You might just be able to fit in a minty power (I think that's right) charger that works with AA batteries in a slim Altoids case. Anyway, nice idea.


    Reply 12 years ago

    You could put headphones in the empty cell also


    11 years ago

    Bit late, just noticed this one, but heres a possible idea. At the local Wal-Mart back in crafts they have thick flexi plastic (Think like a clear tablecloth). I'm thinking about building one of these for my zen, and installing a panel of the flex plastic over the buttons so songs can be changed in the case. Nice job though, Zen's awsome. Kill the Ipod mp3 empire!