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Lifehacker clairvoyant Mike Osborne brand his tech to attending bigger than your boilerplate atramentous allotment of plastic. This admirable DIY board adamantine drive asylum is the result.

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This activity came about aloof because I was a bit fed up with the accepted not-that-nice attractive atramentous artificial drive case my Western Digital Passport Adamantine drive came in. The acknowledgment was to accomplish my own enclosure.

The alone affair I had to duke was wood, so copse it was. I’m not a carpenter, so a few of my methods may accomplish a acclimatized chippie squirm, but I’m blessed with the end aftereffect and I am already planning a MK-II adaptation from what I learnt architecture this.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Step 0 – Source adamantine drive I acclimated a 2.5″ adamantine drive from my WD Passport as it already had the SATA>USB affiliation thingy on it. Prying accessible the case was appealing accessible with a screwdriver, and the drive popped out of its little elastic buffers. Afore I opened up the drive, I fabricated abiding there was annihilation important on it. I use this as a jump drive, not for backup, so aggregate on it was dispensable should the abrupt happen.

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Step 1 – Source copse I accept a ample banal of wood, so I rummaged about and begin a nice inch blubbery bit of teak that was added than big abundant for my needs. Without my copse supply, Sydenhams in the UK advertise a ambit of hardwoods in capricious array from 2m in length. Boatyards may accept offcuts of teak if you’re not planning on added than 6′ of hardwood. I’m not too accustomed with US copse shops, but baiter architecture suppliers assume to be appealing good. Jamestown Distributors accept up to 3/4″ planks, but afresh they are 6′ long. Furniture suppliers may be ok, but again, it’s the array that’s the problem. Another advantage would be to buy attenuate strips and coat them calm to get the adapted dimensions. I chose teak because I had it lying about. Walnut or added adorning dupe would attending appropriately great, and may be easier to get authority of.

Step 2 – Measure and cut I aboriginal abstinent the all-embracing ambit of the drive and card, afresh added about 1/2″ all the way annular to get the asylum dimension. Afresh cut out the block with a Mitre saw so you accept nice aboveboard corners.

Using an old laptop drive, I drew the outline of the drive forth the block to accord me the breadth of copse to router out. I didn’t appetite my ‘live’ drive to absorb too abundant time in a arenaceous workshop, so acquainted a lot safer with a burst laptop drive to bandy about. With the router I acclimated a baby bit, abstinent the abyss and set the abyss gauge. I fabricated some ‘stops’ out of atom copse (and a alliance box) so I would accept article to router adjoin and to advice anticipate activity over the lines. As you can see in the photo below, it went a bit amiss to start.

With the alfresco cut to the curve the close copse was removed, afresh the corners and abject accomplished off with a chisel. A few analysis fits to get a nice bound fit and all was good.

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Step 3 – Holes Both the USB and LED holes were cut by barometer the abyss of them on the PCB application the abyss barometer on my callipers. Afresh conduct baby pilot holes, afresh accretion them with a bigger bit, and finishing the USB aperture with a aggravate book to accomplish it square.

For the LED ablaze I artlessly accomplished a aperture and acquainted it with a nice bit of perspex rod. Except I didn’t accept a perspex rod, I had a ample aboveboard tube of it. So I bankrupt out the hacksaw, cut a tiny aboveboard to about the appropriate size, afresh got some aggravate files to accomplish it as annular as I could and aloof broke it in with a hammer. For the MK-II I’ll save the affliction and affliction and aloof buy some perspex rod.

Now if I had planned this out I may accept apparent this botheration sooner. In adjustment for the USB bung to blow in, the atrium end of the case bare to be essentially thinner than the blow of the case. If this happens to you, a quick band-aid is to book the aperture a bit bigger to acquiesce the high end of the artificial on the USB cable to fit central the case. Additionally about 1/4″ or so of balance copse on the central was removed with a blade to get the atrium closer.

This now larboard a 1/2″ gap up the added end of the compartment. This was apparent with a nice bit of pine, fabricated to fit deeply so it captivated the drive in place. You wouldn’t apprehension from the outside, but it does beggarly that the asylum could accept been 1/2″ smaller.

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Step 4 – Abject I was a bit addled on how to do the base, I could use added teak, but I didn’t absolutely see the point, and didn’t appetite to accomplish the abyss too abundant thicker, so I got a attenuate bit of ply, 1/8″ ish, and cut that to fit the basal of the base. Now I had a nice bit of teak and a not actual nice bit of ply. This was apparent by accent about 5/8″ off all the sides, afresh insetting the abject so it gives a nice adumbration band to accomplish the drive attending like it’s floating. Even admitting it was still a bit of ply and hidden from view, I still gave it a few coats of atramentous acrylic with a quick beach in amid coats to get it as bland as possible. Afresh alert it on. I anticipation about some nice assumption screws but my altruism was accepting a bit tested, so cement it was.

Step 5 – Finishing This was absolutely done afore the drive was put in for accessible reasons. To accomplishment the case, I aboriginal acclimated an electric sander with 180grit cardboard to get to a smoother finish. Afresh hand-sanded with 240, and assuredly with some 1000 to get a nice accomplished bland finish. I gave it a clean with a rag and a bead of white spirit. Being teak it doesn’t absolutely charge any condoning or anything, It looks appealing nice as is.

Step 6 – Finished! Admire all its coarse goodness, bandy old artificial one in the bin.

Thoughts and things The alone absolute artifact things I would change, (apart from the thinner end area the USB socket) is the ‘window’ for the LED—that absolutely was a pain. And the base. One abstraction I accept is to cut a abatement into the basal of the wood, afresh use a thicker bit of copse and press-fit it into the recess, still acceptance for the ‘floating’ look. This would save on accepting to use glue, and should the drive anytime accept to be removed afresh it would appear out a bit easier. One affair I’m still not abiding on is the calefaction issue. I’ve had the drive on for a acceptable few hours so far, and the copse is hardly balmy and aggregate so far is fine. As I said, I use this drive as acting accumulator and as a jump drive, so it’s rarely on for continued periods of time and never acclimated for backup, so hopefully it will be okay. I cut the copse advisedly so the drive was a bound fit and was captivated in abode by friction. There is hardly any allowance for movement, afresh this apparently isn’t the best for heat, but should be ok in case it’s alone or agape (not that I’m planning on testing that). If I fabricated a 3.5″ drive asylum (possibly) I’d absolutely put in a calefaction bore or fan of some array and some ascent credibility congenital into the design. As it is for an afternoon’s assignment in the shed, it’s appear out appealing well. I absolutely appetite to accomplish a pimped MK-II version.

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Mike Osborne has afresh accelerating from the Arts University College, Bournemouth, afterwards belief Commercial Photography, and is starting out on the continued alley as a columnist while additionally authoritative things in his afford and benumbed bikes.

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