1GB USB storage crate.
Materials: Balsa wood, (small) 1GB USB stick, superglue aplenty.
Time taken: About two hours.
My first whole project made using the (electric!) rotary tool I got for Christmas (though, naturally, assorted drills, knives, pliers and saws were also used by hand).
I'd come across some custom-built USB memory stick cases already, and thought they were pretty cool. I liked the idea of having an old-fashioned wooden packing crate to store computer data, so that's exactly what I had in mind when I made this.
I think it went pretty well. I started off using a piercing saw to cut the balsa wood, which splintered it a lot. Thankfully, those pieces are inside the cap, so it's virtually invisible. After hooking up the rotary tool, I started using a carborundum cutting wheel, which worked beautifully- didn't burn or splinter the wood.
I tried to sand the cap down a bit, too, but underestimated how fast the tool would do it, so there are a couple of places where there's a noticeable 'bite' out of the wood, where I left the sanding drum sitting too long.
I figured a photo of the actual workspace might be good. ( [link]
) It also helps give some scale to the USB device (which is 38mm long, measuring the main wooden box).
Though it's not visible, there's also a hole drilled in the bottom of the case so that the little "I'm plugged in" light can shine through. The original plastic case is intact, and safely locked away inside- balsa wood is very, very soft (I accidentally cut it with a pencil while making this), so I didn't really trust it to protect the actual technical doodaddery of the USB stick.
Later, I might stencil (or burn) on letters saying "USB PACKING CRATE" or something, just to make it obvious and add some detail. I quite like it plain, though. EDIT: Burned the design in with a small piece of stainless steel wire, heated up to red hot in the flame of a tea light- it's low-tech and time-consuming, but seems to work well enough. It's actually burnt into a very thin sheet of balsa wood, which I then stuck onto the top of the USB stick, so the main part of the case is unchanged. I don't know much about flash drives, but I'm fairly sure that being jabbed with a hot piece of metal won't make them work any better.