So a little while back Trollsmyth commissioned me to make him a flash drive cover. He said he wanted something with a troll on it, along with the phrase “Grimnir’s lip-streams” written in runes along the side. I decided to throw in “Trollsmyth” in runes on it as well. After researching around online I decided that it would be cool to make the flash drive into the shape of Thor’s hammer.
So, I went out to the store, got a flash drive, and took it apart with a razor.
I then went about creating a troll design. I found some and altered them to suit my needs. I wanted something non complex, with thick black lines. It had to be small, the entire surface area was 1 inch wide by 2 inches long, at least for the main body of the drive cover.
I worked out the runes (as seen above) and made sure they would fit inside the small on centimeter space running alongside the drive. I later would realize that I needed to flip these runs into a mirror image because of the way I was transposing them onto metal. (It’s amazing all the little things you have to think of or else risk ruining an entire project.)
I decided to try and transfer the image onto the metal via chemical etching. Basically I would take the image printed out on photo paper, heat up a piece of brass, place the image on the brass, and then iron on the ink. The image would then transfer onto the brass from the paper. Finally I would soak the plate of brass in a solution of hydrochloric acid, found in pool cleaners, and the brass would begin to burn. The parts of the brass covered by the image would take longer to burn, thus there would be a color contrast, transferring the image to the metal.
Despite the dog’s help, the print did not transfer. A few spots did here and there, but I just ended up burning the paper and almost ruining the iron. I also tried soaking the plate in the solution, but it didn’t do anything.
With that plan foiled, I went to the craft store and got some thin copper for embossing. I also found a little wooden keychain thing and cut it to put the flash drive in.
Next I measured some paper and wrote out the runs. I pressed the metal, tracing out the letters and designs.
One of the cool little things about this flash drive is that there is an orange light on it. I cut out the eyes on one of the plates and covered it with a small piece of translucent paper. This way when you plug it in, the troll’s eyes will glow.
After I was done with the body I had to build the cap. This was really difficult. I found a little female USB slot and attached it to a bit of wood. The original piece of wood I was going to use ended up not working out, so I had to make everything out of scratch.
When I finally got the shape I wanted I glued the copper on to it.
With the flash drive body finally assembled, Trollsmyth wanted me to cover the thing in a green platina. This would give it the oxidized green copper look.
Once it dried I took a bit of fine sand-paper to it. This scratched off the green platina on the portions of the copper that were raised, like the troll’s face and the runes, leaving the green on the shallower parts.