Freemors Blog

Musings of an East Coast Techie
Posts tagged as diy

Create a Pi Crate

2015-04-16 by Freemor

In this blog Posting I'm going to show you how to make a Pi Crate from an Clementine/Tangerine/Orange crate.

First you need a sharp knife (an exacto-knife or other knife with a small sharp blade) , and a pair of needle nose pliers (or multi-tool) , a crate, a Raspberry Pi, scissors and some glue. Don't discard the papers from the bottom of the crate we will used them too.

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Using the pliers of multi-tool gently pry up the ends of the wires holding the crate together...

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Still using the pliers or multi-tool gently pull the wires out of the crate...

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You now hav the bottom separated from the crate...

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Next gently remove the staples from the sides of the crate...

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After doing all four corners you should have a totally disassembled crate...

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Take one of the long sides of the crate (should be wood not press board) , and measure the width of the Pi at both ends of the piece. Then using the other long side as a straight edge mark a line between the marks...

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Cut along the line. This will give you two parts.. We will use the wider piece for the bottom of the Pi-Crate and the thinner piece for the sides...

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Put the Pi on the wider piece at one end and mark a line at the other end of the pi. Using the pi as a straight edge.

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Cut That piece off. Repeat if you want a top. (on my crate the sides were just a tad too short for a top to work. Depending on the crate you start with your's may be o.k.)

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Line the slim piece up with the Pi sized piece and using one of the spare pieces as a spacer mark it at a point that is equal too the length of the Pi shaped piece plus the width of a wooden side piece. This will give space for the end piece.

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Repeate for the other side and then for the end. For the end piece make it the same size as the end of the Pi sized piece...

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Ok, Here is where the Paper and glue comes in. Get your scissors and cut 2 strips the length of the Pi sized piece and almost aw wide as the side pieces. Now using one of the short ends of the Crate as a straightedge line up the Pi sized piece and both long sides so all three pieces are touching...

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Apply glue to one side of each paper strip and then apply them to the aligned pieces so that they are half on the Pi sized piece and half on an side piece. While waiting for the glue to dry mark and gently cut out a gap in the end piece for the MicroSD card...

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Once the glue has dried flip one side up onto the Pi sized piece using the paper as a hinge, Mark and cut out a gap for the various ports on the side of the pi (sound/HDMI/Power. It helpful to work from both sides Flipping it back down to get at the inside. This will bake a nice hole in both the paper and the side piece. Once that is Done use a small tab of paper the width of a side and long enough to secure to both the end piece and the now cut side piece. (there is extra paper on my end piece in the picture as I was experimenting with the top)

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Wait for that tab to dry, then using the paper as hinges fold up the sides of the crate and fold closed then end. While holding the end in place gently insert another paper and glue tab to the inside of the corner between the end piece and that side it is not yet attached to. Hold it in place long enough for the glue to get a good hold or use something like books to hold the sides in place while the glue sets.

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Now slip your Pi into the new Crate. I found it easiest to put the side with the ports in first then gently press the Pi into place...

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Slide ihe MicroSD card into the Pi using the gap you made in the back piece...

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Check that all the Side ports are properly accessible, remove the Pi and do any required trimming..

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The next steps may be optional. I personally found that the sides felt a little softer then I would like. If you find this to be the case cut two small pieces of wood from some of the remaining crate pieces..

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Gently slide these pieces in between the sides of the crate and the front ports of the Pi. Friction will hold them in place nicely so no need to glue.

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For me that made the Pi-Crate feel very solid. I haven't bothered with a top for two reasons. As I mentioned before the Clementine crate I was using produced sides that are just shy of tall enough for a top, and I was worried a top might cause ventilation problems.. If you want to do a top just create another paper hinge between either the end piece, or the uncut side piece and another Pi sized piece. I'd strongly suggest cutting holes into it for ventilation.