Embedded USB Pen Stick in Clear Resin

I used to work as a high school media technician, in which teary eyed students would find me with their broken USB memory sticks. Word had got around that I was capable of retrieving data, after I’d helped a student who had span on their swivel chairs, whacking one of their limbs against the memory pen protruding from a computer which coincidently had their coursework on it.

I had re-solder several heads back which meant I would occasionally receive very nice boxes of chocolates from grateful parents whose children narrowly avoided missing deadlines and flunking some life plans.

I had amassed a small collection of these re-soldered pens which I had kept with the intention of embedding in resin. You can’t have enough USB pens really. However my first attempts using west system epoxy didn’t come out that well, so I decided to use a water clear casting resin.

00:10 Cracking open the USB pen.
00:30 I wanted to use one with a LED light of some sort.
00:45 I am using a 35mm film canister as a mould. If you don’t know what film is, you are too young to be watching this instructional video.
01:11 The annoying but important health and safety bit. I am using a polyester resin which is a lot more noxious than epoxy. You really need to wear the appropriate breathing gear and keep the area well ventilated.

Technical Data Sheet: http://www.mbfgfiles.co.uk/docs/polylite32032_tech.pdf
Safety Data Sheet: http://www.mbfgfiles.co.uk/docs/polylite32032_msds.pdf

01:40 Mixing resin. There is no point me explaining how to mix resin because the instructions will be different for each brand.
02:19 I use chopsticks to mix everything.
02:36 I use a heat gun to warm the surface and knock the mould to help release any bubbles.
03:02 Putting resin into 35mm film canister while slowly check level when USB pen is dipped.
03:10 Wipe up the dribble.
03:29 Being super careful to make sure the pen is centred.
03:51 I drop in the chopstick wrapper into the remainder of the resin.
04:45 Desk light is kept on overnight near curing resin to keep surrounding temperature warm.
05:13 I unwrap the chopstick wrapper resin which was a still a little tacky. The room was quite cold so I left this and the USB pen for another day.
05:16 Label all item used with resin to ensure they are not mistakenly used.
05:30 The pen is complete and working.

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