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Harmonesica 3: Harmonesica Returns

Page 2: Opening the Cartridge

The Dremel manual and common sense told me that tiny bits of shorn and half-melted plastic would soon be flying everywhere. Be sure to improvise a breathing mask and put on safety glasses. Or, if you're me, glasses.

Fingal Abdullah MacJihad

First I used a cutting wheel to slice the harmonica's black tabs as close as I dared. Then I used a utility knife to scrape away most of the cartridge's annoying ridge, finishing up with a grinding knob on the Dremel. Above the ridge and near each screwhole there's some more plastic that I also ground down. The aftermath:

The harmonica and cart, forever altered

Now it's time to drill the holes that will secure the harmonica inside the cart opening. The Pocket Pal comes with its own ready-made template...

Marking drill locations

...but I found that without the actual harmonica in place I wasn't marking anywhere near where it would end up. The #4-40 screws fit perfectly in the harmonica itself, and a 3/32" drill bit makes a nearly perfect hole for them in the cart.

Aligning the drill...

Oh but I'm not going to drill into my kitchen counter.

...over an edge of the countertop

Hell yeah! This is when I knew it was going to work.

The first two holes

After the first two holes are done you can try using a marker through them onto the other half, but again I got my best results from putting the harmonica in and guiding the drill through everything at once. You have a little leeway for this, as the screwhead and nut will cover up a slightly-too-large screwhole. Just hope you can see daylight through them:

Properly aligned holes allow photons to pass

With holes drilled and interfering plastics ground away, we're ready to put this badass together. You'll need two #4-40 screws and nuts, the three NES screws, the case, and the harmonica. I marked all the places that I removed plastic in green.

The final players

Assemble. Marvel.

Oooh. Aaaah.

Not bad for my first try. I'm decidedly non-workshoppy, but you almost can't tell it's been modified. It's like Tecmo Super Bowl grew up and had a teenage son and he's totally not like his dad and he's proving it by getting totally punk metal studs through his lip only the principal said that boys can't wear their piercings in school and that is so unfair because Samus Aran has like twenty.

Only the screw heads betray its new power

Now comes the celebration. Relax with your new harmonesica, a cold beer, and mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Page 4: The Sound