Speck CandyShell

Posted by Jonathan on August 4, 2009 in Projects, Tripod Mount |

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What Parts do you need to modify a Speck Candyshell:

NOTE: A lot of the parts at McMaster-Carr are sold in Quantities. You usually can not just buy one or two of a item from them.

(1) Weld Nut with Holes 1/4″-20 Thread Size.

I bought mine from McMaster-Carr. Part Number “90611A350”

These are plain steel, a stainless steel might be better so they don’t rust as easy.


(3) 1/8” Blind CounterSunk Rivets

(I got these at Home Depot)

You can get them at McMaster-Carr. Part Number “97525A665”


(3-5)  Inches of Super-Soft Silicone Rubber 1/32″ Thick, 2″ Width,  30A Durometer

I bought mine from McMaster-Carr. Part Number “8622K54”


Tools I used with Modifying the Speck Candyshell:

  • A Dremel with a decent accessory kit
  • An 1/8” Drill Bit
  • A Drill bit with a diameter a little bigger than .300”, a 5/16” bit will be perfect if your holes are drilled with tight tolerances.
  • A Vise
  • A Rivet Gun
  • A Cordless Drill
  • A Countersink set, a 1/4” to 1” set should do.
  • A metal file. Any length should do. A 6″ or 8″ bastard file is what I used.
  • A regular 1/4″-20 bolt with 2 or 3 nuts. The bolt can be 1 inch to 3 inches.
  • An xacto knife set can help with some of the plastic work.
  • A 1/4”-20 tap is Semi-Optional. It makes it easier when you grind down the weld nut. (A tap re-threads messed up threads)
  • A Belt Sander is Optional but makes quick work of some of the tasks.

Below you will find pictures of all the tools I used. Not all the tools were used from the pictures that have more than one tool in them.

How to mod your Speck Candyshell to incorporate a tripod mount:

Safety: Always wear glasses of some type with drilling/cutting/grinding metal and plastic. Safety glasses are the best to wear since they are usually made of a hard plastic, but anything to protect your eyes is better than nothing.

Step One- Prepare the Parts

  1. Take your rivets and put the head in the end of a cordless drill (this will in effect make the drill a lathe) and using a Dremel locked in a vise or a belt grinder sand/grind the countersunk end of the rivet to a smaller diameter and thickness.
  2. (This part is way easier to watch in my video than explain in writing) Take your weld nut and put it on a 1/4”-20 bolt, lock it onto the bolt with a regular 1/4”-20 nut. Grind the base of the weld nut down by about 50-60 percent. You want enough room to countersink it but make it thin enough to sit below the rubber in the case. Use water to cool it down, don’t let it get too hot.
  3. Turn the weld nut around on the bolt and grind down the stem on the weld nut by about 30-40 percent. Use water to cool it down, don’t let it get too hot. This is where you need to re-thread the nut with the thread tap. You might have to do this or not depending on how you grind the stem down. You could use a 1/4”-20 bolt to try and re-tap the threads. (See my videos for more chat about this)
  4. Grind the edge of the stem to have a slight taper to make it a dull edge and not sharp at all.
  5. Take the weld nut and using a Dremel with around a 1/16″ drill bit/cutting bit expand the three outer holes of the weld nut inward. In the end they need to be about 1/8” in diameter to allow the rivets to go through them. You can not just use a 1/8″ drill bit and drill through the holes as they are not in the center of the ring of metal  that surrounds the weld nut. They are too close to the edge. Lock the nut in a vise REALLY good to do this, (see my videos on how to do this).
  6. Clean up any burrs on the weld nut with a file.
  7. Countersink the three 1/8” holes of the weld nut on the side that the stem IS NOT protruding from.
  8. Take the silicone rubber that is listed in the part section of this guide and cut a piece big enough to cover the weld nut. Then take the weld nut and use it as a template and  trim that silicone rubber to be the shape of the weld nut.

Step Two- Prepare the Case

  1. Find where you want to place the weld nut on the case and mark it with a sharpie, I used a xacto knife since that gave a drill point a spot to start in.
  2. Take your Dremel and drill a pilot hole in the center of that mark you just made.
  3. Take your 5/16” drill bit and drill a hole through the pilot hole.
  4. QUICK TIP: I had to run my drill in reverse as my drill bit set likes to grab the plastic and tear through it,  spinning the whole case.

  5. Stick your weld nut through the 5/16″ hole stem first and from the inside of the case.
  6. Take your xacto knife and cut around the weld nut. You can cut into the plastic a little, it’s okay.
  7. Remove the weld nut and use the xacto knife to remove most of the rubber from within the circle you just cut out, be VERY careful as you can cut yourself very easily.
  8. With most of the rubber removed take your Dremel and attach a plastic brush attachment. Use this brush to clean away the rest of the rubber within that circle. It will remove all the rubber from the plastic and barely touch the plastic. (See my videos, its pretty cool)
  9. Stick the weld nut back through the 5/16” center hole and take a 1/8” Drill bit and drill the three holes for the rivets through the smaller three holes on the weld nut.
  10. Countersink these holes on the plastic on the outside of the case. Do not countersink too far as you need some plastic for the rivets to grab onto. Just countersink enough for the rivet heads to sit almost flush with the plastic. If you think you will need to countersink too deep into the plastic,  go back and make the rivet heads smaller.
  11. Clean up the inside of the case around the area you are working on.

Step Three- Assembly

  1. Stick the weld nut into the case from the inside of the case.
  2. Put a rivet through the case and then the weld nut. So you are sticking the rivet from the outside of the case to the inside of the case. Using your rivet gun squeeze so the rivet grabs the weld nut and tightens. DO NOT squeeze the gun all the way.
  3. Place all 3 rivets and tighten them. The rivets should be filling out the countersinks you made in the weld nut. I personally just tightened the rivets enough to feel really secure but not pop the rivet shanks.
  4. Remove the rivet shanks.
  5. Now this part will take some time, using a grind wheel attachment on the Dremel grind down the rivet heads on the inside of the case to be flush with the weld nut. Make sure you don’t let the metal get too hot, use water to cool the parts down.
  6. Clean up your tools and mess. The case is going to be VERY dirty from all that grinding so make sure to wash it out good. Dry the inside.
  7. Take the silicone cutout that you made and peel off the paper backing that covers the adhesive. Place this silicone cutout, that’s the shape of the weld nut, onto the weld nut to protect your case from the metal. You are now done.

Related Videos:

This video is a uncut version of my video tutorial on this case. NOTE: I was VERY Tired when making this video, forgive my craziness with my comments.

Download Speck CandyShell- M4V Format

To Download: Right Click – Then Click “Save Link As”

Its run time is 54:44 and its file size is 629.41mb.

I will be adding a edited/cut down version that is short enough for youtube in the near future. I will update this post when I finish that video.

This video shows you how to make a home made belt grinder/sander.

Download Home Made Belt Sander- M4V Format

To Download: Right Click – Then Click “Save Link As”

Its run time is 02:17 and its file size is 26.39mb.

Optional Step:

I had some Liquid Titanium laying around (it’s used to fill gaps in metal shafts for repairing and then machining them), so I mixed up a very small amount and I placed it in a syringe from the plunger side. A common product to use that is similar would be J-B Weld.


(McMaster-Carr part Number “7510A653”)

I then squeezed some of it into each of the rivet holes and used a small piece of metal (like a squeegee) to even it out on both sides of the rivet holes. I let it dry and I then used my Dremel to grind down any excess. It makes the mod look nicer and adds a little more strength.


Finished Product:

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