Making your Own Pip-Boy 3000! [Part One: Clean Up, Cutting, Installing)

Making your Own Pip-Boy 3000! [Part One: Clean Up, Cutting, Installing)

Thank you for your interest in a Pip-Boy 3000 cast! We have broken down the steps to making your own Pip-Boy 3000 below. This post, “Part One,” will deal with the cutting and clean-up of the Pip-Boy cast, and Part Two will walk you through the cast prep, painting, detail piece install, closure system,  and the screen install.

Want to get your Pip-Boy 3000 cast before you start? Check out my shop.

Before you Start

  • Workspace- I recommend working in a well ventilated area like outside on a work table with plenty of room.
  • Tools-Here is a list of tools I use on the Pip-Boys

The Tutorial

Below, you see the Pip-Boy as you receive it if you order the plain cast from our store.

This is our Version 2 that I have modded and remolded for ease of completion. I have added a lip on the screen so you have a better guide with which to cut it out, widened the arm holes, cleaned up the screw mount holes for each side of the screen, and removed the original built in hinge since its never used.  I also cast these a little thinner so that they are easy to clean up and have more internal room for anything you want to install.

Arm hole cut out

The first thing I always like to do is cut out  the arm holes. I use a fiber cutting wheel on my Dremel to make basic cuts and then a 3/8 inch 60 grit sanding wheel to further core out material and even out the cut. As I mentioned above, I have widened the arm holes so don’t go any further than what is shown as you will start to cut into the pip-boy itself.

Screen, Button holes, and Screw/Rivet Hole Cut-Out

Using a Drill Press (a normal hand drill will work as well) with a ¼ inch bit, drill guide holes into the screen so it’s easier to cut without damaging the screen sides. Since the button holes are a ¼ inch as well I drill those three out at the same time. To drill out the screw holes and rivet hole, I switch to an 1/8 inch bit and continue drilling.

Screen clean up

With the guide holes drilled, carefully use the dremel cutting wheel to cut along the holes. Once that is completed, switch to the 3/8 inch drum bit to finish sanding down the screen and core out the indent inside to allow the Pip-Boy screens to fit into it. I carefully core out enough material so that I have an area of 3 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches internally . My screens are sized to  3 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches and I will trim them as necessary to fit into the main body. You can use any clear material you want such as plexi, acrylic, or PETG.

 

Hinge install

I use normal brass 1 ½ inch utility hinges that you can find at any hardware store. The packs I buy come with two hinges and enough screws to do the job.

The screws that come with the hinges are actually too long and will go straight through the cast, so cut the screws in half. To start the process, I place the hinge on the bottom cast and draw an outline of the hinge and where to drill the pilot holes for the screws. I will use super glue to help hold the screws in to ensure the hinge will never come loose during use.

Once the hinge is attached to the bottom half, I move onto measuring where to make the cut to slide the other half of the hinge into the top part.  In order to accommodate the round cut that is made in the bottom half, I remove the hinge and cut the bottom part into a V shape. With the top and bottom together, I draw out where to make my cut.

 

With the cutting wheel I then cut out a slit which the other half of the hinge will slide into.

With both halves fitted together and everything lines up, I use a two part epoxy to glue in the bottom hinge. A small amount is mixed up and I use a craft stick to push the epoxy into the slit I had cut. From there, I slip the hinge into the slot, clean up any over flowing epoxy and tape both halves together and let it sit for a few hours to ensure a proper bond is made.

This completes Part One of the Pip-Boy build and Part Two will take you through  painting, detail piece installs, closure system,  and the screen install. If you have any questions on this tutorial feel free to email me or reach me on Facebook at “Allen Amis Creations.”