Collectible Card Game Counter

I had old hard drive platters sitting around, a bored evening, and wanted to keep track of a MtG score.... :)

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Like anyone who has worked as a tech in the IT industry, I have a ton of old parts laying around. Normally I use old Hard drive platters for things such as drink coasters or wind chimes, this evening I got the idea to make myself a new Magic the Gathering life counter. I used 3 platters, 2 of the same size and one smaller one from a laptop.

I was not sure if this really qualifies as a hack, however I have been asked a few times to post this for others :)

I am going to use a metal cap from the hardware store, the same kind you put on the end of a pipe, as the center piece. In order to keep the platters from sticking together I put a bit of masking tap on the bottom of the small platter and the middle platter.

Tools required:

Safety glasses
Drill and drill bit of appropriate size
Engraving tool or rotary tool with appropriate bit.

I will post more as I finish this project. :)


Tools used:

Diamond engraving bit for a dremel rotary tool

Dremel rotary tool

3/8" drill bit

Electric drill

Needle nosed pliers

Xacto knife 


Bow compass, for marking out angles

Game that I plan to use this counter for:


  • 2 × desktop hard drive platter they should have a 1" center hole and be the same size
  • 1 × laptop hard drive platter
  • 1 × Hole plug, part # 13138 chrome hole plug with "teeth"
  • 1 × masking tape 2" wide
  • 1 × Vinyl Bumpers part # 158724 self adhesive type

  • Game night

    ThunderSqueak07/14/2014 at 00:49 0 comments

    My normal card game night was cancelled, so I had the evening to do something else.  I was sitting there and looking at my new EDH MtG deck and thinking "I wonder if I can make a life counter out of that stack of hard drive platters over there."    

    This project took 1 evening, about 2 hours.  


View project log

  • 1
    Step 1

    The first step was to decide what number I wanted to go up too, in my case I chose 159, this meant that the outer ring would need to be numbered from 0 to 15 and the inner ring from 0 to 9.  After marking on the old hard drive platters with a pencil, I used an xacto knife to scribe the numbers in.  This served two purposes, the surface is so smooth that pencil will just wipe off, and gave the rotary tool that I used something to follow.  Sorry about not having a picture of this step, I didn't think to take one :(

  • 2
    Step 2

    After I marked out the layout, I sat down with my rotary tool with an engraving bit.  Be sure to wear safety glasses, there will be small bits of metal flying off :)  

  • 3
    Step 3

    I used the rotary tool to cut a small center point for the drill bit.  If you do not do this and are using a hand drill, there is a chance that the bit will walk across the surface of the platter, permamently marring it.

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