Introduction: College Football Team Logo House Key (UT Longhorns!!)
It's almost superbowl time!! & I thought this instructable would be good to throw out there.
I am a big Longhorns fan and it's all thanks to one of my best friends. My friend practically bleeds burnt orange and even though football season is almost done for, I thought I would alter their house key as a gift and so they could show off how much of a diehard fan they are. This concept can be applied to any logo within reason but hey, if your favorite team has a super detailed logo and you are a true fan, you'd do it!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
I used my delta 12" band saw, drill press, drill bits, hack saw, bench vise, various sized files, clamps, soldering iron, and wire cutters.
a piece of 1"x2.5"x1/4" aluminum, 3-in-1 machine oil, sandpaper, a sharpie, epoxy, popsicle sticks, an old t-shirt, and some leftover copper wire.
hearing, eye and breathing protection, as usual. Be careful, take your time and be methodic about using power tools that could lob a finger off.
Step 2: Template
I printed the longhorns logo and played around with a certain windows program to size it to fit my piece of stock aluminum (image 1). Then, I traced it with a sharpie (image 2).
Step 3: Cut on the Band Saw
Start by cutting the large excess pieces and be sure to keep the blade cool and lubed up with the oil (images 1-3). Make some distress cuts to aid in ease of cutting when getting curved and hard to reach parts (image 4-5).
Tip: When "cleaning" up some fine edges to get as close as you can to your sharpied outline, move the piece backwards against the blade instead of towards the teeth. Don't get to obsessive compulsive though because you will completely clean it up with files and sandpaper later.
The rough product (image 6).
Step 4: Smoothing the Edges
As you can see in (image 1) the edges are quite rough and may be a little off your traced outline so smooth them with files and sand paper (image 2). (Image 3) shows just how much I took off from one side.
Step 5: Drill Your Key Ring
I secured the aluminum with a C clamp and used a 1/8" drill bit to size my hole for the "key ring" (image 1-2). Then I figured copper wire is close to burnt orange so I used about a 2.5" piece in length and looped it into the hole (image 3-4). I twisted it around and used solder in aid to keep it from unraveling (image 5-6).
Step 6: Prep the House Key
The key you use will potentially need to be trimmed of excess...keyness. I did a lay over of the longhorn on the whole key just to see how much to saw off (image 2). Then I traced it and marked up the excess that will be cut, just as a visual aid (image 3). Put the key to the band saw and don't worry about the rough edges here, they will be concealed in the aluminum holder (image 4-5).
Step 7: Cut a Notch
I made a mark on the longhorn to know when to stop cutting the notch (image 1).
Caution: If you go too far, the key teeth may not make contact and then you can't turn it in your knob, not really what you want to accomplish after all this work. And to add insult to injury, you have to take yourself to the store to get a new spare...
I was going to cut the notch with the band saw but then when I attempted it, the aluminum "walked" up the blade and gave me quite a shock. As I would like to keep all my fingers intact I took the vise and a hack saw (image 2). I used an old t-shirt to protect the faces from marring from the jaws of the vise.
Step 8: Epoxy and Allow to Set Overnight
I used a two stage mix epoxy and used a stick to get inside the notch on the aluminum. I really slathered it in there and on the key to make sure the whole thing was full of epoxy (image 1). After it sets, if there is too much excess epoxy just smooth it with sand paper.
Once the epoxy has fully set, you should clean up any excess that may have oozed out the sides with a file or sand paper. After that you are pretty much good to go. I then sent the gift to my friend and he was more than thrilled! Thanks for reading & I hope I have inspired you to make one for yourself or someone else.
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