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Ah yes, it's time for another Instructable involving an Altoids tin...  But this time it's not about what's inside the Altoids tin, it's about the Altoids tin itself.  In all its greatness, the Altoids tin we all know and love has one rather major flaw for DIY electronics use: it's electrically conductive.  To combat this, you can do several things.  You can isolate your circuit with hot glue, but that's messy and a bit permanent.  You can put electrical tape on the inside of the tin, but after a while that gets gunky and gross, and it doesn't look the best. Or you can do what I did and insulate the entire inside with a rubber coating.  This is pretty simple and involves just a few materials available from the hardware store, so let's go!
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Step 1: Supplies and Tools

Picture of Supplies and Tools
For supplies, you'll need the following:

Altoids tin - whatever style you prefer, but my Arduino fits perfectly in the standard size so that's what I used

Masking tape - to eliminate overspray on the outside of the tin

Paper towel - for cleaning

PlastiDip - this is the good stuff, a "multi-purpose rubber coating" made by Performix

For tools, you'll need these:

Hands - for doing things

X-Acto knife - for cutting away excess rubber after drying

Small flathead screwdriver - for taking apart the Altoids tin

Step 2: Prep

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The first steps necessary to electrically insulate your Altoids tin are prep work.  Start by cleaning out the inside of the tin using a damp paper towel to remove that sweet, sweet minty dust.  You may also want to wash it with soap and water if it's really dusty or dirty.

After that, you'll want to separate the top of the tin from the bottom, as this will make masking and spraying easier.  Take a small flathead screwdriver and gently pry the hinges away the lid can be lifted out.

Now it's time to mask off the two parts of the tin.  Using masking tape, cover up the entire outside of the tin up to the curled edge.
works great!
mykiscool2 years ago
I did a similar thing with my Altoids tin shocker. I would be careful however having a magnet near to the arduino as magnets could ruin the chip's memory since it works magnetically.
Here's the link for anyone interested.
D5quar32 years ago
Cool stuff....Maybe I'll try it on my BOE-Bot.
TheRafMan2 years ago
That's great, was not aware of such a product and it sure makes for a professional finish. I have several Altoids cans that I will try it on, however I was thinking of coating the outside as well for better grip (after removing the layer of paint of course). Wonder if they come in different colors...
Thank you for posting,
DoctorWoo2 years ago
Clever! I wish I had seen this a bit ago. I needed to do the same to an altoid tin for a project of mine, and ended up making a papermache nightmare of woodglue and toilet paper to line the tin with...
Radioactive_Legos (author)  DoctorWoo2 years ago
Thanks! And that sounds...erm...fun? hahaha
Funs a word for it! But it works. And, if I have a need to do it again, I got a new tip! Thanks for sharing!