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Folding Key Chain

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Picture of Folding Key Chain
I was browsing around on instructable's and came across reconscious Friendly Folding Keychain http://www.instructables.com/id/Friendly-Folding-Keychain/ and liked what he had done and wanted to make my own version with the keys I had but slightly modified it so I could use it with my carabiner that I have to keep them on a belt loop.
 
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Step 1: The Keys Housing and other Materials

Some of the Instructable's I had seen were using a bike tool for the keys.  I was able to find a cheaper version at harbor freight for around $5 that was for hex keys.  it was easy to dissemble and had plenty of spare parts to use as well.  You will need some additional pieces of hardware to:
  • Washers (some that will fit around the shaft of the housing)
  • rubber grommets (same inside diameter as the washers above)
We will cut the grommets in half and use them as a buffering and tension pad against the housing when we are putting it together

Step 2: The Keys

First thing to do is decide on what keys you are going to be putting into the folding key chain.  I am using three house keys and two car keys on mine.  As you can see I went and got copies of all of the keys before hand, I did not want to take a chance of messing up the origionals in case i needed them in the future.  You may see the last key as familiar if you have seen any of my other instructable's.  It was an RFID key I had to make a (cheap) copy of without the RFID chip just to unlocked the doors, you can see the instructable here: http://www.instructables.com/id/RFID-Key-Copy/
tunney59865 months ago

If james bond had a set of key... Did you have any issues with SC1 key? I did and my hardware store didnt have green (Drats!). I found this KeySmart for $15 and does the job great if your looking for color options

KeySmart (32).jpg
soul_eater2 years ago
It looks cool its like McGiver keys
Agreed although its Macgyver and i was gonna say a dollar to the first person to give me MacGyver's first name but then i thought of how google will make that unfair. Its Angus
so it's Angus!!!
i thought it's Menimis?
was wondering, had he introduced himself like " Menimis McGyver." (then extend the right hand)
LOL!!!
I watched the Episode where they reveal that just a few days ago. I have the whole series on my hard drive. He was my HERO growing up.
I knew it was Angus without the help of Google. :) I just remembered the MacGyver Mythbuster's episode.
wazalac181 year ago
nice instructable, i told myself that i'll make one for me so here's at my pocket knife version
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sorry i can't seem to (add images) upload my pics here, that's why links were provided instead.
thanks!!
mariodab2 years ago
I followed this instructable and made one of these with the same tool you used but the screws seem to work their way apart. Did you have this same issue? I know I could use locktite to keep them from separating, but then I would have to start from scratch if I had to change my keys out at some point. Any suggestions? Great ible by the way.
Use Loctite blue. I don't have enough experience to be authoritative, but Threadlocker Blue 242 is supposed to be removable with handtools, while the Threadlocker Red 271 is the LOCK FOREVAR version that requires tools and blowtorches to remove.
elco_chan (author)  mariodab2 years ago
I have never really had a issue with then comming loose. instead of using locktite you might be able to try using some pipe tape on the threading to see if it will keep it together.
Teflon-PTFE-Tape-PTFE-Seal-Pipe-Tape-PTFE-Seal-Tape.jpg
ozwingchun2 years ago
nice idea. i think one of those with a bump key added to it would be even better
Until you go through a security check and they recognize the bump key for what it is... Then you might have some 'splainin to do.
sanmarr Dizzy492 years ago
I made one of these a few years back out of an allen or torx tool or something I bought at Kragen. I definitely had to expose all of the "blades" when I went through the security checkpoint at Oakland International Airport, but after about three people looked at it, the last one deemed it "neat," handed it back to me, and let me on my way.
I don't think this would work well with a bump key.
bricobart2 years ago
Very nice project, I made one too!
synicasm2 years ago
Hey What is that Cylindrical Shaped thing on the key chain ?
that's a pill bottle. you can find them at walmart
Or at Walgreens. Probably at any chain Pharmacy. I use one to hold minature strike anywhere matches.
If someone has a better pill bottle... PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I have to carry certain ones on my person, at all times, and I hate these plastic types. I had one for a couple of years, but now all I can find is these chrome plated ones! Bah humbug!!
I did see a thing where someone used a pop bottle neck (with lid), dropped in a US nickel, and hot glued the insides... it wouldn't be quite big enough, I don't think... and I don't think the police would believe that I carry that everyday for actual medications. You have to maintain a look of seriousness about pills, around here!

I'm thrilled with this key instructable! My VW key isn't really a key, it's a square block that pokes in the hole... so it won't go on mine... but I'm going to attempt a couple of screwdrivers, and maybe a blade or scissors. It'll be a multi-tool, somehow! Thanks for the many great ideas!
Ballesss2 years ago
Es buenísimo, yo hice el mío y es lo más cómodo que hay.
La herramienta la compré en El Corte Inglés.

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aklesh32 years ago
Do you really need the spacers?
elco_chan (author)  aklesh32 years ago
I used the spacers because the screws I used were at a certain length and I wanted more friction on the keys to keep them from folding out when I did not need them.
fsped092 years ago
This was an easy and fun project to do. I used some of the rubber rings, that were used as spacers to identify the keys I need to get into my apartment. I filed slightly on the top and bottom of the keys to hold the ring in place. Thanks!

key01a.jpgkey03a.jpgkey04a.jpgkey05a.jpgkey06a.jpgkey07a.jpgkey08a.jpg
elco_chan (author)  fsped092 years ago
Awesome Job!!!
wow nice!
cool!
fraclet2 years ago
Very good idea. See my steampunk Folding key Chain :)
suissekey.jpgsteamkey.jpg
hey fraclet that's a cool stuff you made there, what if you make instructable on that?
yes! i like that clip-on thing.. need to find one myself now..
chaitanyak2 years ago
thanks for the great DIY, i didn't have one of these multi tools to work with, so just built it from scratch at a friend's workshop :) made it with some aluminum.. learnt how to tap threads for the center hollow rods.. so the screws can fit..
overall turned out to be a fun project

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nice and neat job!
elco_chan (author)  chaitanyak2 years ago
That looks awesome!!!  What are the other keys for the look almost like a newer version of skeleton keys?
Thanks!
He he those are just old style padlocks that i still use for my garage doors and a grsliding grill. I guess they look pretty vintage.. But their quite common here
pakalolo6662 years ago
I'm a Building Tech (custodian) @ a Highschool in CO. I absolutly hate hearing my keys jingle while walking around. I love this "destructable"!!! Went to Harbor Freight this morning. Absolutly had to make one of these! Tweeked it a little bit to hold the amount of key I carry. Thank you!!!
elco_chan (author)  pakalolo6662 years ago
Would love to see a picture of it. Post pics when you are done. : )
elco_chan (author)  pakalolo6662 years ago
If you needed room to fit more keys on it, I know Lowes does sell the internal hex bolts (the bigger bolts and shafts you remove to take everything apart) in different lengths that will work for this project as well if you needed to hold more keys. They are located in their specialty parts drawers in in the nuts and bolts isle.
graywoulf2 years ago
Looks like a grand idea but how do you then know which key fits what? I can only ID my keys for the most part by the tops of them. Of course I can easily tell a car key from a house key but if you have a lot of different house keys and they all for the most part look alike, well I think you see where I am going with this. However, I still think this is a grand idea!
I would probably be able to remember which key is in which position, or your could take a permanent marker or paint and color the underside of the keys, though that would wear off. I've been wanting to make one of these for years, but I hesitate to because it looks like the handle gives a lot more leverage to the key, and I'm concerned I might break a key off in the lock, or wear it out too fast.

I wonder if the author has had any problems along this line.
elco_chan (author)  DavidKaine2 years ago
As for the worry of keys breaking I have found that the rubber grommets I added on actually keep me from applying to much pressure when turning it so it has a little give to it and does not apply as much torque when turning. Other then that I have not had any issues with it.
To get around this problem, you might consider coloring the "heads" of the keys, BOTH SIDES of course, with a bright/bold permanent marker and then apply 3-4 THIN COATS of nail polish. Thin will work best because it will be less likely to chip off over time. And with as little as you would need, you might want to invest in one of the better brands thru a beauty supply house like Sally, as they too will tend to last longer. Now if you want to go all out, or are a female, just do the same to each key but using different colors of nail polish. Doing both sides of the key and the "head" only, makes it so much simpler to find whatever key you are searching for no matter what side you look at it from. I would still recommend covering the colors of polish with a few thin clear coats to enhance durability. Be sure to make certain the coats are completely dry before applying the next one or it may end up too thick/gummy, therefore more easily worn away.
ianswope2 years ago
Great idea, a real space saver.

Just a word of caution. some new car keys have an RFID tag in the key head. cutting off the head of one of these keys could be a costly mistake.
elco_chan (author)  ianswope2 years ago
My wife's car keys has a RFID tag in it, the one I made a copy of is just a door key so I can unlock her car if she ever locks them inside. It won't start the car sadly enough.
Good point. My wife's 2011 Honda Pilot that has a normal looking key, but has the RFID tag in the rubberized head. The dealer warned us it was over $200.00 to replace.
Very true. I would not use it for car keys. I think most mid-price cars from 2009+ have chips in them now. The key for my car (2006) has it in the 'neck' of the key, right below the head. However, my wife's car (2007) has it in the head of the key so you can't see it. Makes more sense for obvious security reasons.
KGood2 years ago
Any problem with using the car key due to the extra weight or reduced flexibility (as opposed to having nothing attached to the key ring except for another key or something)?
elco_chan (author)  KGood2 years ago
Believe it or not having the folding hex key is lighter then the key ring originally was
Maeven2 years ago
So are the phillips/flat head screw driver addition an instructable or store bought? I could use something like that. Nice instuctable.
elco_chan (author)  Maeven2 years ago
I bought it from a store, I think it was autozone if I remember correctly. Ran about $8
I like this. Would be good to throw a small knife blade on this, like a multitool key chain.
That's a great idea until you have to go through a security check somewhere and they confiscate you knife along with all of your keys!
Good point. Big Brother is watching.
Make a quick-release on the blade so that you can just like twist a knob or something and give them the blade. It would be difficult, but If you kept the blade on a shaft separate from the keys, then you could attach or detach the blade in seconds. It's just you'd have to buy a dollar store knife and prep the blade for mounting every time someone confiscated it.
Get a scalpel handle from somewhere with the end made for the disposable scalpel blades, and mount that using the same method as the keys.
elco_chan (author)  Spokehedz2 years ago
love it, I'll have to try it since I have room on it and a spare scalpel laying around (in a safe place of course).
Or... leave the knife blade at home. Flying isn't typically a surprise.
newroger2 years ago
que otima ideia adorei !!!!
hy lake!
rtnatividad2 years ago
I'd do like in the final picture with the carabiner but even then I wouldn't hang it all from a belt loop. Included with all of my mini club cards is a mini Visa Check Card which is almost twice the size of the mini club cards and has all of the basic debit card data on it (name, card number, 3-digit security number) and I'm sure you've heard of those devices that can steal all the information off a card like that with one swipe.
cant beat harbor freight
mdavies72 years ago
This is really clever, I have a few of these hex tools from cycling, think i just found a new project
aaronncook2 years ago
This is by far the absolute most useful instructable I have ever seen!
cheesehead2 years ago
Fantastic idea!
Ballesss2 years ago
One of the Gadgets of the Week on Deal Extreme
http://www.dealextreme.com/p/7-in-1-folding-hex-screwdrivers-tools-kits-73058
fareed_tam2 years ago
Great!
2tnt2 years ago
Very nice, i will do it for me.
Thanks for share
Love this! My leather key keepers keep falling apart - the key holdrs always break. Someone else hacked an imitation Leatherman tool into a similar key holder (great minds think alike) but this looks slimmer and would fit into my pocket better.
MaXoR2 years ago
I'm going to modify an old Swiss army knife for this project, it turns out it will fit my house keys, and my car keys aren't necessary.
mischka2 years ago
Great Idea!! I really love it!
bayyagg2 years ago
That is a very good idea!

Hope you patent that immediately or I would copy it and sell that around the world!
tryb012 years ago
Great idea using the cheapo hex key handle & parts.
This would also work well for disabled people who have a hard time hold & turning key into a lock. You could list this in the Assistive Tech section here on Instructables.
I have made single or double key handles like that out of 1/4 inch thick plastic to make a handle, a small machine screw & wing nut so you can lock the key at a preferred angle to the handle.
Yours is nicer with the blue anodized aluminum handle!
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