Industrial Strength Electronics Holster





Introduction: Industrial Strength Electronics Holster

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

This is a wireless microphone sender unit in a tough waist holster I made for it.  As a parish pastor, I use this at least once a week.  You may not use a wireless microphone, but this holster could be for any piece of electronics you might want to wear on your belt, including a cell phone.  In the case of a cell phone, you may want to add extra ribs to cradle the phone.  I used only one lateral loop around the upper portion of the sender unit and one vertical loop that passes around the unit from below.

Step 1: The Factory Belt Clip

This photo shows the factory issue spring wire belt clip.  It has the fiendish proclivity to disengage from the sender unit and fling itself across the room when I remove the sender from my belt.  

Step 2: Raw Material

Friends built a garage.  They gave me a couple of pounds of concrete reinforcement wires.  Each is about 1/8 inch thick and 5 inches long.  Some are straight, but some have a spiral twist in them.  I used about four stubs in this project.

Step 3: Remove the Twist and Make Straight

Removing the twist is easy.  Rotate each twisted stub slowly while pounding on it against a flat iron surface with a hammer.  In a very short time the twist is removed and the pieces are quite straight.  In the photo you can see that the left half of the stub is now straight.

Step 4: Bend the Belt Loop

I placed a piece of water pipe into my vise and bent one of the stubs around it to make the belt loop.  Try to make the bend so the ends are even with each other.  Corrections can be made by bending a little more on the long side and straightening a little on the short side.

Step 5: Prepare to Make a Right Angle Bend

Place the ends into the jaws of a vise about 1/4 inch.  Try to get the amount inserted equal on each end.  Tighten the vise.

Step 6: Bend

Bend the loop over to make a 90 degree angle.

Step 7: Prepare to Weld

This electronics holster requires welding.  It would be possible to weld it with a stick welder.  In that case, consult this Instructable first so you can begin the arc exactly where you want it to begin.  It is much easier just to use a wire feed welder, if that option is available to you.  

A good setup makes good welds much easier.  I used a piece of aluminum angle and spring clamps.  This setup holds the parts in their desired orientation and makes precise welding very easy.  Weld from both sides of each joint where the pieces overlap.  

The straight piece is for illustration purposes only.  When I made this holster I bent the stub to fit around the circumference of the sender unit before preparing to weld it to the belt loop. 

Step 8: The 2nd Set of Welds

This is the setup I used for welding the vertical loop to the horizontal loop.  

Step 9: Grind the Welds

I ground the welds flat so they would not obstruct the sender unit when I slip it into the holster.  I used a Dremel tool with a grinding stone.

Step 10: Make It Fit

Unless you are very, very good; the holster may be a little too loose or a little too tight for your piece of electronics.  I solved that problem by squeezing the loose area a little in a vise.  See the first photo.  If the holster was a little too tight or I squeezed too much, I opened the holster a little by prying with a claw hammer and a large screwdriver.  See the second photo.  The wireless microphone sender does not have any display screen to protect, so I did not worry about any scuff marks.  If that is a consideration, the steel stub wires could be wrapped with electrical tape to protect your electronics.  

This holster has worked very well for its intended purpose.  I did check for cell phone holsters in a local store.  The nearest thing to what I needed was a very feminine pink.  I opted for this more industrial look.

Step 11: Adapted for My Cell Phone

After knife141 commented that he wanted to make one of these for his cell phone I began to think how nice it would be to have fewer things in my shirt pocket.  I decided to make one of these holsters custom fitted for my cell phone.  The basic structure is the same, but I added a rib on each side near the bottom to keep the phone from cocking to one side and slipping out of the bottom.  After a day or two of wearing this holster I noticed it could slip off of my belt while sitting on a sofa and I could lose my phone.  I added a piece to thicken the very bottom part of the clip or belt loop.  See the second photo.  It is a little more difficult to put the holster onto my belt afterward, but it is certain not to slip off now. 



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    Pastor Phil, I found this 'ible by searching for cell phone holsters. I was leaning toward making one out of duct tape, but I'm liking your construction material and design better.

    I think PlastiDip might be good for protection against scuffs and scratches. If and when I try it I'll try to remember to post some feed-back.

    By the way, what really got my attention was your comment about missing Popular Mechanics. Used to be one of my favorites, too.

    Blessings to you and yours in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    1 reply

    Thank you for looking. PlastiDip would be a good material to prevent scuffs. Some guesswork during construction would be necessary to get the final fit you want. You might also be intersted in this Instructable for a Christian Fish bumper emblem. God bless!

    I am not sure what the context of your comment is. I am seeing it unconnected to any particular step. It is grouped with others at the end of the Instructable, so it has no context. Thanks.

    Thank you for looking.

    Nice! Looks like I'm going to have to fire up the wire welder and build me one!

    1 reply

    My phone is at least a couple of years old and already scuffed from lots of things. The steel holster has added a few extra scuffs here and there. When it comes time to replace that phone, I will save as much of my steel holster as I can and rework it for the new phone. That could include making the holster a little oversize so I can add some padding, maybe with some electrical tape. So far, I like it.

    This is great! I'm going to have to adapt this to my cell phone. It seems like the weak link for every cell phone case is always the clip that attaches it to your belt. I like this approach.

    4 replies

    I added a step to my Instructable on the welded holster for electronic devices. I made one for my cell phone and made a modification to keep the holster from slipping off of my belt while sitting on a sofa.

    I hesitated to publish this because I thought its application would be restricted to those who wear a wireless microphone holder. I am glad you think you may be able to use it. If you make a variation of this for your cell phone, you will like the comfort you enjoy wearing it, and you will get some interesting comments. The security folks at the airport may not know what to make of it, though. Oh, well! I enjoyed your Electric Scooter Pushed by a Monkey.

    "I hesitated to publish this because I thought its application would be restricted to those who wear a wireless microphone holder."

    Kiteman's Law, sir. :)

    Thank you for that. I am of the opinion this Instructable does plow new ground.

    Very nice project! I can see this being a great classroom/shop project for beginning welders (kind of like that hexagonal pencil holder from my junior-high woodshop :-).

    1 reply

    The part I like best is using the aluminum angle to hold pieces in position for getting the desired orientation of the parts when finished. I expect our mothers all have some of those junior-high projects kept somewhere as trophy reminders of their progeny.

    "[The belt clip] has the fiendish proclivity to disengage from the sender unit and fling itself across the room when I remove the sender from my belt."

    One hopes that divine retribution ensures that it is flung in the direction of that parishoner sleeping in the front pew during your service :-)

    1 reply

    The only time when the clip can spring across the room is when I take off my clergy robe in my office. So far, people have been kind. If any are dozing off, they do it with their eyes open. I also give them a 500 word abstract of the sermon. They can follow it and find their way back in the event of a mental drift. Thanks for looking.

    Does your work as a pastor require a holder THIS tough?
    Nice I'ble though!

    1 reply

    Not really! ;-) I do find it moves with me when I rise and sit much better than the factory issue clip, and is easier to adjust for fit when my clergy gown is over it. It was a matter of finding a use for something I already had on hand that normally would have been scrapped. Thanks for looking and for commenting.