Vehicle Key Safe

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Introduction: Vehicle Key Safe

#Vanlife Contest

Runner Up in the
#Vanlife Contest

I headed off to go surfing...in my new to me van

...it has a door lock button and wouldn't work well after being tucked inside my wetsuit!

Grab an old bike frame and make a super easy vehicle key safe...

Step 1: Bits + Pieces

Just a few materials -

An old steel bike frame, large enough for the key to fit inside.

A long shackle combination lock

Vinyl adhesive paper for stencils

Spray paint - colour of choice [Montana 94 cans are my preferred for stencil spraying due to the low pressure spray]

Clear metal lacquer

Welding wire or rivets

Tools -

Angle grinder and cutting + grinding discs

Hacksaw

Metal files

Hammer

Drill - slightly larger than padlock shackle

Metal countersink

Welder or pop riveter

Step 2: Clean Up the End

Cut the frame to make sure that the key can fit easily inside...

...and grind off the paint to the end

Step 3: Flatten

Hammer the end flat, leaving the corners open so that any water that may get into the key safe will run out.

Step 4: Cut to Length

Work out the length that you need, allowing for a key fob if you have one...

...rough cut to length

Step 5: Weld

Weld the flattened end to stop the metal being prised apart.

Remember to leave the ends open for water to run out in use.

I was fortunate to borrow a friends welder though if you don't have the use of one pop rivets would work well.

Step 6: Clean Up

Clean up all of the outside of the frame section if you have not done so already

Step 7: Final Cut to Length

Make a nice end cut allowing for the key and the hole to be drilled for the padlock...

...clean the cut end with metal files until nice to the touch

Step 8: Drill a Hole

Drill a hole slightly larger than the padlock shackle right through both sides of the open end.

Check before drilling that the key will not bypass the padlock shackle.

Countersink the holes a little to clean them up.

Step 9: Stencil + Paint

Cut out some cool graphic stencils from some adhesive vinyl...

...stick on...

...and spray with your colour of choice

Step 10: Final Coat

As the bare metal was left by the stencils I added a clear lacquer coat to the key safe, both inside + out...this will help prevent rusting.

Step 11: All Ready to Use

Pop in the key...

...padlock to the underside of the vehicle...

...and go and enjoy the surf, canoe, run...

Step 12: Looking Good

This is a super easy little project that looks cool, I really like the ground metal stencil against the spray paint, and allows me to go surfing in the knowledge that the van was safe.

I am entering this project into the Vanlife Competition. If you have enjoyed this project, I would really appreciate your vote. Many thanks.


This project is part of my YouTube channel where I try to make cool and interesting projects.

Please check out my channel if you want to see more of the projects, if not there will be more coming to Instructables soon.

Why not check out what I am up to with pricklysauce.com

And also catch me on Facebook + Twitter

and now on Instagram!

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  • I made it! (with hel...-ChrisCruzer

    ChrisCruzer made it!

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52 Comments

Not bad, but he kinda locked it in plain site. Why risk it when you can put it up higher or closer to the middle of the underside of the car.

He had to lock it somewhere noticeable for the picture. He probably moved to a more hidden location later.

Does it fill with water when it rains? or when you wash the car? Is there a way to prevent that? Nice job either way

I PREFER USE N52 MAGNET TO HIDE IN THE REAR BUMPER LIKE I ALWAYS I DID AND NEVER I LOST THE KEY!!! BUT YOUR IDEA IS WELCOME TOO MY FRIEND!!! GOOD JOB!!!

: D

A lot of time and trouble when you can buy a Master Lock magnetic key holder for $3.52 from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Master-Lock-207D-Magnetic-Keycase/dp/B003WXGLS2/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_229_bs_lp_tr_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=8B2P3PCC8EGXJKJN8FQ7

I see those lying in the road all the time. All it takes is one good pothole to knock them loose.

If you're driving along with this in place, something has gone very wrong. It should only be locked onto the van when it's parked AND you can't reasonably take the key with you.

cheap ones and those installed on a dirty surface or a place that's not flat may fall off. The one I mentioned by Masterlock has a very strong magnet. I've been using these for years with great success.