Introduction: I-Beam Keyring

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The best design is often the simplest - and it doesn't come much simpler than this I-Beam Keyring

You'll find it hard to loose your keys again!

Here's how I made it...

Oh, and a video is also available here

Step 1: I-Beam

The I-Beam is a rolled steel joist (RSJ), which you can purchase from building supply merchants, but you don't need much so try local steel fabricators and builders, who will often discard cut-offs.

They come in lots of sizes, so just pick one that will suit your needs - small enough to fit in a jacket pocket is good.

Step 2: Cut to Width

Now comes the hard part!

A metal fabricator will cut you off what you need (about 3/16", 10mm) for a fee, but if you have a hacksaw then you can do it yourself whilst getting a workout

I used a table saw, with a tungsten carbide tipped (TCT) blade made for both wood and metal. A regular TCT blade will probably cope okay, although it won't be much good for cutting wood afterwards! I cut slowly, with shallow passes through the top and bottom of the 'I', and then held the beam over the blade and raised it slowly to finish the cut.

WARNINGCutting with a powered saw produces a lot of sparks - These are extremely hot little fragments of metal and will embed themselves in clothes and flesh, etc. Keep a guard between yourself and the action, and wear safety glasses, breathing and ear protection.

Step 3: Filing

Cutting will leave surface marks and sharp edges

The quickest way to deal with these is to use a sharp file

Work on the cut surfaces first, then ease the edges a little

Make sure there are no sharp edges before moving onto sanding, as they may cut through the sand paper

Step 4: Sanding

Sanding is optional really, since all the sharp edges should have been remove by now

You can work through finer and finer grits of sandpaper to achieve the finish you want

You could even move onto metal polish and take it to a mirror finish

I left the cut surfaces a satin finish by sanding down to 240 grit

I also left the uncut surfaces altogether, for a more industrial look

Step 5: Finishing Up

When it's looking how you want it, then you can install a plain keyring ring

For a little protection against rust, I've applied some furniture wax

Thanks for reading my Instructable, I hope you enjoyed it.

Now watch the video:

Cheers, Mitch