Introduction: Maker Tin

Unfortunately we can't always be at our workbench or desk with all our tools at the ready, sometimes we just have to go out and explore the world...

But fear not ! For I have come up with the perfect solution to this troublesome dilemma, thanks to this instructable you can now carry all your favorite maker tools everywhere you go without wearing a cumbersome tool belt !

Housed in the iconic Altoids Tin is an array of useful tools that will enable you to go about your everyday routine with the comforting knowledge that you can open, hack, modify or customize anything you want.

Thank you all for voting !!

Currently the tools in the tin include :
  • Mini Craft Knife
  • Superglue
  • Pencil
  • Notepad
  • Matches and striker
  • Sewing Kit
  • Metal File
  • Button Cell battery
  • Red,Yellow,Green,Blue LED's
  • Resistors
  • Wire
  • Shrink Tubing
  • 2x Crocodile clips
  • Sandpaper
  • Duct Tape
  • Electrical Tape
  • Mini Scissors
  • Magnet (Gmjhowe)
  • Screw/Nail holder
  • Saw (Tobz1122)
  • 2x Zip ties (Yokozuna)
  • Candle (Kiteman)

That my friends is a lot of tools !

If you have any suggestions for more tools check out this forum topic where you could win a patch for helping !

In the instructable i will show you how to make all the individual components and then at the end we will compile them and put them all in the tin.

Step 1: Mini Craft Knife

Ah the trusty craft knife, a staple tool in any makers toolkit and so obviously it had to go in the tin.

I contemplated making one on my school lathe but then I considered the time, effort and skill involved and decided to just cut one in half instead..
Anyway not everyone has a lathe so this way is better !

1 - Take the blade out so you dont stab yourself
2 - Measure your tin's width (Altoids are 9cm wide)
3 - Mark that width on your knife (including blade)
4 - Clamp the knife securely
5 - Using a hacksaw cut along the line
6 - Use sandpaper to round the sharp edges off
7 - Put in tin !

Note -
Dont try to use a wood saw... they break
If you are photographing the process, watch where you put your camera so you don't smack it with the saw when cutting...

Step 2: Super Glue

For this step I tried putting the glue in the small container but it went everywhere, got on my clothes and then dried up in the container.

So for this step you need a half (or nearly) empty tube of glue.

1 - Use a glue stick or other small cylinder to push the glue towards the nozzle end
2 - Cut the tube in half (don't cut right next to where the glue is or it will come out)
3 - Using tweezers and pliers pinch and roll the end of the tube up
4 - Put in tin !

Note -
This can get messy so DONT wear your favorite t-shirt
Be careful where you cut because there could be a glue explosion..

Step 3: Electronics Kit

Many many makers are interested in electronics so i decided to make a small electronic section.

I used an old camera memory card box to keep the electronics separate from the rest of the tools

In the box
1 3v Button cell
1 Red LED
1 Yellow LED
1 Green LED
1 SuperBright Blue LED
5 Resistors

All these components easily fit inside the memory card box and there is plenty of space for more

Step 4: Wire + Clips

The wire and Crocodile Clips can be used in conjunction with the electronics kit in step 3 or on its own to solve an array of simple electronic projects.

The crocodile clips don't need steps, just pick up and put in the tin !

The wire is simple also -
1 - Cut a decent sized length of wire
2 - Coil it up
3 - Use an elastic band to hold in place
4 - Put in tin

Note -
Using an elastic band is better than just wrapping the wire around its self as it means your kit also has some elastic !

Step 5: Metal File

Files are always useful and although the kit also has sandpaper sometimes that just dosent cut it.

Unlike the craft knife i couldn't just cut a file in half because they are huge, heavy and i only have one :)

So i found a small file on the back of some nail clippers i got in a Christmas cracker, and used a pair of pliers to snap it off.

Step 6: Hacksaw

This Addition was suggested by Tobz1122 !

The saw i used was a blade from a jigsaw drill. They are really small blades which have small teeeth which is perfect for small jobs.

If you have a selection of small blades, choose the one with the smallest teeth as it will be the easiest to use.

Then just get some tape (i used electrical) and cover up about an inch on one end.

Then put it in the tin !

Step 7: Sewing Kit

Another thing many makers like is sewing crafts.
Along with being creative, having a sewing kit handy can be very useful, remember that time you ripped a huge hole in your trousers crotch area playing football ? we've all been there ! If only you had this sewing kit with you !

For this step you will need:
- A small square of card or foam
- A selection of different coloured threads
- Two needles

1 - Cut a small notch in the top of your cardboard
2 - Put one end of the thread in the notch
3 - Wrap the thread around the cardboard
4 - Tuck the other end in the notch
5 - Repeat steps 1>4 for each different thread
6 - Push the needles into the edge of the cardboard (pointy bit first!)

Step 8: Mini Scissors

These mini scissors can be used with the sewing kit in the previous step or for anything else that needs cutting :)

I got these mini scissors from a small fist-aid kit, you can buy them in shops too, they sell them to cut babies nails.

Note -
If you take anything from a first aid kit you must allways replace it
Your local chemists or drug store will probably have the mini scissors

Step 9: Matches + Striker

Fire is always useful... and cool.

The altoids tin can easily take a normal sized match, but if you have the extra-long versions just trim them down with some scissors or a knife.

I have six matches in a bundle, and have secured them together with an elastic band.

Steps for the match striker:
1 - Take the match tray out
2 - Cut a 5cm long section out
3 - Glue to the lid of your tin
4 - Test :)

Note -
Fire can kill - BE CAREFUL
If you are young then get your parents to help you out

Step 10: Candle Wax

This idea was suggested by Kiteman for "sealing small holes, lubricating screws, waterproofing stuff"

I used a small tea-light, but any plain white candle will do, simply remove the wick and cut a chunk off.

My tea-light was really flaky so i built a little pot and melted it with a lighter, then when it was cooling I shaped it into a little square, heating and cooling the wax stopped it flaking everywhere.

Step 11: Heat-shrink Tubing

In case you didn't know what it was ; its used in electronics, you put two wires inside the tube and then use a flame to heat the tube which shrinks and holds the wires in place.

Its very useful when fixing broken connections in gadgets or appliances.

Steps -
1 - Cut out a section of the tubing
2 - Fold it up
3 - Bind it together with and elastic band

Step 12: Note Pad

Every maker needs to write down their project ideas/world domination plans so i decided to include a handy notepad in the lid of the tin.

Steps -
1 - Tear about four pages off a note pad
2 - At the top where the pages are still joined cut out a 7x5cm square
3 - Trim down so it will fit nicely in the tin
4 - Glue the bottom sheet to the tin lid

Step 13: Mini Pencil

Now we have our notepad we need something to write with.

Obviously we cant fit a whole pencil in the tin so we will cut it in half !!

Steps -
1 - First we need to measure out the tin
2 - Mark where we want to cut
3 - Cut/Shop/Smash along the line
4 - Sharpen the pencil !

Step 14: Electrical Tape + Duct Tape

Makers love tape, it's just so useful !

It took me ages to think of a way to put tape in the tin, i though of sticking it to plastic sheets, wrapping around the tin and many other useless ideas.

Admitting defeat I looked over at the roll of tape, and then an idea hit me, Stick the tape to the tape !!
For some magical reason tape doesn't stick well to tape, so I decided to harness this incredible phenomenon and use it in my tin.

By wrapping the tape around the mini pencil only a very small section of the tape looses its stickiness as the rest is stuck to other tape and retains all its stickiness !

Steps -
1 - For the electrical tape you can just wrap it around the pencil
2 - When you have enough on the pencil, cut the tape
3 - Attach a small paper tab to the end of the tape for easy use
4 - For the duct tape you may need to cut a bit off the side so it isn't so wide
5 - Wrap the tape around the pencil and attach another paper tab.

Step 15: Magnetized !

Not content with it always being in your pocket ?
Simply add a magnet to the bottom of the tin. you can now put your maker tin wherever you want.

You can now use the bottom of the tin to hold screws you are using in your project or to pick up ones you lost in the carpet !!

I tried to make my dog carry the tin but she just rolled her eyes and went back to sleep. Silly dog.

Addition suggested by Gmjhowe !

Step 16: Finished !

There you go that's the end of the instructable !

You now have complete maker freedom !!

Other Suggestions from the community;
  • USB key with downloaded instructables or computer diagnostics programs
  • Screwdriver (Need bigger tin)
  • Mini Stapler
  • Bit driver
  • Survival Saw
  • Pliers
  • Lighter
  • Plasters/Band-aids
  • Tooth Pick's
  • Money
  • String
  • Solder
  • Buttons
  • Safety pins
  • Much, much more Here

If you have any suggestions for more tools check out this forum topic where you could win a patch for helping !

More awesome projects to come, so subscribe !!!

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