Molecular Formula Key Ring.

Introduction: Molecular Formula Key Ring.

A Christmas present For The Chemistry Boffin Who Has Everything.

I want to give a present to my young friend who is studying Chemistry at an Oxford University.
This is what I have to go on:

He spends 90% of his time studying equations.

He has an active Social life which involves lots of drinking.

He always loses his keys.

So, after much thought, I decided to make a key-ring with the molecular formula for alcohol (ethanol ) on it.

Step 1: Tools and Materials.

You will need;

A pair of tin snips or hacksaw.
A drill or a punch.
A file or a grinder.
Emery paper.
A hammer.
A Letter punch set or an engraver or a scribe.

A small piece of aluminium or steel.
A lanyard or key fob.

Step 2: Cut the Basic Shape.

Cut the basic shape.

I had a small piece of steel that was marginally thicker than a credit card; it was formerly part of a shelf bracket that was too flimsy to ever work properly,

Step 3: Mark Out the Formula.

Mark out the formula.

I did this to avoid mistakes.

It also takes the ink into the recess of the letter, making it darker.

Step 4: Punch in the Letters.

Punch in the letters.
You will need to to this on a heavy metal ojbect; I used the back of the vice.

After adding the letters you will probably want to flatten the metal out.

Step 5: Grind or File Off the Corners.

Grind or file off the corners.

Remember, if you are using aluminium that you will not be able to use a grinder and should use a file instead.

Step 6: Drill a Hole.

Drill a hole for the lanyard.

It is best to have the metal clamped down to prevent injury.

File the burr from around the hole.

Step 7: Buff Up.

Buff up using emery paper.

I used mild steel and I like things to get a nice patina, especially when they are handled often so I just gave it a small squirt of furniture polish that contains wax;  if you want to keep it shiny then a quick spray with a can of clear lacquer might be a good idea; but I don't think that it is really necessary. 

Step 8: Add the Lanyard or Key Fob.

Add the lanyard or Key fob.

These are available in craft stores, but I just happened to have one at hand.

I added his name to the back as well.

Happy Christmas.

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    10 years ago on Introduction

    That's very nice, I sort of want one. The representation is not advanced-level, so in text-book terms the style would be "retro-" or "old-school".



    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction


    Thanks for the comments.

    Just in case I ever make another one; What is the advanced representation for ethanol?

    I can find these C2H5OH or CH3–CH2–OH or C2H6O but I preferred the spread out skeleton representation.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Your advanced level cartoon is a bit simplistic for ethanol (pic) but the method is good for more advanced structures.
    CH3CH2OH is a good linear representation.