Introduction: Toroidal FIFO AAA Battery Storage

A battery storage solution which makes FIFO (first in, first out) inventory management easy. I figured it'd be a good idea to implement FIFO for the purposes of wear leveling. Simply put the freshly charged (or purchased) batteries in on the right-hand side, and remove batteries from the left, in the manner that you'd write and read an English sentence.

The construction also prevents the batteries from rattling around in the Altoids tin.

Capacity is about 14 batteries.

I didn't document this during construction, so let me know what you think about the step-by-step drawings.

Step 1: Materials and Serging

You'll need two small pieces of fabric:

A, as thin as possible, 2" by 18". I used a piece of DWR nylon that I scavenged from a broken umbrella (that's why it's pink). Besides being a found material, this had the advantage of already having a fraying-preventing seam sewed along one edge. If you don't have that much luck, simply sew a zig-zag stitch half on, half off the fabric, as demonstrated in the illustration. (If you have a serger, feel free to use that instead.)

B, somewhat thicker and stiffer, 2.375" by at least 7". I used a piece of slightly stretchy broadcloth, I think. Serge the edges (top, right, and bottom only) if you'd like.

Step 2: Starting Assembly

Sew cloth A on top of cloth B, lining up the left-hand edges. I actually folded A around the edge of B and sewed through all three layers, but use whatever technique you're comfortable with.

The top of cloth A should be 1/2" below the top of cloth B, and the bottom of cloth A should extend about 1/8" below the bottom of cloth B.

Step 3: Making the Loops

I didn't find any shortcuts to sewing the loops, so let me know if you do. The procedure I used is as follows:
  1. Measuring from the last line of stitching, make a mark 0.4" (the diameter of the battery) along cloth B.
  2. Measuring from the last line of stitching, make a mark 1.03" ([Pi/2+1] times the diameter) along cloth A.
  3. Line up those two marks, and make a line of stitching vertically down the length of the fabric. Start this line of stitching a bit above the top edge of cloth A, and terminate it approximately at the bottom edge of cloth B. Remember to make the ends of this stitching secure by backstitching.
Continue this process until you don't have enough fabric left over to make another loop. At this point, cut cloth A about 3/16" from the last line of stitching and secure the edge by making a zig-zag stitch half on, half off cloth A.

Step 4: Finishing

To close the bottom of the loops, carefully fold them under sewing machine foot as you proceed to from left to right (or right to left - doesn't matter) about 3/16" above the bottom of cloth B. You might find this nerve-racking; try to remain calm.

Trim the bottom of cloth A so that it is flush with tho bottom of cloth B, and secure the two together with a zigzag stitch made half on, half off the fabric.

Serge the right hand side of cloth B so that it extends about 3/8"-1/2" past the leftmost extent of cloth A. (this isn't critical)

Finish the cloth liner by hand-stitching the strip into a torus, overlapping the edges about 1/8".

The project is now ready to fill with batteries. You'll need to put the cloth toroid in an Altoids tin to prevent the batteries from falling out of their pockets, and you'll find that, with a bunch of batteries in stock, the tin will close best if the hand-stitched gap in the belt is at the right or left-hand side of the tin.