Altoid Can Wallet

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It had to be done... an Altoid Can Wallet was imminent. Use an old Altoids Can as your wallet, outfitting it with a bank style coin inserter and a useful LED light.

Items needed for this project:
~Altoids Can
~Magnets
~Dremel/cutting utility
~LED
~Button/Switch
~Button cell batteries

Step 1: Get It, Eat It, Magnet

Get your can, eat the mints, and grab some magnets. The top portion will be used to magnet paper bills to the top, whereas the bottom will be reserved for the LED light, change, cards, and whatever other wallet stuffs you feel like putting in.

Simply get a magnet or two and put them on your folded bills. The magnets stick to the metal can and the money looks really cool as if it's hanging there.

Next step: Coin Slot

Step 2: The Coin Hatch

Now, we're going to make a coin slot so as to put change more easily into the Altoids can without opening the lid every time (because we all know how time consuming that is). Take your can, measure out the appropriate size (I used the length of a quarter), and cut away!

I used a Dremel to do this. Use caution!!! Flying metal may occur, though it is a straight cut.
You can use some other means to make this slit, but I find it's easiest just to Dremel it.

After this, I took a piece of cardboard paper and cut it a bit bigger than the cut and wider. I put this on the inside and magneted it to the can. That way, money goes in, and doesn't come out.

Step 3: LED Light

For the LED light, I grabbed a couple (three) of button cell batteries and taped them together. I wired it out, the positive to the switch and then to the LED.

Next: Mounting the LED light.

Step 4: Mounting the LED

After making the small LED circuit, I decided to mount it off of the bottom of the can so as the cards could fit under it, but below the lid. I drilled a hole for the LED to poke through and then cut another for the switch to be mounted and be accessed from the outside. Adding some hot glue, the light was good to go.

UPDATE:
Additionally, if you want the light on the inside, simply bend it inwards and forget drilling a hole for it. But don't forget to cover the back of it so you don't short it out on the tin!

Step 5: Adding Felt Noise Softeners

You're almost there. To reduce the noise of the coins, I cut up some felt pads and attached them to the sides of the can. This simple action drastically reduced the noise given off by the coins.

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    58 Discussions

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    technick29

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Okay, cool! You learn something new every day. Thanks a lot!

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    timntektechnick29

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    i also bet keeping (if for any reason you decide to carry a card) a card under the coins will keep the card from coming into contact with the magnets if you are worried, but i wouldnt sweat it too bad. I plan on making this but im 12 and dont carry any cards yet so i am not concerned. great instructable, its now on my favorites.
    cheers, tim

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    ferroucioustechnick29

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    If anyone watches the Mythbusters you may want to put an electric eel in your altoids can! XD Sorry I can't help with the coercivity but I thought that would be funny.

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    too lazy to find one, just take a gift card, check how much is left, rub amagnet on the black strip, check again it WILL read the same.

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     meh, i wouldnt trust it with all the devices out there today and all the money and hassle involved with bank cards, etc. 

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     it is true they can wipe magnetic strips, but it has to be a BIG magnet.  these little ones won't do any damage.

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    dinzel85

    9 years ago on Introduction

    My cards were rooted after i put strong magnets inside my wallet and stuck it to the ceiling of my uni workshop. Yeah it was a stupid experiment..

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    technick29

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Currently, I was just using junk lying around. That's an old hotel key in one of the pics, and I don't usually carry around magnetic stripe cards, but good call! Any idea on the proximity of the magnets to the card for it to mess with the data?

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    EbolaRobyntechnick29

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    After checking wikipedia I found the following: "High coercivity stripes are resistant to damage from most magnets likely to be owned by consumers. Low coercivity stripes are easily damaged by even a brief contact with a magnetic purse strap or fastener. Because of this, virtually all bank cards today are encoded on high coercivity stripes despite a slightly higher per-unit cost." But that doesn't say anything about very strong magnets, and sadly I'm not up on the exact strength needed to wipe your average magnetic strip. Could be a useful experiment I guess!

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    EbolaRobyn

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Pretty cool design, much better than I expected from an altoid can! Aren't you a little worried about having magnets so close to your cards?

    1 reply
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    iKillEbolaRobyn

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Watch myth busters they denounced that myth in an earlier episode they tried as hard as using an electromagnet.... nothing.. so ya magnets are fine