I'm always looking for new things to do with Altoids tins and the other day I upgraded my point & shoot camera to the new Canon SD780. My first thought was "man is this thing tiny", then a lightbulb went off an my second though was "I bet this will fit in an Altoids tin". Unfortunately its just too big to fit into an unmodified tin but with a teeny bit of dremelling it fits nicely.
Aside from just being cool this tin will allow you to carry your pocket camera around in your pocket without having to worry too much about keys or loose change damaging it. I don't know how many friends I have that broke the LCD screens on their pocket cams from just tossing them in their pockets.
Materials & Tools:
50g Altoids Tin (flavour is up to you)
Foam or soft thin fabrick
Dremel type cutting tool
Needle Nose Pliers
File to remove sharp edges
Step 1: Cleaning the Tin
Eat all the mints or dump them into a ziplock bag for consumption later, it never hurts to have a bag of mints in your car or desk at work.
Mint dust while tasty isn't the best thing for camera lenses etc. Run the tin under a tap and then dry thoroughly with paper towel. If you have a can of compressed air it wouldn't hurt to give it a quick blast just to make sure its all gone.
Step 2: Test Fit to See What Material to Remove
There is no sense in working harder than you have to, you only want to remove the material needed and nothing more.
Place one end of the camera into the tin and on the other side mark the area that is interfering. Now is also a good time to line up where the camera strap is so you can cut a slit for it as well.
Step 3: Get Cutting
Cut two slits on either side of where you want to remove the material. Then cut along the side of the can between the two slits. You don't necessarily have to go all the way through, you can use the pliers to bend the material back and forth and break it once it is scored. Repeat for remaining portions you need to remove.
Step 4: Cleaning Up the Edges
Use your file to clean up any sharp edges left over from the cutting. Keep the file perpendicular to the edge of the metal to ensure that you're not actually sharpening it instead of taking the edge off.
Make sure when you are finished to clean out any loose metal filings or debris left over from the filing. You don't want to get any of this in your camera, especially the lens.
Step 5: Check the Fit
Hopefully if you marked the material right your camera should fit into the tin now, if it doesn't just mark the parts that are still interfering and remove them.
Step 6: A Bit of Padding
As is the tin is a pretty tight fit but there is a little bit of room for the camera to jostle around. To make sure the camera is well protected we'll add a little material to the inside of the tin. There are multiple options here, thin foam or soft cloth would be good choices. Craft foam would probably be ideal but that's not the type of stuff I usually have lying around (I don't even know if they sell it where I'm from).
I chose some thin white foam packaging from a recent electronics purchase. Simply use some double sided tape and secure it down. Depending on the thickness of material your using you might be able to have two pieces of material, one in the lid and one inside the can.
Voila, you should have a spiffy way to protect your little pocket camera! If you want to you can take it a step further and paint the tin, etch it , or copper plate it for that steam punk look.