One of the joys of working downtown is that you get to pay for parking. I pay by the day because I have enough offsite meetings that a monthly pass doesn't make financial sense. This means I keep a lot of quarters in my car. The problem with this is that the laws of physics act on them when I'm driving so they migrate all over the place and are always hiding from me when I'm in a rush.
My brother suggested that I keep them in an old pill bottle. Which would work, but as in the spirit of my toothpick holder, this was just too simple. So I hit upon the idea of making a holder with a spring-loaded cover that would allow me quick access to the coins without having to open the holder.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
* Two plastic containers. (One slightly larger in diameter than the other)
* A piece of scrap metal
* Two extension springs
When selecting springs make sure you choose ones that are strong enough to retract the cover, but not so strong you'll have trouble moving them. I chose springs that I could easy pull apart, but were still rather resistant.
* Dremel with cut-off wheel, sanding drum and high-speed cutter
* Dust collection system (optional)
* Drill press with 1/16" bit
* Hand drill with 1/16" bit
* Torch (or other heat source)
* Small file
* Hot glue gun
* Tape measure
* E-6000 (or your favorite adheasive)
* Utility knife
* Metal punch
* Ballpeen hammer
The more astute observers in the crowd will notice that the main body of the finished holder is red while the container depicted in this and many of the following steps is green. I would like to claim that this is due to magical powers of transmutation on my part, but unfortunately I cannot. I had a bit of a brain fart (which I will detail later) and had to redo this portion of the holder.
Step 2: Yanking, Marking and Cutting...Oh My!
I used a pill bottle as the hatch for the coin holder. In order to use it I had to yank the lid liner out with a pair of pliers. (Actually yank is a bit dramatic as it came out without much effort.)
With that done I traced the outline of the container which will serve as the coin holder body onto the lid.
I then put the lid, hatch container and scrap metal in my dust collection system so I could make the initial cuts.
I used a heavy duty cut-off wheel on my Dremel to cut the piece of metal I needed and to cut the bottom off the hatch container. Once these cuts were made I switch to a high speed cutting attachment and did a rough cut out on the lid.
Step 3: Marking and Cutting the Body
With the hatch moving freely we now need to get the body ready to accept the spring mounting bar (a.k.a the scrap metal we cut earlier).
Lay your mouting bar on the body container and use it as a template the mark the width of the bar. I just chose a height that looked good. Once the mark is made measure how high it is. Then make a mark at the same height and as wide as the mounting bar on the opposite side of the container. Now use the Dremel with the cut-off wheel to cut slots in the body on the marks. Once the slots are made put the hatch onto the body. Then slide the mounting bar in place so that equal portions of it protrude from each side.
Step 4: Marking and Cutting the Hatch
Take the assembled holder from the last step and mark a spot on each side of the mouting bar where you're springs will be anchored. Then hold a spring so that one end is touching the mounting bar. Mark where the spring reaches on the hatch. This is the base of the tab that the top of the spring will hook to. Once the base of the tab is marked use your marker to draw the rest of the tab. Do this for both sides. Then disassemble the holder.
Use your Dremel equipped with a cutting wheel to cut the top and sides of the tabs free. I didn't cut all the way through with the Dremel as this would have made too large a set of cuts in the hatch. I only cut the majority of the material away with the Dremel and then finished the cuts with a utility knife.
Once the tab cuts were complete I used a butane torch to heat the base of the tabs. When the plastic was heated I used the blade of the utility knife to bend the tabs out so they protruded from the hatch and allowed them to cool.
Step 5: Securing the Grip
With the tabs made we need to affix the modified lid to the hatch to serve as a grip. In the hatch's former life as a pill bottle the lid was secured to it using plastic tabs with grooves in them. I took advantage of these tabs to secure the lid by applying E-6000 to the groves on the bottle and the tabs on the lid. I then put the lid in place and allowed the glue to set-up.
Step 6: Drilling
While the glue dried I drilled the holes in the mounting bar. First I used a metal punch and ballpeen hammer to dent the mounting bar at the locations I marked in step four. This will help keep the drill bit from "walking". With this done I loaded a 1/16" bit into my drill press and clamped the mounting bar in place. Then drilled out the holes. When both holes were completed I cleaned them up with a small file.
(It was at this point that my brain fart occurred. Since the glue hadn't dried I put the mounting bar into the body and secured it in place with hot glue. I just forgot that I needed to thread the hatch onto the body before I secured the mounting bar. Once I discovered the error I was able to free the mounting bar and clean the glue from it, but not from the body. So I used the remainder of the glue's drying time to make a second body with an identical container I had on hand.)
Once the glue had dried on the lid/hatch connection I used a hand drill with the 1/16" bit from above to make a hole in each tab.
Step 7: Notching the Body and Final Assembly
Once I drilled the needed holes I reassembled the holder. I then secured the mounting bar in the body by filling it with hot glue. Once the glue cooled I used forceps and a flashlight to remove the strands of glue from the inside of the body that would keep the coins from feeding properly.
With the excess glue removed I shone a flashlight through the body to find the exact location of the top of the glue within the body. I then marked this spot so I could cut a slot for the coins to be dispensed from. I cut the slot using my Dremel with a cut-off wheel and a file. I used quarters to test the slot. It took a few attempts to get the size of the slot exactly right.
After I got the slot perfected I fed one end of the spring into the hole in the mounting bar and crimped it around the bar with a pair of pliers. I then did this for the other end of the spring on the hatch tab. Then I repeated this process for the other side.
With this the holder was finished so I loaded it up. So far it is working well.