DIY Handyman's Pocket Sized Tool Box, Feat. Home Made Screwdriver




About: 'A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.' - Someone famous, probably

By the end of this instructable, you will have a tool box with multiple screw bits, sockets, and hex keys. What's better than being able to repair and fix anything at your disposal on the go? Nothing of course!

This tool box is highly personalizable. You can add many more things as long as it fits in. For example, if you can put the more common socket sizes in as well as your favourite hex keys. Think of the possibilities!

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Step 1: Gathering.

To make a mini tool box, you will need:

*a small box (in this case, an Altoids tin)
*rotary tool with cutting disc and sanding drum accessory
*needle nose pliers (these work best)
*hot glue gun (or any substitution of adhesive to make the bonds more permanent)
*SAFETY GOGGLES! (don't want to be blinded and have a perfectly useful pocket tool box now, do you? :D)
*cheapo multitool retrieved from companies and such (I'm sure you can find something like it at a dollar store of some sort; look around, shouldn't be too hard)

Things to put in the tool box:

*mini hammer (found at jeweler's store)
*set of hex keys/allen wrenches
*screwdriver bits

Now, on to building our feature presentation: the mini pocket screwdriver (compatible with screwdriver bits)!
Beware of imitators, especially ShamWOW ones.

Step 2: Begin Making the Screwdriver: Cutting.

Cut the cheapo multitool for the plastic coupling nut-like thing that holds each screw bit. This will be connecting the hex key to the screw bit. Use the rotary tool to cut it off, and extract the magnet at the end as well. This will hold the screw bit to the hex key.

Step 3: Glueing.

After extracting the coupling nut thing, glue the magnet to the end of the hex key, and then glue the coupling nut to the hex key afterwards. Make sure there is enough space in the coupling nut to comfortably fit the screw bit inside without losing any tool-power (couldn't think of the right word of it).

When you've finished cutting the coupling nut off, you can use the sanding drum to clean it up. Get rid of all loose bits of plastic so it's all flush and professional.

IMPORTANT: Don't put too much glue on the magnet. You want it to be as clean and tidy as possible. Another note, make sure the magnet is flat and not tilted, or else the screw bit won't be as secure as it could be. And glue the magnet on the shorter end of the hex key so you will have more leverage when screwing something.

Step 4: Assembling.

Now that we have the main tool, it's time to place everything into the Altoids tin. Since i prefer the sockets over hex keys, i'll put those in first.

Messy or neat, it's your call. I personally don't mind how it is, because i know whatever i need will be in the case, and since it's relatively small it won't take a very long time to find what you need.

Note: the sockets that i have are from this set that i bought a long time ago, and it's not your regular set of sockets. The piece that would usually attach to the wrench is not a square, which lessens the versatility (you can't use these sockets with a better wrench) in some cases, but in this case, it adds to it.

Step 5: Final Notes and Further Modifications

Well now you have a pocket sized tool box, but what now? CUSTOMIZATION TIME!

*Coupling nut not nutty enough to make the bits into a couple?
Add some handy dandy duct tape around the connection point or even use gorilla glue for a more secure bond that won't be defied by the awesome will of pocket screwdriving.

*Need to cut the cheese?
Slide in a small blade! Or if you want some more cutting power, trim down a hacksaw blade to fit inside this altoids tin, and then wrap one end of the blade with heavy duty tape as a handle. Even a pair of nail clippers will get some things done (a $3 wire stripper/cutter? No way!)

*Want more bits and sockets at your beck and call?
Just throw whatever bits and sockets you need inside!

*Organized junk tool box too unorganized?
Add a pouch or magnet on the lid section for your screw bits! Also, you can use cardboard as dividers to separate all your tools and what not.

*Sockets sliding around silly?
Get some molding clay, make a thin strip and put your socket imprints in the clay mold. Bake it till it hardens, then glue that strip into your tin. Voila, a socket set holder!

*Repairs not being repaired?
Throw in various screws so you can repair anything that stands in your way.

*Want some bonding time?
Small tubes of glue and small rolls of duct tape will do very nicely in your miniature tool box.

*Two hands not enough?
Make a third hand (you can make one by simply searching for one, many are around this website) to help you get those DIY tasks done.

*The Dark Side coming to close for comfort?
Throw in a small flashlight, or even make a couple LED throwies (bright white LED, of course) with an on/off switch, and now you have light where you wouldn't think possible? There's an area under the sink that a flashlight just won't reach? Throw an LED throwy and light will come!

*Rattling getting on your nerves?
If you find that when you have this in your pocket and it makes too much noise (not good for stealth DIY missions), you can add a thin layer of silicon or rubber around the Altoids tin to muffle the noise. Or, if you want a quieter, but more space consuming approach, you can use a thick fabric like fleece or wool. This way, your tools won't move around as much, and you most likely will not hear your tool box rattling anymore at all. The glories of sound-muffling home projects.

The customizing options are limitless, and now the rest is up to you. Onward!

And now you have a miniature tool box to always be in your pocket. Any pocket for that matter. Bring it anywhere and everywhere you go, and there won't be another thing that will stand in your way.

Questions? Concerns? More ideas? Leave a comment!

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    12 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    It looks like you have a lot of extra space...
    You could add some screws, nails, nuts, bolts, etc in it


    9 years ago on Introduction

     first off. WHERE DID YOU GET THAT HAMMER!!! I have to know.
    second. this is awesome. 


    9 years ago on Introduction

    hey could you fit a tiny ratchet in there?
    if you can put a tiny magnet in the bottom of a 6.5mm socket then attach it to your ratchet and pop a little screwqdriver but in the bottom and you have your own mini screwdriver


    10 years ago on Step 3

    it may be wise if you can find another, to attach one of these couplers on the long end as well. being that I ride a lot, i find that often the tubes of a bike frame can prevent the use of those allen keys short ways. it may be helpful for reaching front derailleur high/low screws and other harder to reach spots.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I took an hex adapter off of a bit set I had sitting around, and pulled the grey end out of it. Then I used a bench grinder to file it down, and superglued a small magnet in the middle of the inside of it. Thus, I had the metal equivalent of your plastic coupling, and it was removable. Makes fitting everything inside of the tin a lot easier. Kudos, great instructable.

    1 reply
    Justin LamIslmi

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    that's a darn good idea, and if i actually had one of those i'd be using it right now. but since i don't, i'm stuck with my plastic one (which is still holding up). but a removable metal coupling would work fine, if not better. hope you're doing lots of DIY projects with that thing!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    do you know where i could buy the hammer online? when i google jeweler's hammer it gives my ball pin hammers and such. nothing as small as the one you use.

    1 reply

    well the hammer i got is quite old... my grandpa used it to make jewelry. i'm not sure if he bought it or actually made it himself, but its nevertheless a good, trusty mini hammer. i guess you can try checking ebay for this hammer, if not, you could make your own. because this hammer is not going to be used for very heavy jobs, a primitive 'cave man' style hammer should do fine. that way you can customize it yourself and size it to fit. good luck!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    that hammer is SO CUTE! I can almost imagine the lilliputian nails you'll be driving with that! The allen-key turned screwdriver/socket wrench... that's an instructable all in itself, but blends well with the kit. Kudos. I would suggest though, a drop of superglue will do better for holding the magnet... Now if only they'd make an altoids tin to fit my Leatherman multi-tool. especially since it has a bit adapter built in(have to take out the adjusting screw, but it's there)

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Why not make a clamp out of a second Altoids tin to hold your Leatherman? It seems like it would be easy enough to pop rivet one to the top or bottom.

    Justin Lamsrohwer

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Well if you want to attach your Leatherman (or needle nose pliers :P) to this handy tool box, and you have a case for it, then you're set to go. Just attach a strip of velcro (or anything like it) to the Leatherman case, or if you don't mind directly on the Leatherman itself, and another strip on the lid of the Altoids. This way your Leatherman is removable without it leaving the case. In your pocket or attached to your tool box, it doesn't matter. It won't hold up as well as it could, but it wouldn't wreck your Leatherman as much as it would in other methods. Either that or make a resealable pouch to slip your Leatherman in, and use any method to attach the pouch to it. Slip in, slip out! Just like that. And like what srohwer said, you can attach one or two or as many other Altoids cans as you want to each tool box. This way you can have more tools in a more organized way (two boxes instead of one) and only by sacrificing about 3/4 of an inch in your pocket! Any more than that, however, doesn't really make the tool box pocket friendly.