Folding Key Chain




I was browsing around on instructable's and came across reconscious Friendly Folding Keychain and liked what he had done and wanted to make my own version with the keys I had but slightly modified it so I could use it with my carabiner that I have to keep them on a belt loop.

Step 1: The Keys Housing and Other Materials

Some of the Instructable's I had seen were using a bike tool for the keys.  I was able to find a cheaper version at harbor freight for around $5 that was for hex keys.  it was easy to dissemble and had plenty of spare parts to use as well.  You will need some additional pieces of hardware to:
  • Washers (some that will fit around the shaft of the housing)
  • rubber grommets (same inside diameter as the washers above)
We will cut the grommets in half and use them as a buffering and tension pad against the housing when we are putting it together

Step 2: The Keys

First thing to do is decide on what keys you are going to be putting into the folding key chain.  I am using three house keys and two car keys on mine.  As you can see I went and got copies of all of the keys before hand, I did not want to take a chance of messing up the origionals in case i needed them in the future.  You may see the last key as familiar if you have seen any of my other instructable's.  It was an RFID key I had to make a (cheap) copy of without the RFID chip just to unlocked the doors, you can see the instructable here:

Step 3: Modifying Them

What we want to do is cut the keys so they fit in the housing without any bulk on them.  For this we will need:
  • A Bench grinder
  • A Dremel tool with cut-off disk
  • Some small Files
  • A drill bit  (I used a 1/4" bit)
  • a de-burring brush
  1. Drill a hole into the key where I wanted the shaft of the housing to pass through.
  2. Trim the sides of the key down with the Dremel using a cut-off disk.
  3. Round the edges with the grinding wheel.
  4. Then de-burr the key so it has no sharp edges when we have cut and ground it down.
Wash, rinse, and repeat for the remaining keys

Step 4: Making a Key Ring for It.

Remember the metal piece I mentioned we would elaborate on further in step three.  Here is how it is made.  Originally it was a leftover piece of metal from some other project with a 90º bend in it and a screw in one side of it. 
  1. Take the bend out by removing the screw and stretching it into a semi-flat strip.
  2. Then I placed it on one end of my sledge hammer and pounded it flat with a regular claw hammer.
  3. After it was flattened I rounded the corners smooth with the grinding wheel.
  4. Then drilled a 1/4" hole in one end and de-burred the whole thing.
Now we have a place to add a key ring to it to add additional things.

Step 5: Putting It All Together

Now we just need to make everything fit together.  There were 3 different sizes of plastic washers that came with the hex key set: I will list them as the following:  #2 is the thickest washer it should have come with 2 of them, #1 there is one of them and it is 1/2 the thickness of a #2, and #0 there should be 8 of them (they are very thin). I tried to put a plastic washer between all of the metal parts to reduce friction and fatigue on the adjacent keys. The exploded view is stacked as follows going from top then-left-to-right:

Shaft screw, housing piece, #2, #0,#0,#0, H KEY, #0, Washer, Key Ring, #0, H KEY, #0, H KEY, #0, rubber grommet 1/2, Housing piece, end screw.

Shaft screw, housing piece, #1, C KEY, #2, Washer, C KEY, #0, rubber grommet 1/2, Washer, Washer, rubber grommet 1/2, Housing piece, end screw.

The reason it is in the order it is, is because we need the keys to slid between each other when we fold everything together.  This is the order I came up with to have everything mesh nicely.

And you are done.  This works well for elderly people who need some extra strength when using keys, just make sure you do not turn it too hard or the key could break in the lock, they are not fun to remove when broken.

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71 Discussions

Watch me make

3 years ago

What is the little screwdriver looking thing called and where did you get it


4 years ago on Introduction

what is the thing called that is on the blue key holder linked to the carabiner the little silver thing with the key ring in it


5 years ago on Introduction

If james bond had a set of key... Did you have any issues with SC1 key? I did and my hardware store didnt have green (Drats!). I found this KeySmart for $15 and does the job great if your looking for color options

KeySmart (32).jpg

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Agreed although its Macgyver and i was gonna say a dollar to the first person to give me MacGyver's first name but then i thought of how google will make that unfair. Its Angus


Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

so it's Angus!!!
i thought it's Menimis?
was wondering, had he introduced himself like " Menimis McGyver." (then extend the right hand)


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I watched the Episode where they reveal that just a few days ago. I have the whole series on my hard drive. He was my HERO growing up.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I knew it was Angus without the help of Google. :) I just remembered the MacGyver Mythbuster's episode.


6 years ago on Introduction

nice instructable, i told myself that i'll make one for me so here's at my pocket knife version
sorry i can't seem to (add images) upload my pics here, that's why links were provided instead.


7 years ago on Step 5

I followed this instructable and made one of these with the same tool you used but the screws seem to work their way apart. Did you have this same issue? I know I could use locktite to keep them from separating, but then I would have to start from scratch if I had to change my keys out at some point. Any suggestions? Great ible by the way.

2 replies

Reply 6 years ago on Step 5

Use Loctite blue. I don't have enough experience to be authoritative, but Threadlocker Blue 242 is supposed to be removable with handtools, while the Threadlocker Red 271 is the LOCK FOREVAR version that requires tools and blowtorches to remove.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I have never really had a issue with then comming loose. instead of using locktite you might be able to try using some pipe tape on the threading to see if it will keep it together.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Until you go through a security check and they recognize the bump key for what it is... Then you might have some 'splainin to do.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

I made one of these a few years back out of an allen or torx tool or something I bought at Kragen. I definitely had to expose all of the "blades" when I went through the security checkpoint at Oakland International Airport, but after about three people looked at it, the last one deemed it "neat," handed it back to me, and let me on my way.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Or at Walgreens. Probably at any chain Pharmacy. I use one to hold minature strike anywhere matches.