Multi Key + Bike Tools + USB Drive + Bottle Opener + Screwdriver (~$15 ~1hr)

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About: Robb was once an Artist-in-Residence at Autodesk's Pier 9. He went to Carnegie Mellon to study Art. He mostly does tangible artifacts that are often complex. He can be reached at www.robb.cc

Intro: Multi Key + Bike Tools + USB Drive + Bottle Opener + Screwdriver (~$15 ~1hr)

I have seen a lot of multi keys. From the expensive commercial Keyport and beautiful keygrip to the wonderful Leatherman mods on Instructables. After making this ible I found the KeySmart and two Instructables(Folding Key Chain and Friendly Folding Keychain) which are very similar.

The pictured set includes:

  • Bike lock key
  • Locker lock key
  • Work door key
  • House door keys
  • USB drive (16GB)
  • Bottle opener
  • Phillips screwdriver (No. 2)
  • Two Allen wrenches(5mm and 4mm)

Advantages:

  • Low Noise– Jingling keys drive me crazy
  • Ease of access, position of keys is constant
  • High Torque for my stubborn U-lock
  • Has some frequently used tools

Step 1: Contents – What Goes In

Determine what you want in your multikey. This is a very personal matter, but I'll include my thoughts and tips.

Drivers

  • Phillips No.2 is the most common, so I went with that
  • Slotted gets used as a pry-bar as often as a driver.
  • 4mm is a must as it fits all the following:
    • Most IKEA fasteners, allowing you to fix your friends wobbly furniture prior to sitting on it
    • Many adjustments on a bicycle
    • Approx equal to 5/32" hex, which is used frequently in 80/20 aluminum structures
  • 5mm is mostly for my bike, for seat post, brake, and handlebar adjustment.

Flash Drive

  • Pick something rugged, I had a LaCie IAmAKey laying around, and it has survived about a year.
  • Be sure to position it so it will actually fit in your computer
  • Be sure to load it with a Owner_Information.txt file so it can be returned to you if lost.
  • I engraved mine with a name and number, but it is illegible. If you manage to read it, try not to call at night.

Keys

  • Most of my keys do not belong to me. They belong to landlords and employers. Most other multi key solutions that require the mutilation of the key with Dremels, which is not an option for me.
  • If you can cut the grip of your keys off, your multi key will be much smaller.
  • A version with wingnuts and wingscrews would be great if you are constantly changing keys.

Considerations

  • I intentionally did not include any sort of knife. This is for several reasons, from pocket safety to air travel.
  • A flashlight would be great.
  • A lighter or firesteel would also be pretty cool.
  • I open boxes with the slotted driver.
  • I carry this alongside a multitool. I have a Leatherman Crunch that lacks a nice screwdriver, but has amazing vice-grip style pliers and 3 slotted screwdrivers
  • I tend to keep mine in the 5th pocket of my jeans.

Step 2: Materials - ​Things You May Have to Buy

The Structure

You have several options:

  • Start with a bike tool
  • Start with an allen set
  • Fabricate your own

Ideally, you'd start from a bike tool. They include a lot of the tools you may want and is designed to be carried around all the time. Also, some of them are very pretty. There is a wooden-sided one here.

Amazon Search of candidates

The structure of my multi key is from a cheap Harbor Freight set of hex keys/Allen Wrenches

The original wrenches themselves are horrible. Mine snapped after a day of use, and the sides are just aluminum rod with two holes drilled.

My hex keys screwdriver and bottle opener came from a Topeak bike tool I had laying around.

You could also just drill two holes in some metal. Aluminum, steel, whatever. It is a very simple part.

Nuts + Bolts

The bolt that comes with your bike tool or allen set will not fit through your keys.

To be sure that your bolt will fit through all your keys, a smaller bolt size is ideal.

I used #8-32 Stainless Steel Machine Screws + Nylon Locknuts of the same size and material.

Metric equivalent is M4. Any hardware store should be able to help you out. Locknuts are essential of you do not want to lose your keys. I went with very long screws and then cut them down to size.

I recommend stainless steel, as it is very strong and corrosion proof. You are likely to need washers of the same size. Plastic spacers(nylon, PFTE, etc.) can be used to separate keys and prevent rubbing, but I don't find them necessary.

Cost

Total cost is dependent on what you have on hand.

Hardware can be as much as $5, and a bike tool can be in the $10-25 range.

Step 3: Arrangement

Putting the tools in a good order takes some trial and error.

I put my most used keys on the edges for easier access.

The flash drive if included should be positioned such that it will fit into your computer. The version in the photos requires my mac to be propped up.

I put all my keys on one end and all my not-keys on the other. This way, there is a thick and thin end.

Step 4: ​Assembly

Once you have picked an order, tighten it down. Too tight is difficult to use. Too loose can be jingly and wobbly.

Find a balance.

Note that if you aren't using lock-nuts or thread locker, your tool will definitely loosen over time. This can result in a pile of loose keys on the street.

Step 5: Trim (Optional)

I intentionally bought very long screws (2" in) with the intent of trimming them down.

Stainless Steel is very hard to cut with toothed saws, so i used the abrasive cutoff wheel on my Dremel and cleaned up a bit with a file.

Step 6: Done!

If you make a multi key, be sure to share a picture in the comments.

5 People Made This Project!

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43 Discussions

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dogma26Qwertyfish

Reply 10 months ago

I used two metal pieces with holes, you can make them with a drill

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dogma26

10 months ago

Thank you very much !!! this is my V 1.0, done entirely with house-found objects. I'm going to improve soon.
Thanks again

temp_1188509707.jpgtemp_-392419106.jpgtemp_1142373077.jpgtemp_-1388576249.jpg
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AramS2

2 years ago

Where did you find the bottle opener / flat head screwdriver? I've been looking for one for months.

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NegroJ

3 years ago on Introduction

Amazing idea!

where i can get the bottle opener?

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Deltakus

4 years ago on Introduction

I made Two!! And working on a third. Just need to work on the spacing of the keys.

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jsiri

4 years ago on Introduction

I made one of these, but had issues as my lock is too close to the edge of the door, so it's not actually possible to turn the key in the door. I know this won't be the case for everyone, but worth keeping in mind (I locked myself out and couldn't get the keys off the multitool until my flatmate got home!).

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azolina3

4 years ago

Inspired I'll post a pic when I make one!

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Razanur

4 years ago on Introduction

Nice one. Just not very elegant-looking and not very suitable for small pockets. There is another one, might be more suitable to copycat for some: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1912797983/orbitkey-love-your-keys?ref=live

3 replies
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ToolboxGuyRazanur

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

I have to say I like this one better than the Kickstarter project you've mentioned. I see that one as a simpler model, with only one end having a pivot. It's mostly a leather pocket for keys. The nut/bolt assembly on this 'ible makes it easy to adjust tension, so everything doesn't fall in your way when using one tip. It'd be easy to add spacers on either side to keep it balanced. I would consider adding a "back plate" on the 'ible, so everything folds out like a pocket knife.

I like it, and I'll be making one soon.

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RazanurToolboxGuy

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

As I tried to point out; the one I mentioned might be more suitable for SOME.
I think if you have like 20 keys, you can forget about "mine". If you want to wear a suit you can forget about this.

I thought it might be a good Idea to show this to ppl thinking about making one of these, so they can choose what's best for them :)
As I mentioned: This this a great project!

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cbutler15Razanur

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Actually, I'm very glad you posted this link. I'm intrigued by the design in the ible but I'm not someone who needs a tool that is so utilitarian. I do like making things myself, of course, so I plan to incorporate the nut and bolts design elements from this ible into a leather or some other material case, much like the one in your link. Thank you for sharing your idea with us.

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Edgar

4 years ago on Introduction

Us Inventors will use this mainly, to scrap up stuff from trashed machines... LOL

Made a note about this on my Blog:

http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2014/02/maquinas-fascinantes-3d-italiano-um.html

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AuralVirus

4 years ago on Introduction

If you could make a blank (so to speak) that would allow people to add their own keys but had the other tools I'd buy 1 no doubt many others would too.

One of the better indestructibles I've seen.

good thinking.