Altoids Gum Tin Moo Card Dispenser - M1





Introduction: Altoids Gum Tin Moo Card Dispenser - M1

I wanted a dispenser for my moo cards that was larger and a bit sturdier than the small one that came wit the free set of ten that I got. Since the altoids gum tin seemed the perfect size I figured I would give it a try.

But wait, what's a Moo card?

Moo cards are a combination visiting card and photo sharing card based on photos from the flickr photo sharing site. For me they're a way to highlight my photos and something I can use to introduce myself to folks.

I've also created a Flickr photo set for this project.

I'm not completely satisfied with the compression mechanism (hence the M1). I'd really like something that is based on some kind of simple leaf spring design but I'm not sure how to make that happen.

Step 1: Drill the Initial "thumb" Hole

The first thing is to drill a hole in the bottom to push the cards out.

Start out with a fairly small bit ( < 5/16" ) and work your way up to 3/8" or 1/2". If you start out with a bit that is too large to begin with there's a good chance that you'll get a messy hole. You'll notice that's what I ended up with on the first try.

Step 2: Round Out and Smooth the Thumb Hole

You'll want a thumb hole that is about the size and shape of the pad of your thumb so you'll need to round it out and smooth it (don't want to cut your thumb). I did this with a dremel tool but it could also be done with a simple round file.

Step 3: Cut Card Slot

A dremel tool will come in handy for this step as well, but you can get buy with a small hack saw and a thing flat file. The cards need a slot to be dispensed from.

Because the bottom of the tin is curved inward you won't need to cut the slot at the absolute bottom of the tin. You will want to make it tall enough for the cards to have plenty of clearance. You don't want the cards to get caught as you slide them out.

Step 4: Add Padding and Compression

The key for this to work is to keep the cards pressed against the bottom of the tin. I've used some foam padding from a packing case to do that. Roughly 1/8" of foam glued to the inside of the tin lid seems to do the trick. If you give out enough cards to make this stop working you can always open up the tin to hand out more cards or add more.

I also found that the cards need a little padding on both sides and at the back of the tin. Some stiffer closed cell foam did the trick.

I'm not completely satisfied with the compression mechanism (hence the M1). I'd really like something that is based on some kind of simple leaf spring design but I'm not sure how to make that happen.

Step 5: The Finished Tin, Ready to Dispense



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    13 Discussions


    11 years ago

    good idea! Maybe a simple spring or bent metal solidered to the lid would help keep the cards pressed down. Some sanding would keep the matte finish on the cards from getting scratched up.

    2 replies

    Yeah, maybe a thin, flat piece of metal. Or, maybe even better, a small piece of metal (i.e. a paperclip) bent to shape with a tiny wheel on the card end (like maybe from those silly finger skateboards or a hotwheels toy). It would almost have to be soldered in, just to ensure it stays put, but if that's not an option, some good bending and a good dab of hot glue or a bit of cure-all (duct tape) should suffice.

    thats cool, i wish i had caught the promo of 10 free, not sure i got 100 pics to make moo cards outa lol

    1 reply

    You don't have to have a full 100 photos to create moo cards. They'll use as many photos as you want (up to 100) and then print N cards of each photo. N = 100 / no. of photos.

    sorry about that, I should have included more detail about the moo cards. I've updated the intro to include and explanation of the cards and links the the pertinent web sites.

    too too cute!

    I looked them up. Moo cards are like buisness cards. Now it makes sense.


    11 years ago

    sorry about the repeat comments. Instructables was being a beeyotch earlier. page wouldnt load. Had no idea anything went through...

    What are these "moo cards" Until I figure that out, then I really can't comment...

    1 reply

    11 years ago

    Since this is my first (of hopefully many) instructable I'm looking for all kinds of input. Comments on the images, instructions and language are all appreciated. Also if you have ideas on how to improve this design I would love to hear them.