Circuit Bent Keyboard in Altoid Tin




this is my first instructable, say what you like in comments.
So this may seem like a very weird post, but very cool.
Im going to show you and tell you how to circuit bend, and how to cut a pcb into peaces, and then put it all in a awesome altoid tin
I hope you like it!

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Step 1: Parts/ Tools

I am not responsible for any of your actions, ingress, or damaged parts/ tools/ your self.
you are using instructables at your own risk...... blaa blaa blaa blaaaaa...

Any ways you are going to need the following tools:

1. drill/dermal (not shown)
2. wire clippers/ stripers
3. needle nose pliers
4. soldering iron
5. solder
6. exzactoblad
7. screw driver
8. ruler
9. pen/ pencil
10. a know-how of working each tool (not shown)
11. common sense (not shown)
12. a know-how of electronics (not shown)

And you are going to need the following parts:

1. hook-up wire (I used telephone wire, and stranded wire)
2. heat sink
3. switches/ push buttons... etc..
4. different resistor values/ pot
5. different caps values
6. diodes/ rectifiers
7. "mono-jack" (what ever size you want)
8. different kinds of resistive sensors
10. different kinds of capsitiv sensors
11. red led
12. tap and glue
13. electronic toy/ nose make ( this is the bass of the project) you may have to go through many toys to find a good one with lots of bends and gulches, and easy enough to cut and fit/ fit into an tin/ box of what ever u want. Im using a altoid tin!
14. Altoid tin/ box you want to use
15. body contacts anything mettle really will work like a fork or a skew

  • note parts 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, and 14 you can change them, they are for circuit bending

Step 2: How- to and What Is Circuit Bending?

You may be asking 'what the hell is circuit bending?"
well circuit bending is when you go in to any thing that makes nose(mainly toys) and you find loops and bends on the PCBs board. the most simple way is to rube your fingers on the mettle contacts and change the pitch or what ever else happens, the you put a wire on the contact and have it on the out side of your toy, so every time u touch the point (when the toy is on) it makes a glitch or a bend. now you can find some where where you can put a button or switch, or change the resistor/ capacitor values there is many ways of doing this. You could even put timers, or revveb effects ... etc on your toy. On this guitar that i did ( down below) i have also added a red led in the speaker holes, it flashes to the bet of the music! for more info on circuit bending try looking at other instructables, looking on google, makezine, etc.( other geeky websites) Even look on you tube, threes some great videos!

here are some sites i recommend: that one is my fav!!

(to lazy to put more)

Step 3: How to Cut the Pcb

If your pcb dose not fight into you box/tin then your going to have to mark and cut a spot on you board, but befor you do take the exsactowblad and screech off you paint on the pcb where the wires are ( like the picture)
and then cut the board in half. next take your telephone wire(one-strand wire) and cut about 15 cm of wire, and count how many wire on the pcb you have to re-peace then tin the wire and pcb the connect them like in the next picture had to do this about three times in-till my pcb fight in my altoid tin.

Step 4: Putting It in the Tin

last but not lest, putting it all together.
monte all you contacts, switch ...etc then coat the inside of the tin with tape or glue to keep any thing from shorting. next stuff it all in the tin and your done! you now have a small, cut-looking, circuit bent Altoid tin! you can bring it all most any where.

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    21 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Hey. Love this bend. We have made many bent musical toys. I have a stack of synthesisers but playing with the bent musical toys is fun and spontanious. We jack them out into a 300 watt keyboard amp with fx panel. Some of these divices give the old analog synths a run for there money. The work nice for live perfomance also. People wonder what your playing and how are you makeing the awsome sounds with them. Loops, glitches and pitch bends can do alot of effects and I suggest any electronic musicial should make a few bends and blow your mind.I will post some instructions for several projects like the speak and spell, the red apple, and the music stick with led eyeball. Prowl the yardsales and buy all the musical/sound toys you can get your hands on. Bendable toys on ebay are getting expensive. maddrandall@


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, I'm 15, and I don't even know how to do what your talking about. And I really like electronics, If any one can help simply this instructable, please email me at, subject - Instructable Help -

    Nice little glitch box. What toy is this anyway? That led behind the speaker grill, is a cool idea. Why not mount those switches on the tin? If you add some time-based documentation it would improve this instructable greatly.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    clever, but yes i did not spell check this, im only 13, and i have dyslexia ( it IS NOT a leaning disability, but a different way of leaning) so my spell may be hard to read. Also you may be thinking why the hell would I use the work of a 13-teen year old, this may come to a surprise but I have gotten scholar ships to many art schools, at 13-teen years old. but any ways yes my grammar sucks, I hope you can still read it thought!

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    My best friend has dyslexia. Excuses work only in conversation. Anything you can revise that is not fixed is just being lazy, Also, trouble with homonyms is totally unrelated to being dyslexic. You're sure you can't make your work better?


    dude, he said he was lazy. so, shut up about it and complain at my not having one for you to complain about.


    11 years ago on Step 4

    He's not he only one on the net who needs to edit. At least do a spell check. DrThousand


    11 years ago on Introduction

    This just seems to be a bunch of random photos and an explanation of vague & general nothing-in-particular. Thanks loads!


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    you know on a guitar you can put in in to a "clean" or "destroyed" jack? well its like a guitar distortion


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I know that the red led in the speaker holes is not a very good excuse to put this in to the led contest but heck you never know....


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    question: if i made an entire other project and in 1 of the pictures i putted some led flashlight its legal to post in the competition!? that makes it waay to easy


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    yeah it is but like what Aar000n3y said its less likely to win, i just put it in to get people to see this.. AND ITS WORKING!! sorry....


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    That's the way the competition is set up. Although those instructables are probably less likely to win.