This was such a fun project, and I am just way too pleased with the outcome. Hope y’all find the instructions useful!
Now currently I only have two regular keys; one is my house key, and the other is my truck key. I also have a car key, but it is round and plastic so it doesn’t count….anyways, even though I only have two keys at the present I can still fully appreciate just how awesome this idea is and I had to have it.The one above is made from a Leatherman Micra multi tool, which can be bought for around $15. I didn’t want to spend $15 bucks for something I was gonna gut so I went to Home Depot and bought me a $5 Husky mini multi Tool. (I actually bought two since I foresee a couple of friends wanting one)
1) This Husky is put together with just simple allen screws, so I grabbed an allen wrench and disassembled it.
Note: Don’t throw away any of the washers or spacers!
2) Now that I had the shell hollowed out, I took my keys and figured out how much material I needed to take off in order for them to fit inside and rotate. Then I used a bench grinder to whittle it down to size. I took a tool from the original set out in the shop with me as a guide. You don’t have to get it as small as the tools, but if you want it to rotate fully out, you need to take quite a bit off.
3) Now that it was around the size it needed to be, I stuck the key in my vise then took my drill and made a hole. I wasn’t aiming for the middle because I was thinking about the key needing to rotate, so be sure to get an idea of where the most functional spot would be for yours before you make a hole. Also, when picking your drill bit size, simply use an original tool that came with the set as a guide.
4) Next I repeated the process with my truck key. You can see this key is longer, but this mini multi tool is the perfect size.
Now since I only have two keys and that isn’t enough to fill the holder, I decided to keep two tools from the original set. I choose the bottle opener and tiny Phillips head.
5) Next I started putting the thing back together. I went ahead and used lock tight on my screws just to be sure it won’t end up backing out over time and I end up loosing my keys.
The order I used was: small washer, house key, spacer, truck key, spacer, tool, spacer, tool, washer.
Note: Since the spacers are larger than the washers, if you find yourself barely out of room, use a washer instead of a spacer.
6) Since I wanted it on my key chain, I simply found a smaller drill bit and made another hole at the opposite end then put a key ring through it.
If I ever get another key, then I can just take out one of the tools and put a key in it’s place. Pretty cool huh?!
**Update** I had a question about how easy it is to flip out the keys so I put together this short video to show how I personally do it. Since I didn’t want to rely on using a finger nail to pick out the key needed, I left extra material on my truck key, which is the key that lands in the middle of my multi-tool set up, and I use this extra material as a thumb brad of sorts (just like a pocket knife). So that when I want a key, I find the ‘thumb brad’ and use it to start the rotation. This actually rotates out both of my keys, so I then use my thumb again to fully rotate out just the key I want.
Below the video is a photo showing the difference in between the house key and truck key. You don’t want to leave too much material or the key won’t rotate out fully.
If this seems like a little bit too much effort, but you still like the concept then I recommend going down to Home Depot and buying the $3 Pocket Screwdriver Set made by HDX. Here’s a photo:
I bought this device at the same time when I bought the multi tool as a back up in case the multi didn’t work out. This thing would be perfect though if you didn’t want to mess with grinding down the keys. You would simply have to take out the allen screws on the sides and gut it, then take your keys and enlarge the existing hole with a drill in order to fit on the pin, then put it back together. A plus to using this is you would be able to hold more keys, but the downside is it is too small to house a bigger key such as my truck key.
Total Time: 1 hour
Total Cost: $5