Most of today’s car keys are fobs but there are still a lot of regular keys we need to keep track of from house and office to garage, storage and locks. Key rings can get pretty bulky and impractical to carry in your pocket but this Swiss Army-style key ring idea keeps them neatly tucked inside the handle so you can quickly find and rotate out just the one you need.
DIY Hacks and How Tos at Instructables made this one with materials you probably already have in your garage. Paint stirring sticks are a good size for the handle and they’re usually free at hardware stores. For the inner sheet metal reinforcement plate, he used a baking sheet from the local dollar store. To organize your keys and hold the handle together, you’ll need 2 machine screws, nuts and a few washers depending on the number of keys you’ll be storing.
Start by cutting the wooden pieces with a saw or dremel and round off the ends. Use them as a template to cut out slightly smaller versions from the sheet metal with tin snips. Sandwich the sheet metal pieces in between the wooden pieces and use a binder clamp to hold the assembly together while you drill a hole through all four layers at once on each end. Separate out just the wooden pieces and enlarge the holes enough so the bolt head can sink inside and the tops sit flush with the wooden surface when fully assembled.
Insert the machine screws through the holes of one of the metal plates and lay it flat so you can add keys. DIY Hacks and How Tos recommends adding a washer between each key or they tend to stick to each other and bind together when you’re trying to pull out just one. When you’ve added all your keys, lay the remaining piece of sheet metal on top and tighten the assembly down with two lock nuts.
Glue the wooden handle pieces to the outside of each sheet metal surface and use a binder clip to hold everything in place while the glue dries. Since you drilled bigger holes in the wooden pieces they should slip right over the bolt heads and locking nuts for that counter-sunk look.
Finish off the look by applying a wood stain and then seal it with polyurethane. Now you have a sleek key holder that slips right into your pocket and since the keys are always in the same order, you can quickly flip out the one you need without having to search a jingling unorganized ball.
For detailed steps and more photos: DIY Hacks and How Tos | Swiss Army Key Ring | Instructables