Compact Keychain 2.0

The first compact keychain was a great success among my readers and became very popular very rapidly.

Now that my life has become slightly more complex, I need an extra key (and also, I’ve lost my original keychain) so I had to build another one. This exposes the most obvious fault of the design: no keys can be added or removed.

I was at the hardware store and I came across some Chicago screws, Immediately I remembered all of my readers suggesting using such screws for the keychain. Although I had seem Chicago screws previous to these suggestions, it is only thanks to my readers that now I know how they are called.

So, I decided to get some Ā¼” screws since they fit pretty nicely three keys. Since I had some extra space, I added a large washer. I can use this washer as a flat head screw driver (that even works on some Philips screws) or a bottle cap opener.

I was planning on using some thread lock in order to prevent the screw from loosen itself but it was not necessary. Also, for some keys, it may be required to enlarge their hole so the screw can fit in nicely.

Finally, while going trough a few jars filled with old keys I got form freecycle, I found an ancestor to my compact keychain. This old version features a custom Chicago screw and a leather jacket that coversĀ  the keys.

14 thoughts on “Compact Keychain 2.0

  1. I like this and want to make one, with modifications.

    I will put really thin nylon washers between the keys.

    I need to hang mine up, so I will use a single link of “jack chain” in place of a key to provide a loop to hang them up when I get home. Jack chain links are like figure 8’s with the loops twisted so they don’t lie flat.

  2. I rather like this idea, definitely planning on hitting the hardware store this weekend to try and find some Chicago screws and see if it’ll work with my key setup. Might be particularly handy with the various shop discount cards I carry on my keys. Only thing I’d be worried about is my gym key fob, but that shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out a solution.

    I like Matt’s idea with the jack chain links too, as I’d also need something to provide a hanging loop. I gather something like that could be found at a hardware store as well?

  3. I got the Chicago bolts but they are too wide for the hole in my keys. I already distroyed a key trying to widen the hole. How did you do it? Great idea by the way!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  4. How do you expand the hole in your keys? None of my keys have holes large enough for a chicago screw. I already destroyed a key trying to enlarge the hole. Any tips to help? Great idea by the way.

  5. @Nick
    I clamped all my keys together and drilled through the already existing hole. You just need to make sure the keys are tightly held in place.

    Good luck and let us know how it went.

  6. I found a plain Phillips shallow-dome screw that will fit through my three keys with enough room left for two thin nuts to lock together on the other side. That screw assembly is 15 mm wide — not noticeable in my pocket.

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