16 June, 2014

KeySmart DIY Brass Clip

I saw people making their own key hooks out of brass, sometimes called kaijin hooks. Brass seems like a nice metal - soft enough to work with easily and doesn't really corrode. I had some 2 mm diameter brass rod around, so I thought I'd give it a try. The rod was <$2 for a foot, so this is a really cheap way to make a clip.

First, I had to create a loop out of the brass, as close to the size of the KeySmart post as possible so it wouldn't move.
To do this, I had to use my Leatherman Rebar and Style PS, mostly the Rebar. I found out the Style PS' pliers are quite flimsy and I wonder what they'll be useful for. I had to be very careful in which direction I was applying force to them, as they tend to twist and become like scissors. I also found out the Rebar's hard wire cutters can cut through 2 mm thick brass!

Now I made it into a "safety pin":
I only wanted to use 1 key's thickness, so the rod couldn't overlap. Thus the other end only hooks slightly and looks insecure.

Now this is the difficult part, where it's easy to scratch your KeySmart. You have to install the "safety pin" and twist it into the clip.

The end product:
I added a slight upward curve at the end to make clipping on easier.
It actually works quite well and is quite secure.

  • Scratches KeySmart when making
  • Difficult to insert and remove
  • Rotates slightly
  • The other end of the rod sticks out

If I were to make it again, or had to buy material just for this, I'd use brass strip, maybe 2 cm wide and 1-2 mm thick. It'll be really simple to make: drill a hole for the post, shape the strip, drill a hole for the screw (when you bend it, the strip will cover the head of the screw, making it impossible to turn), bend, then final shaping. The only difficulty is the screw head is quite big, so you have to drill a similarly-sized hole (or at least as big as your screwdriver), requiring a pretty wide strip to have enough strength by the sides of the hole.

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