Keychain box

The contents of my pocket I carry a lot of stuff in my pockets. This is the contents of my left front pocket. I am tired of sounding like a coffee can full of nuts and bolts rattling around every time I take a step. My keys rattle against each other, the little Altoids tin, the pill canister, my knife, etc. I took to carrying the Altoids Smalls tin as a catch-all box due to it’s small size. I’ve had in my pocket for probably 4 months now, so it’s getting pretty tired looking.

Keys and an Altoids Tin I drilled a couple of holes in each corner of the lid of the tin. I picked the lid as the keys will cover the embossed Altoids name. Space the holes as near as you can to the outside but leaving a space for the base to fit inside of the lid and not hit the nuts. I used a couple of 1/2″ #6-32 machine screws and nuts to bolt the keys to the lid. I would probably use some of those Chicago Screws as they are called if I had them. I faced the teeth of the keys in, so they didn’t snag in my packet. I use the keys in a specific order, so they are ordered outside in in the order of use. I thought about using thin plastic spacers, but it doesn’t seem to be needed for now. I just rotate the keys out that I need. There is enough clearance around the keys that they are easily usable.

Keys bolted to an Altoids tin as a keychain You can see that the small tin, with 8 keys bolted to the top isn’t any thicker then my Victornox Cybertool pocket knife. Granted, that’s a rather large knife to carry every day.

My keychain can now hold stuff I didn’t want the keys falling off my tin. I super glued the nuts to the bolts and to the tin as I don’t have any lock-tight. A Dremel will take the head of the bolt off if I can’t break the glue with a screwdriver & a wrench.
I put my headphones adapter for my cell phone in the tin. I also carry a 1 gig USB memory stick in it that I made a custom, waterproof housing using some casting resin.
I am going to put a small bit of cloth in the bottom and lid to quite the rattle down. I will also put in a cotton ball to fill the space and help silence the contents of the tin as well.

I am going to see how long this tin key-chain lasts.

Electronics hutch base plans

Nearly full electronics hutch A while back I bought a computer hutch that I am using as an electronics hutch. My plans for it involve raising the whole thing up about 25 inches or so, and using a high bar stool with it so I can stand and work if I wanted to.

I thought it would be best if I ‘put it together’ using Google Sketchup. The joints are a little more complex then they need to be, as I like to build things where the fasteners don’t bear the load, they just hold everything together. Idealy, the screws and such just keep it from wobbling around, and the project sits together by itself.

cutting wooden pieces for the electronics hutch base Here is my pile of cut wood. I realized after I had cut everything, I read a demension out of sketchup as 16 inches, when it really said 1.6 feet. Oohps. Now I have to go get a new 2×4 and recut those 4 peices. Bummer.

Electronics Hutch

I recently moved all my junk to Florida from Wisconsin and don’t have a place to put all my electronics peices and parts and tools and whatnot. I don’t want it all laying around for the cats to sort for me, as most of it would end up sorted under and behind the furniture.

So I have been looking for either a TV armoir or a computer hutch. I ended up at the Rooms To Go warehouse on exit 10 off of I4. They sell all the local scratch and dent items there.

Man did I make a find! I picked up a Tracey Computer Cabinet which retails for $699.99 for $327.99. Good deal, eh? It has some minor nicks and such in the corners, but nothing more than I would pick up in a year or two. It is missing the top crown moulding and only has 3 of the legs, but this works out in my favour as well!

I am going to put it on a cabinet so it stands taller. 23 inches taller in fact. That is the height of my elbows to the keyboard tray as the hutch sits on the ground tonight. This way, I can work on it standing up, or I can use the tall chair I will be getting/making for it.

Being that I am a internet junky, most of my electronics requires programming and an eithernet connection. So I will use the ‘computer’ part of the hutch to full effect. My 4U rackmount computer will just be either in the lower cabinet or sitting on the top of the unit. I will put my rackmount KVM in it to, as my next main computer will be DVI and won’t work with the KVM. I will also add a 24 port hub so I don’t run out of ethernet jacks.

I plan on picking up one large or two smaller LCD monitors for use in the hutch. This will give me the maximum amount of storage space inside.

Electronics hutch closed up

This is the unit sitting on the ground without the legs. I will be getting a cabinet of some sort to go underneith it. This cabinet will be for storage of all the ‘good junk’ parts like old VCR boards and so forth that I would be canabalizing from. This should leave about a foot to the ceiling. I will put the computer gear up there I think so it can keep itself cool.

Empty Electronics hutch with a cat checking it out

It even comes with a whiteboard and corkboard! Here brother is checking it out. One of the few times he will get to sneak into it.

pull out keyboard tray and work surface in electronics hutch

The Keyboard tray is sitting in a pull-out work surface. This is PERFECT for my needs as I can pull out the workbench, and also access my keyboard.

drawers in electronics hutch

The bottom has 2 drawers, a thin shelf (for the computer I guess) and a pull out printer drawer that won’t fit either of my printers. Looks like parts and tool storage to me!

UPDATE: Here is the plans for the base I plan on making for the electronics hutch.

Everything I own…

I stopped and checked in on my storage unit in Menomonee Falls, WI. Most of what I own is in that 10ft X 10ft storage unit. I miss my 110 gallon fish tank, my tool box (you see it? it’s too heavy to bring on the plane), my RC cars, my photo albums, and.. well… everything else!

One of these days when I get a place to live I will bring it a bit closer to where I live.


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