Now that nearly every car on the road comes with an electronic key fob, people are desperate to find ways to repair these indispensable little gadgets without coughing up potentially hundreds of dollars at the dealership. There’s a whole market for replacement shells which you can transplant your (hopefully) still functional electronics into, but if you’re going to go through the trouble of putting the electronics into a new case, why not make it special?
That’s what [Michicanery] was thinking when he decided to build his own custom key fob. The end result is an utterly magnificent feat of engineering that’s sure to be a conversation for the life of the vehicle, if not beyond. Made of wood and aluminum cut on his OpenBuilds Lead CNC 1010, this build just might inspire you to “accidentally” drop your existing fob from a great height. Oh no, what a shame.
[Michicanery] starts by disassembling his original fob, which is the type that has a key integrated directly into the device. This meant his replacement would need a bit more thought put into it than a separate stand-alone fob, but at least it wasn’t one of the ones where you have to stick the whole thing into the dashboard. To make sure the build was strong enough to survive a lifetime of being turned in the ignition and generally fiddled with, he cut the central frame and buttons out of 1/4″ thick aluminum.
The top and bottom of the fob were then cut from Chechen wood and then chamfered on a table router so it felt a bit better in the hand. He applied oil to the pieces to bring out the natural color and grain of the wood, but not before engraving his own logo onto the back of the case for that extra touch of personalization. Not that we think [Michicanery] is going to have trouble identifying his keys from this point on.
Like the incredible watch cases we’ve seen recently, this is a perfect example of an everyday object getting a new lease on life as a bespoke creation thanks to a custom built enclosure. Granted we’re not sure Honda key fobs have quite the heirloom potential of a good watch, but we’d still prefer it over the black plastic original.
16 thoughts on “Honda Key Fob Turned CNC Work Of Art”
As someone on imgur commented, now everyone with a decent cnc can open his car.
pretty sure my decent angle grinder would work, too
2010 CRV? Probably. And maybe start it. I don’t know if it is/can be configured to require fob presence to unlock or start. My 2002 Dodge did (even alarm disabled), but it was not base option.
Many cars can be unlocked with smaller “spare” key, but not started.
I can open up any car, with a piece of broken ceramic from a sparkplug, Most towtruck drivers can do it with an airbag and a long reach (in under a minute). Cars are not the most secure things in the world. The question is, will it be worth it?
Starting it on the other hand might be a bit tougher as the 2010 CRV is equipped with an immobilizer so it does require more than just the key portion of the fob.
> Most towtruck drivers can do it with an airbag and a long reach (in under a minute).
Yeah I’ve seen this done to my car after battery went flat and lock in doors malfunctioned. Pretty neat technique. I meant someone can open his car without triggering alarm and/or in public parking without attracting too much attention.
“I meant someone can open his car without triggering alarm and/or in public parking without attracting too much attention.”
Most places people don’t care too much if it isn’t their property. criminals will roll up in an official looking tow truck, hook up a car and drag it away with the alarm going off and most people wont do a thing. The other option is to get to the battery and disconnect it, then the alarm wont do anything, Car security is mostly to stop dumb criminals and people who just pull door handles to see if a car is open or not. Anyone who is going to go through that much trouble to target that guy and cut a key to get into his CRV has about a dozen other options that are less effort. For example, a flat head bit on a ratchet wrench, most key cylinders for car doors will disable the alarm when turned so with enough pressure you can break all of the pins and just turn the lock.
I used to work as a tow truck driver, automotive security is an afterthought and should never be relied on to protect your valuables from anyone. Shitty security measures combined with public apathy means that cars are the easiest targets in the world.
Where I live nobody cares about things like that. I run a garage and opening locked vehicles is daily business.
Last summer i had to get a motorcycle of which the owner lost the keys. Parked in the middle of a well frequented street with shops and diners. I went there in the middle of the day with helmet, backpack and in my workshop-overalls, took the cordless drill out of my backpack, drilled out the steering lock cylinder, hotwired the ignition and drove off.
NOBODY gave a flying sh*t.
Hello possible, meet my friend practical.
That’s awesome. I need to make a new keyfob for my Honda; too bad I’m not talented in this area.
My problem with modern automotive keys is the size. Holy crap are they big and bulky and make it hard to get in and out of my pocket and bind and poke and the are still just as easy to bypass and………. Can’t they just make keys that you have to carry around in your pocket all day small and non poky and effective. The difference in volume between my 89 Honda and my 95 Honda was zip. The difference between my 95 Honda and my 03 Honda was huge. Not only did the key itself go from being 1/8 in thick to 3/8 thick and from 2 1/4 in long to 3 1/4 in long, they also added a separate fob that is also 3/8 thick and 2 1/2 long and it is required to prevent the alarm from going off because the stupid car automatically locks itself and turns on the alarm. My 08 Volvo has an even bigger key, but at least the fob is integrated into the key. The problem with that thing is to replace it or get a third costs $250-$300. How many of you have lost you keys? Better question: How many times have you lost your keys. Ridiculous to the max. /Rant
Wow, now his keyfob is worth more than his car!
Say what you want – that’s pretty rad.
Hey that’s me! Very cool that you shared this. The design has actually come a long way since these photos and I play to have these available for sale sometime in the near future – http://www.michicanery.com if you’d like to stay updated!
Just one question, you know the engraved “M” on the back, could you fill a similar engraving with a contrasting material to really show it off?
I can’t even read your site. Text is too light gray.
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