Secret Keychain Safe Looks Just Like A Bolt

While conventional safes can be a good place to put valuables, sometimes it’s even better to hide your things where nobody will even look in the first place. [Wesley Treat] has a build that will allow you to do just that, which secrets away papers, money, or small items within the body of a bolt.

There’s a surprising amount of room inside.

The build starts in a proper hacker fashion, using a power drill to turn an aluminium blank against a power sander creating an ersatz lathing setup. The outside of the blank is then threaded with the aid of a socket wrench and die, to great success. A cavity is created inside and threaded internally, and a separate head is then machined to screw on top. It’s all achieved without the use of a real lathe, with [Wesley]’s power drill doing most of the heavy lifting instead. It’s great stuff.

The end result has the appearance of a socket-head cap screw, while being lighter than a typical example due to the aluminium construction. Inside, there’s room for money, matches, and more, and [Wesley] even put in a small hole so the bolt can be used as an attractive keychain.

It’s a neat build, and one that we’d love to have as part of our own everyday carry. Video after the break.

23 thoughts on “Secret Keychain Safe Looks Just Like A Bolt

  1. I *just* bought *this exact same thing* on Aliexpress a few hours before seeing this article, what are the odds …

    The plan is to hide a small/fun/nice message on a bit of paper, as well as a tiny candy, and to use the bolt inside of the 5 axis CNC mill / laser cutter combo I am currently finishing the build of for a customer.

    So maybe sometime in a few decades when somebody dissasembles, or refreshes it, they’ll find the secret, and be happy about it, and I’ll have made somebody smile, a long distance and a long amount of time away.


    It’s all random.

    Engineering is fun :)

        1. If you’re putting a hollow bolt with a screw-off head in place of a normal somewhere, you better hope the original bolt was fairly over-specced.
          Would certainly be fun for a future maintenance to find, but You might be liable if the hollow bolt shears or the head unscrews and the CNC fails because you’ve knowing used a bolt that’s not to spec. Maybe stick it somewhere outside the working area and as an extra not in place of a real bolt.

          1. I like the sentiment of the idea.

            Another risk is that somebody does some maintenance and re-installs the “fake” bolt in a more critical position without realizing it’s compromised.

            Perhaps put some ball bearings inside to raise suspicion and trigger investigation.

        1. But steel bolts also have a fair amount of weight to them compared to this. Heck, it wouldn’t even sound like a normal steel bolt.
          A hollow aluminum bolt would almost certainly be noticed before long ever being installed. It seems too obvious to be mistaken.

          1. Not forgetting the fact that a bolt this size would have a fair amount of tourqe on it when fitting.

            I’d say being hollow and aluminium it would shear the head off even spinning it in by hand.

    1. Was going to say, better cut it with some left handed, non standard pitch threads or it might end up holding a head on an engine block somewhere. Either way, someone would be unhappy

  2. Am I the only one thinking it would benefit from some sort of actual “lock” not just a screw on head. Something to make sure that if someone who shouldn’t discover its internal secret handles it then there’s no risk of a sudden twisting of the head relative to the body alerting them that this time there’s something abnormal about a bolt? I’m not sure what sort of “lock” could have an invisible hidden keyhole to avoid breaking the ilusion of a normal bolt, bu its worth thinking about.

    1. All about what you are wanting it for – maybe a simple latch of some sort, or just a pin that locks the two together – how visible such a mechanism is is pretty much entirely builders choice, with a little side of how much of the internal volume they are willing to give up for anything somewhat complex.

  3. I saw a similar project that uses nickels and quarters that are milled out so that there was a small compartment it was a bit tricky to separate when they had a seemless rim.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.