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Picture of Nutcase [for Loose Screws]

It's a nutcase.. for loose screws (made by a nutcase with loose screws). And yes, I know that not all of those are screws in the picture, but please don't bolt.

In any case, the fasten-ating idea has been floating around in my head after another incident of someone groaning at my puns. I happened to be holding fasteners at that time so I replied, "I swear I'm not nuts!" At this point, the person started to walk away while shaking his head, so I had to follow up with "Hey, don't bolt" (Not my fault; he walked right into that one...).

This nutcase essentially consists of stacked aluminum hexagons making up the walls of the box. The lid and sides of the box are decorated with my leftover nut collection from previous projects (mixed with random brass nuts from a hardware shop for color and surrounded by a rim of Keps nuts with free-spinning washers). Also featured are my loose screws (and bolts): besides the mental ones, I have lots of leftover screws and bolts from gear trains, watches, and woodworking.

I'll admit: the major factor that limits accessibility for this project is access to metal cutting equipment: I have access to a waterjet at my university, but I recognize that most people don't. That being said, there are alternative resources for cutting metal: more details in the next step.

Side note: if you like this tutorial, votes in the box contest would be appreciated!

Step 1: Materials

All files for laser cutting and waterjetting are in the zip folder attached to this step.

Building materials:

  • 1/8" thick sheet metal (about 1/2 square foot; I used 6061 aluminum instead of steels for a lighter weight)
  • 1/4" thick sheet metal (about 1/2 square foot; again, I used 6061 aluminum)
  • access to a water jet machine, or metal cutting equipment (jigsaw...)
    • Alternatively, you can outsource the machining elsewhere: caveat is that most places are pretty expensive for cutting only a few "small" pieces. Even so, this and this look like decent places that don't have as strict of a minimum order.
    • Another alternative is to cut everything out of wood and spray paint a metallic coating to achieve the same general idea
  • fasteners (nuts of every type; you can usually find many different types and materials (for color) in your local hardware shop, for a few cents each)
  • super glue (or any other adhesive that will bond metal to metal, such as epoxies; Loctite super glue is my usual go-to, but Krazy Glue worked when I ran out)
  • metal polishing/finishing equipment (optional, for the most part, but makes your metal stand out)

Designing softwares:

  • I made a wooden prototype via laser cutter, so the files for that were made in Adobe Illustrator (any similar graphical design software like Corel Draw and Inkscape, which is free, would work on most laser cutters too). I understand that many don't have this luxury, and this step isn't incredibly necessary, but I included it in the tutorial for completion of my prototyping process.
  • I used an OMAX waterjet, so accompanying software were OMAX Layout and Make to format .dxf files for the machine, and Solidworks for generating the .dxf file (though other CAD softwares like AutoCAD or Pro/E would work too. Illustrator can generate .dxf files too, but I sometimes run into problem bringing them into other softwares because it's usually harder to clean unnecessary points and curves.)

Looks awesome! :D

watchmeflyy (author)  Millie-Feuille1 year ago

Thank you!

So I get the whole "made it myself" idea, heck I do it myself all the time.

But often I'm left thinking "Wow! that's a damn expensive solution to the problem". This being one of those. Considering I (and most every old timer I know) literally have many jars, and cans even several small boxes of miscellaneous hardware stacked in rows tucked away in the shop.

Other than that - Yes its a well done job! And great instructable!

(Honestly I mean no insult. I too have many overpriced solutions in my home as well! And many more simmering in my brain.)

watchmeflyy (author)  mwitherspoon1 year ago

Yes, this is a classic case of over engineering and no offense taken. :) Thanks for the comments!

Favorited just for the name.

Of course. :)

jibpsy2 years ago
Awesome tilte! Great project!
watchmeflyy (author)  jibpsy1 year ago

Thank you. :)

This is totally great. Nice work!

This makes me want to make something similar, but a little more functional: I'd like to raster callouts around the nuts that run around the edge of the lid, and make them standard sizes to make the box into a thread plate. Then when you need a bolt of a particular thread size, you could more quickly find it in that mass of crazy randomness we all have lying around.

watchmeflyy (author)  TaylorSharpe1 year ago

That's a great idea! Now I'm wishing that I did that...

Love the Instructable. Especially the title and content. :D

watchmeflyy (author)  Treasure Tabby2 years ago

Glad you enjoyed it!