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Improved Allen Wrench / Hex Key Holder

3D Printed holder: Allen wrenches are held in a circle by a single o-ring, all individually accessible.

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Allen wrench holder with some improvements:

1. Will not wear out, holds hex keys in with an o-ring, not tension in the plastic

2. All Allen wrenches equally accessible

3. 3D printable

4. Uses a standard o-ring available at most any hardware store

Why did I make this? Don't allen wrenches come with a holder?

This design resolves two main issues I have with common holders:

1. Typical holders consist of a brick of plastic with interference fit holes for the allen wrenches. Over time, the holes wear out or the plastic just cracks and the wrenches fall out.

2. Typical holders nest all of the allen wrenches one on top of the other. This makes the set lay flat at the cost of being able to quickly get to the smaller allen wrenches. I don't like this tradeoff and would rather they all just be accessible.

I saw Tom Lipton using this style holder on his Ox Tools Youtube channel. It looks like his uses an extension spring in a ring instead of the o-ring. This is a custom thing I believe, so I went with an o-ring instead.


Metric_Label_withOutline.png

for printing: 1.234" W x 1.201" H

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 170.20 kB - 06/30/2016 at 21:46

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Hex_Key_Holder_Imperial_Label.svg

in case you want to tinker with this in Inkscape

svg+xml - 39.68 kB - 06/30/2016 at 21:46

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Hex_Key_Holder_Metric_Label.svg

in case you want to tinker with this in Inkscape

svg+xml - 30.56 kB - 06/30/2016 at 21:46

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Hex_Key_Holder_Metric.STL

Version 1 - works with any size -222 or -223 o-ring (ANSI) or 3.5mm Width x 38-40mm ID (Metric)

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 892.27 kB - 06/30/2016 at 21:44

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Imperial_Label_withOutline.png

for printing: 1.158" W x 1.163" H

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 274.02 kB - 06/26/2016 at 19:42

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  • 1 × O-ring size -223 Metric Equivalent is 3.5mm Width x 40mm Inner Diameter

  • Pictures of working prototypes

    Alex Rich06/30/2016 at 21:43 0 comments

    Ok I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. Labels still not printed, but overall the holders work really well. The o-ring provides just enough friction to hold things in without making it too hard to get the allen wrenches in and out. As planned, I can grab any hex key I want without having to move the others out of the way.

  • Metric Done

    Alex Rich06/30/2016 at 02:42 0 comments

    Metric holder done, will post 3D prints soon, hopefully this will work

  • Label Concept

    Alex Rich06/26/2016 at 19:29 0 comments

    I designed a recess on the top of the holder for a label. It is a sort of spiral shape that keeps a fairly even offset from the through holes.

    I designed the label quickly in Inkscape, using my favorite font, Arial. I will start by just printing it out on a label sheet, cutting it out and sticking it down. Might not last, but it shouldn't see too much wear and tear so it actually might be fine. If I wanted to go ape shit I could pour clear epoxy over it, would probably look terrible if I didn't go to the trouble of vacuum degassing and curing in a pressure tank.

  • Next version done

    Alex Rich06/25/2016 at 14:04 0 comments

    Ok my first print had open slots, I didn't like how floppy it was so I have updated the design to have through holes. After a closer look at Tom Lipton's holder, this is how his works. I will print soon and see how it works, once I'm happy I will address a way to label the wrenches and also design the metric counterpart to this imperial wrench holder.

  • First prototype works but a bit too floppy

    Alex Rich06/24/2016 at 22:37 0 comments

    So it works, but the wrenches flop around a little bit too much. I think in stead of slots for each wrench, I will use a clearance hole which will hold the wrench straight. I will still use an o-ring to hold tension on the wrenches and keep them from falling out. The o-ring may need to be tighter as well.

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Discussions

AVR wrote 07/11/2016 at 02:50 point

I am so printing these, sell stickers for the prints? 

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alex Rich wrote 07/11/2016 at 02:55 point

haha, actually I'm embarrassed to say I haven't printed the labels myself yet

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alex Rich wrote 07/11/2016 at 02:56 point

but I'm sure they will work fine, I figure I will use a label printer I have at work and then cut out with scissors

  Are you sure? yes | no

Toon wrote 09/12/2017 at 14:30 point

Why don't intrude the numbers into the design, that way you don't need a label. If you flow some paint into the inserted numbers you might end up with a nice visible number

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alex Rich wrote 09/12/2017 at 14:40 point

@Cinezaster  Fonts that small won't show up on an FDM 3D print in my experience.  Maybe if you have an SLA printer like a formlabs they would be visible.  Feel free to give it a try, do you want me to upload STEP files that you can import into CAD and play with?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Ted Yapo wrote 06/24/2016 at 01:27 point

Great idea! Right now I have four or five sets all mixed up in a plastic bin :-)

  Are you sure? yes | no

Alex Rich wrote 06/24/2016 at 02:04 point

Thanks! I am going to make a metric variant as well, will post pics when I print this.   Also need to figure out how i will handle labeling the sizes. 

  Are you sure? yes | no

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