Key organizer filter: What's this dealie bopper called?
May 16, 2018 11:44 AM   Subscribe

What the heck is this thing called? How can I replace it? It's just a little black round thing with a hole for a key ring and a slot carved all the way 'round so that it slides into this lovely metal rack.

Long ago my Domestic Partner in Crime and I purchased an excellent key organizer. The store from which we bought it has gone out of business; it specialized in artsy-fartsy Design Objects. I finally found a picture of the key holder, which you can see here.

Its cleverness is in the little black plastic key-ring fob that slides neatly in and out of the metal rack. The dang thing is so easy to use and I've been so much more likely to actually put my keys on it than any of the Hook-Based Key Solutions that are otherwise available. But over the years, we have managed to lose most of the black plastic dudes, and are now down to just one, and one is not enough for two people. So I need to find a couple of new ones.

I can't think of the right search terms for it, I don't know what the dang thing is called or even how to describe it properly, and when I found this picture I was just sure I'd be able to replace it. I think I've tracked it down to here: powder coated metal key holder from a Brazilian designer, but holy moly, $100 for a set of three when all I need is the little black thingies?

I mean, it's *almost* worth it. Short of finding someone to 3d print this, does anyone have any ideas about how I can replace this small object that helps me through my day?
posted by Made of Star Stuff to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Seems like that black plastic widget is a custom molded part for this device since it has a loophole for the keychain and a groove to fit into the slot, etc.

How dedicated are you to finding an exact replacement? I'd bet you could hack one up with a nut and bolt that are glued in place and dipped in epoxy. Or perhaps cut a length of delrin material? You could carve a notch in the middle and drill a hole for the keychain, then sand the ends smooth?
posted by JoeZydeco at 11:53 AM on May 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

Could you use Sugru to hand-shape a replacement? Here are some key-related Sugru makes -- none of them are quite what you're asking for, but maybe they can give you a sense of what's possible.
posted by ourobouros at 12:04 PM on May 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Large bead with a channel for the ring, plus an anchor? Or a toggle? Maybe these (or similar) are the right dimensions.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:06 PM on May 16, 2018

I would use a bolt with a threaded section that fits in the slot and a head that does not. Put two nuts at the end of the bolt backed up tight against one another (so they don't move, or use thread locker with one nut) with a gap between the head and the nuts so that it can fit into the holder like the black plastic dudes. Either used a bolt with a drilled head or drill it yourself so that it will fit on a keychain.
posted by exogenous at 12:06 PM on May 16, 2018

How about (expanding on exogenous's idea) using a nylon bolt and two nylon nuts? The only question would be could you make the hole for the key ring through the head of the bolt while leaving enough "meat" there so that it's still strong enough.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 12:09 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ask the Brazilian Designer what the black thingees are called or if they would sell you a few.
posted by Rob Rockets at 12:29 PM on May 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

For anyone else having trouble visualizing the back of the black pieces, as I was: this link shows the keychains themselves in greater detail.

Seconding Rob Rockets that your best move is probably to contact the designer, if you want the exact same ones.
posted by mosst at 1:55 PM on May 16, 2018

There are a lot of people with 3-D printers now, and it might be worth it to post this to Jobs. It's entirely possible that someone could come along and reproduce what you want for very very cheap.
posted by komara at 4:31 PM on May 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Maybe something like these leatherworking studs with a ring would fit? link [I know nothing about this particular seller, it was just the first one with a picture of the thing I mean.]
posted by Poogle at 4:36 PM on May 16, 2018

I would ask my local machine shop to make me a couple of nice, smooth, beautiful metal replicas of the black dealie boopers (love it!). See if they’ll make you a handlful of them.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:27 PM on May 16, 2018

Metafilter! You came through in a big way. We love the look of the metal working studs so we're going to try them first, but basically every answer here works. Thanks for saving my keys!
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 8:59 PM on May 16, 2018

I think it's this company but I don't see how you can buy it. Maybe they stopped making them?
posted by pangolin party at 3:30 AM on May 17, 2018

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