TSA Compliant Multitool Mod



Carrying small pliers and screwdrivers at all times is helpful and comforting. So, when I travel without checked baggage, I feel strange leaving small multitools behind. Being without tools is weird. So, I decided to buy a used Leatherman Squirt on eBay (possibly a TSA auction of a previously confiscated tool), and modify it to meet/exceed the government restrictions on carry-on tools.



Here’s the original tool. Note sharp blade, longish file, and pointy, shabby awl.


I milled off the rivets so I could remove or swap out the offending parts.


The pieces parts.

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Keyboard battery travel guard


The Apple bluetooth keyboard is pretty good for travel when you want to type on an iDevice. Problem I’ve run into is that if it’s in my bag, every time a key is accidentally pressed the iPad it’s paired with wakes up. There is no on/off switch on the keyboard to prevent this — the power button serves more as a pairing button. In the past I’ve solved this by putting a little piece of electrical tape on the inside of the battery compartment cap. It worked pretty well, but that evil electrical tape adhesive got all over things when I pulled it off to use the keyboard. So, I’ve upgraded to a negative contact end cover made from the battery packaging itself.

Lockpick case

Yesterday I got annoyed with all of my lock picks being clumped together in a few different cases and sort of hard to find. So, I’m sewing part of the arm of an old leather jacket into a lock pick tool roll.

Happily, the leather is thin enough to work pretty easily on the sewing machine.

Making a custom watch strap

My 1967 Omega Constellation has a fresh look. I made a custom strap for it that is sized to my wrist and non-adjustable. I’d seen similar designs before, but didn’t way to pay for something that looked so simple to make. It turned out to be pretty easy using a few specialized tools, hardware, and a thin scrap of leather. 

First, I cut the strip with a box cutter and straightedge.

Next, I used a small leather punch and mallet to make a clean hole for a screw-in button stud.

After measuring the strap on my wrist, I marked a spot for the button hole. I used a specialized tool that creates a slit and properly sized hole, when struck with a mallet.

Then, I cut a small strip of leather to fold over and hold the strap end. I punched two holes in its ends and stitched them with waxed thread. I’m really happy with the result.