Titanium Secure Storage “Cache”

Some time ago (well, three years ago ago!) …there was some discussion on a blog post I did about a design for a secure titanium “storage cache”.

I called it the “Ti-Vault” (not sure if this is going to be the final name though). If you were around back then you may remember this photo (I also talked about this in August 2017 as well):

Now, truthfully… this is the third time I’m revisiting it and I’m planning not to disappoint you this time (which usually happened by letting myself get sidetracked by other projects).

So, what I’d like to ask you is…

If you are someone who would use this, then do you have a size preference(s)?

What I have already done is spent some time thinking and size-testing the Ti-Vault concept …and I’ve come up with a range of FOUR initial sizes which I think will cover the majority of uses (I think!).

Here are some photos of the final design (you can see the security “key” has changed since the original):

NOTE: These are crude mock-ups and the final design will be a little more refined

Now, here are the sizes I’m proposing:

 

 

Some important things for you:

#1 – The plan is that every model will be double-ended (unless my machinist has some solid reasons for not doing this). You will be able to open either end of the Vault this way …yes, I know, it seems a little redundant (but I have a couple of good reasons for it …which I’ll get into later)

#2 – The wall-thickness is going to be around 4 or 5mm thick (which for a small titanium container like this is a little overkill – but a little bit of over-engineering never hurt anyone :-P)

#3 – Oh, almost forgot one of the most important things… the Vault will be 100% water and air tight. It will use a standard Nitrile o-ring where the cap fits on to achieve this

I think that’s it.

Also, it’s not going to be cheap to produce these …because we’re starting with solid Grade 5 Titanium round bar …and machining it away to produce the Vault. And, of course, this is somewhat of a niche product – I am aware of this.

In summary…

If the Vault is not your kind of thing – no problem (more products coming soon!)

If the Vault is your kind of thing …then what are your thoughts on sizes? What would you use? …or is there some other improvement you’re thinking of?

Open to anything and everything!

P.S. Remember… as the diameter of the design gets larger then the price will increase somewhat exponentially (because not only does the weight of the titanium we start with increase …but we have to spend even more time machining it away)

Thank you!

Magnus

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Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

If you have another thoughts on these un-related to sizing or such …then fire away!

    Ga wei Pang - May 19, 2018 Reply

    magnus is my pill pot going to be shipped alone or will it be shipped with the prybar again this is my 6 message to you about my shipment

      Magnus - May 19, 2018 Reply

      Hey Ga, I have just sent you an email (hopefully you receive it as I did not see any of the messages you refer to – not sure what is happening there.)

Ryan - May 11, 2018 Reply

Wouldn’t ti-capsule be more appropriate? 😉

Evert - May 11, 2018 Reply

What do you have in mind for locking? Just a sealed lid, or something more secure?

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    It will be a coarse-threaded cap with a small pocket for a special key to open and close it. It is possible to get into it …but I believe you’d have to destroy it to get into it.

Kirill - May 11, 2018 Reply

Height enough to hold Euro 500 note. Diameter enough to hold 100 bank notes. Key I think is too simple. I would suggest two holes one at the center of the lid and one close to the side. So the key has two pins to fit both holes.

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    I had thought about that design for a key …but I think it would be too easy to get into. Pretty confident I could get into that in a couple of minutes without the key.

David - May 11, 2018 Reply

#2 (Tall and Thin) is probably the one I’d want most, myself.

I’m tempted to want to say “Make it as big as possible” since if I’m getting this and going to all the trouble of this level of security I’d want the most space possible, but you make a good point about how the price would scale.

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Yeah, it’s crazy how it goes up so much with diameter. Material alone goes up almost 4x times for a doubling of the diameter. Also, later this year, I hope to get the LARGE carbon-fiber and titanium “cans” I have talked about before …but they won’t be secured with a key like these.

Christian Haller - May 11, 2018 Reply

Magnus, as a cache, I like to the two tall models. If I’m cacheing, I need the space. The 54/32 is also a very good size.

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Thank you Christian for the feedback. Also, I think I still have an email from you I need to reply to …sorry for not getting back to you yet.

Mark - May 11, 2018 Reply

Not sure .. the key doesn’t look too secure, I’d probably buy one of the mid sized ones but not a clue what to keep in it .

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    So far, this key design seems to be the most secure (from a number of variations I’ve considered). I think it could be improved upon …but not sure.

Audrey - May 11, 2018 Reply

I would want something I could use for a reasonably sized piece of paper. A rolled piece of A4 paper would be fantastic but I’d settle for a rolled piece of A5.

I already own something similar which I use for recording passwords safely. A more portable version of this would be very interesting for me.

Mark - May 11, 2018 Reply

One sized to fit a jeans watch pocket would be interesting.
Make the key a key fob with bottle opener, etc on it as well.

Dan - May 11, 2018 Reply

Great idea. I have one of your smaller caches and I like it.

I like the locking idea.

D.

Kim - May 11, 2018 Reply

If you’re going to have them double open ended, you could have the option of having extensions, but it wouldn’t be secure anymore. Maybe offer secured and unsecured versions? The unsecured version could have a lanyard loop on it.

Have you considered thread galling from users over tightening? It could be a bigger problem if those capsules would be left outside with possible dirt in the threads. I would recommend using some kind of lubricant to help with this.

Since we’re going crazy, did you consider square threads? It’s nice to prevent cross threading and it has a much better life span since the tightening pressure on the threads is much reduced vs “triangle” threads and you have more material to wear down over time. Biggest problem is the way you machine them which is more complicated.

As for the security key, have you checked triangle screwdrivers? Would you be able to open the capsule with those? You could check what Ram Mounts did with their locking mechanism : https://www.rammount.com/part/RAP-S-KNOB6-6U

Like Kirill said, have a tall capsule that could fit the largest reasonable banknote in it.

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Thank you for your feedback Kim!

    I had not seen triangle screw-drivers before. But, in saying that, if someone want to get into it …then it’s possible (it would just take a long time/lot of effort).

    Ways to get in:

    — Angle grinder (lots of heat and potentially wreck what’s inside)
    — Hacksaw (it’s going to be a tough 30 minutes or so of cutting)
    — Make their own key (probably starting with a metal rod and grinding it down)

    I’ve not found it to be much of an issue so far in what I’ve done with other products – but I’ll run the square-thread thing past my machinist. He’ll know about them for sure – so he’ll let me know any issue do doing/not doing it this way.

Vincent - May 11, 2018 Reply

Here is something, perhaps not in terms of being secured that no one can easily open, but in terms of being *secure*.
I have an issue with my cell phone, the battery is dying, and it is supposed to be under warranty. The problem is that the phone maker claims they cannot ship a replacement lithium battery anywhere but in the USA and Germany (and I do not live in either those country).
Apparently shipping lithium batteries is a great concern and they have to be handled as “hazardous material”.
How about having some kind of near indestructible titanium battery container meant for shipping, able to resist the heat and chemical of a failing battery?
If I had one of those, I would send it to the cell phone company with the instructions “but the darn battery in there and ship it to me, the TiBatVAULT makes it a not hazardous item”.
Of course, that could be over specific as need goes…
(And you ought to find a titanium TUBE supplier at some point. Starting from a bar is making your own life extra difficult…)

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Hey Vincent, man, that would be a neat way to ship batteries. I wonder though… is there a risk of the battery becoming even more dangerous inside a sealed container like that …almost like a bomb. I know nothing about batteries – so likely thinking about something that’s not even possibly.

Eric - May 11, 2018 Reply

Personally if I try to think of how I would use something like this, the use I come up with is a secure watertight container I could bring to the pool or beach. It would need to be big enough to hold some keys, perhaps an ID and/or credit card, maybe some cash. A lanyard attachment point would pretty much be must-have.

However, something of that size would likely be more expensive than I’d want to invest for the purpose, IDK.

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Thank you for the feedback Eric. Yeah, going bigger costs so much more the manufacture – but, possibly, that’s the more useful size.

Konrad - May 11, 2018 Reply

The sizes are not adjusted to store cash:
* to keep 60 $100 bills, 38x67mm would be perfect (64mm length is not enough, 54mm diameter seems too much)
* to keep 500€ or 1000 Swiss Franc bills, 38x82mm would be perfect (102x54mm is too large)

My wish list (priority list):
* 38x82mm
* 38x102mm
* 38x32mm
* 38x67mm

I believe 4-5mm walls are overkill; I would prefer something a bit thinner.

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Thank you for the feedback Konrad. I had not thought too much about holding notes ….but a few people have now mentioned that. Will perhaps re-think that one.

Herbert - May 11, 2018 Reply

Will depend on the price a bit, but if i get some, it will be the longer (or higher) ones, probably one 38 and one 54 mm.

Robert - May 11, 2018 Reply

Magnus,

I’m with Konrad, sort of. I would prefer a rectangular box 3″x 5″ or maybe a little bigger with a sliding bar on the edge that could be locked and also a way to lock the box to a fixture that would make it very hard to steal. I want to store approximately $1,500 in 20s & 100s.

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Man, a bigger box with a way to fix to something permanent is a different thing entirely …but I do like that idea! Also, thank you for being so specific with your aim for such a cache.

Dan Phillips - May 11, 2018 Reply

For me, about 1.24″ x 2.5″ seams like a good size. I realize you can’t make every size, but that’s my thought. On finish, can you leave some of them plain machined finish? I like to heat it up w a torch to get the cool multi-color effect. Thanks!

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    I do get asked from time to time to leave the finish raw. I’ve never done it before …and not quite sure if I want to do it. It feels like sending out a half-finished product out there.

AA - May 11, 2018 Reply

The proposed thickness may cover this off, but RFID protection would be great (to keep car keys, cards in etc). 102×54 is probably what I’d go for. It may be expensive but worth it if it’s built to last.

Zachary - May 11, 2018 Reply

I think you’re over complicating the whole idea. Why a key? That’s just something extra to have to have and to lose. Why not something with a 25-30mm inner area with 50-100mm height that can fit in the pocket, be a self defense tool, (think roll of quarters), is water and air tight to a depth of so many meters, and would hold emergency type stuff if required? I think threaded caps with inner threads, which to my knowledge no one else has done at this point, would make quite a bit more sense and make the cost more reasonable and braided the customer base quite a bit. Just my two cents but I do think you’re onto something great if you tweek and simplify it just a bit.

Karl - May 11, 2018 Reply

Like to see yet a larger diameter for at least the shorter size. 2.75 ” possibly.

Possibly a three- pin triangular locking/tightening mechanism with corresponding holes being sunk into the lids.

Steve - May 11, 2018 Reply

My wish list would start with the 102 * 54mm size. I like the thick wall on that size personally and the only wish I might add to enable it to be coupled to others. The 102*54 is the size I’d buy especially with 4-5mm thick walls.
I do have to agree with the commenter above that asked about finding a supplier that sells in tubing rather than trying to bore out a bar. Boring a bar out to make this, in my opinion only, is asking for extra work that doesn’t need to be done and potentially extra problems not to mention the extra tooling wear.

As other commenters said, I also like the idea of a box.

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Yeah it’s tough with the tube. So far I’ve found the tube to be more expensive that the solid stuff (amazing but true). But I’ve not looked extensively.

James Bruce - May 11, 2018 Reply

At the 4th time of asking, is there any chance of me returning my Air Spinner and swapping it with something I would have a use for. Thanks

    Magnus - May 11, 2018 Reply

    Hi James, my sincere apologies for not getting back to your email. I will go in this weekend and reply to you (as well as a few others). Yes, for sure, we can work out some way of swapping your Air spinner.

Xeon - May 11, 2018 Reply

I’d like a few pocket sized, and some as large as a standard drink can. I’d even be interested in much larger sizes. That are not only wider but much taller too. At least as wide as an iPhone X is tall, and deep.

sphinx - May 11, 2018 Reply

I’d find the most usefulness from:
1. tall & thin (38mm x 64mm) then
2. short & fat (54mm x 32mm)

Bring them on!

Stefan - May 11, 2018 Reply

Hi Magnus,
wouldn’t it be too easy to use some kind of putty that gets hard after heating or drying? Press it on the top and you have a key? Or a block of heated plastic — all the tricks you successfully use to open these “special” screws that are around nowadays…

Bernd Oliver - May 11, 2018 Reply

I like the larger ones with the increased height, simply because they fit more stuff. I would have little use for a relatively tiny vault. The necessity of a special key is a little quirky because in case of loss it wouldn’t just lock thieves but myself out. And they can’t be too hard to recreate home-made. So the question really is whether that extra security really adds something or not, or whether a lanyard attachment point on one lid would me more useful.

Lonn - May 11, 2018 Reply

Also, interested in the cash-sized length. Pick your tallest bill like the Japanese 10K yen or euro and scale from there. 2″ width is a healthy size for storage. The first security measure of the cache though is hideability.
So maybe narrower – say 1″ would suffice for many applications and be easier to hide in luggage or hotel rooms. Or maybe I’ll just use the pill pots…
– Why 2 access points? Is that easier/cheaper to machine? Could be another point of failure.
– Would you consider shipping 2 keys (a spare basically)?
– There should be a finish option that is not shiny.
– Consider feasibility of a silicon liner (so that stuff doesn’t rattle around).

Good luck!

    Magnus - May 12, 2018 Reply

    Hey Lonn, thank you for your thoughts. The two access points have two reasons… (1) we can make the longer ones longer …and (2) It’s handy for if you get something stuff inside …(also, I don’t believe it is much more to machine cost wise). Yes, I’d consider a spare key for sure.

Robert - May 11, 2018 Reply

I tend to go always for the larger size as I always seems to run out of space (same with the pill box). So the 54 x 102 would be my choice (depending on price). Another would be 38 x 102.
Have you considered a rectangular box? Something like 90 x 60 x 15 (L x W x H). In that case it could be used for (debit/ credit) cards.
One thing to think about is ease of opening. I am not sure how security at an airport will look at. If I put it in my checked bagage a cylindrical metal object would probably raise some alarm bells, if I take it with me in my carry on luggage they definitely want to see what is inside of it.

Success!

Grts Robert

    Magnus - May 12, 2018 Reply

    A rectangular box is possible …but, I think, would be hugely more costly to produce. But, if it’s a better solution, then that’s the way to go for sure! I’ll have a think about it…

Edwin - May 11, 2018 Reply

This could be a great EDC container for (expensive/custom made) in ear monitors for professional musicians and audiophiles

Wish list:
– 64mm x 38 mm
– divider with liner and cut (0.5×0.5 mm thickness of double cable) to store cable and or small bag of silicate to keep IEM’s dry
– removable silicon lining/padding (container within Ti container)
– key ring
– custom engraving (telephone number)

    Magnus - May 12, 2018 Reply

    A silicon liner is interesting as Lonn also mentioned this in a comments above. Had not thought about it.

      Edwin - May 29, 2018 Reply

      Any way for an option to suck out any air and not having to use Silicate gel granular to keep moist out in order to avoid corrosion of valuables ?

Tyler - May 12, 2018 Reply

Larger is always better 🙂

henrik - May 13, 2018 Reply

Well, I really like the largest one ,you have in proposal.

I really like also the thickness of the container.

I prefer a container that is almost indestructible.

So thickness of the lids and the container itself is important for me.

I like also the wiring of the lids a bit sunken under the edge of the container, just a half millimeter.

Greetings henrik

Nick - May 13, 2018 Reply

Hi Magnus,

I would like some sort of ingenious opening / closing device (puzzle box if you like). A few years back I remember someone was making square ones of different sizes with a clever mechanism that required you to tap it to open! They also had milled designs on the outside.
The company was called The Magic Billet, but I don’t think they are in business now. However if you google it lots of pictures come up.

All the best

Nick

Morgan - May 14, 2018 Reply

Big fan of your stuff,
I do understand what you say about the size/price issue, but i think I would still have to go for the larger size (64/38 or 102/54). Although I would have to see what the final damage would be.

I had been considering the other containers you had made. The locking feature of this caught my eye.
I’m definitely interested . . .

CHS - May 15, 2018 Reply

Hi Magnus,
I haven’t received any message since I sent the old titanium click pen back to you.
The mail and website contact didn’t get any reply.
I thought you might see the message here.
Look forward to your reply when you are available.
thx

markd - May 20, 2018 Reply

larger the better ! great idea.

markd - May 20, 2018 Reply

The larger the better ! great idea.

Stephen Tippett - May 23, 2018 Reply

Definitely the 102mm x 54mm, has great possibilities.

6pltminer - May 24, 2018 Reply

I would certainly be interested and have a few of your pill pots(awesome)!!

Small size usefull for crypto keys but ther are plenty of other resourses out there to cater more discretely.

I think the bigger size if it could be drilled into concrete floor and secured to make removal dificult

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