View Full Version : What steel is Make a Key?

11-21-2004, 06:18 PM
The steel you can buy specifically for making a key from, what is it?

Is it some sort of high tensile steel, or boring old 1018?


11-21-2004, 06:53 PM
The keystock I get is generally 1018, but I have gotten some made from 1045 before.

11-21-2004, 06:58 PM
Key stock can be just about anything. In my case over a period of a month I will make keys from brass, stainless or like you said plain old 1018. In an unusual case I made one from plastic.

Al Flipo
11-21-2004, 07:03 PM
Stay away from that plated stuff.

11-21-2004, 07:05 PM
Yeah, I know you can make them from lots of stuff, but a local tool house has a bin with all these different sized squares with 'Make-a-Key' printed on them. They are also zinc passivated. Now to me this is an expensive way of getting a key if it is just 1018, but if it is something like 1045 or other steel alloy it would probably be a quick and easy way of obtaining the steel.

Just wondering if anyone knew what steel 'Make-a-Key' brand of key steel is?

11-21-2004, 07:16 PM
Ok, - Stay away from the plated stuff. Anything in particular that is wrong with it?

Al Flipo
11-21-2004, 07:32 PM
Usually the plated stuff is oversize and you need a sledge hammer to get it in, unless your key way is well worn, in that case it will fit probably just right

11-21-2004, 10:17 PM
And it is also not stress-relieved,mill a piece and see what I mean.

I use common 1018 cold rolled square at work,its stress relieved and cheap.Also it usually fits without much fitting.

11-21-2004, 11:11 PM
Sorry, I wasn't clear in my original question, I am not planning on using it as a key, just looking for nice steel to make stuff from, but if its just 1018 I may as well just buy it from the steel shop.


Spin Doctor
11-22-2004, 06:02 AM
We used to use some satuff called Kromite, but for one reason or another purchasing won't order anymore. If it is the same as this alloy ????


11-22-2004, 07:10 PM
Around here stainless is redily available and cheap to free. For general all around making it has some great qualities. It's reasonably strong, machines well (go slow). Loves sharp tools such as HSS and you cant beat the finish you can achieve with it. By finish I mean from a high polish or just left with the machining marks on it. All in all nice stuff.

11-22-2004, 09:50 PM
Remember the purpose of the key, to sacrifice it's self rather than destroying
the equipment.