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What steel in drill chuck keys?

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  • What steel in drill chuck keys?

    Had to make a key for the smaller Cushman drill chuck.... Started with a jacobs key, the type with a pressed-in handle (not the bent consumer ones) and needed to turn the nose down

    A file wouldn't touch the nose, which needed turned down from 6mm to 4 mm.

    I torch annealed it, by heating bright orange and letting cool....

    pressed out the handle before annealing so it could be chucked, then turned it with carbide tool after annealing. It wanted to work harden every second..... and I had a decent cut on it, no rubbing.

    Got it done, and re-hardened, drew to a straw-purple, and pressed in the handle again. It works nicely so far, but is probably not quite as hard as it was originally. I could have stayed at straw, likely.

    But that sucker was some kind of hard and nasty steel.... I had a piece of mystery metal like it once.... burnt up two mill cutters on that one... someone suggested it might be 1050 or some such....

    One clue... the annealing worked, but even though I had it orange, it was not really totally soft when I went to turn it.... it was still harder than I expected.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 04-04-2011, 12:28 AM.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Another approach

    If I had the handle out and in the chuck I would have ground it in the hardened state. I realise that doesn't answer the question you ask. I have turned the nose down on several keys that machined easily. They were probably cheap keys to start with.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

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    • #3
      Yah, grinding would have been "it", but I refuse to grind on the lathe now, and my T&C / cylindrical grinder is not operational as a cylindrical grinder yet....

      For one thing, it has no workhead, just centers. No help for the key.....
      1601

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan

      Comment

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