The GRAND G3YUH Morse Key Project!
(or alternatively how to build an excellent key for very little cost)
AND WITH  NO SPECIAL TOOLS

The project is on going, as various stages are completed they will appear here
I shall build it myself and there will be no cheating with special tools :()

 

This project was born out from the odd comments made from discussions on Morse keys in general, for some time it has intrigued me why quite experienced CW operators insist on singing the praises of keys that although quite operational are by in my opinion only barely average in performance? and then the penny dropped, these guys had never used an excellent key! their experiences  were limited to ex military and rather doubtful commercial keys, so their comments on key quality was limited by their experiences. Having built over One hundred and sixty keys of all shapes sizes and performance myself, and with tooling that is primitive in the extreme (well it was initially) I've been thinking along the lines of a project key that anyone could make using mostly tools and bits found in the average shack or garage, the aim would be to produce a key with an excellent action that is "fine tuned" to meet the expectations and operating preferences of the person making it, and also along the way to inspire a sense of uniqueness and wide thinking into the construction,  at various points in the construction refinements could be added or left out and the consequences discussed, any comments or problems could be aired on the Telegraphy net, and above all it has to be low cost to meet the true traditions of Amateur radio. Now I know this has been done many times before and there quite a few online projects for making a key, but I like to think this one will be different and not only that I'm going to get a lot of fun out of doing it :()
The project will be aimed at the average Amateur (if there is such a person) most Amateur radio enthusiasts I know do have a background of  being practical people, simply by setting up a shack making masts or rigging antennas brings them into the world of tools and judgements on what will work and what won't, and most Hams are hoarders by nature, in every shack there are usually little boxes with nuts and bolts and bits and pieces that "may come in useful one day" well that day has arrived, and it won't matter if you make mistakes as we are not dealing with anything expensive, the worst that can happen is you lose a few hours work or maybe the odd drop of blood from being careless, there is a good saying "The man that never made a mistake never made anything" Print that out and stick it on the wall and when you goof look at it and laugh :()

Postscript 10/8/2014  Further to this project which I put on this website a few years ago now, quite a few keys
have been made to this simple design, what became obvious was how different they all were!! which was
great, and even more so how pleased everyone seemed to be with the performance, provided you stay close
to the original dimensions materials and concept there is lots of room for personal preferences.
Also how much the addition of ballraces added to the performance, which was noticed by everyone that fitted them,
so condsider fitting them if you can, have fun and let me know how you get on
Ron G3YUH.....
 
The Tooling requirement
 
The Materials requirement
 
Stage 1 the pivot
 
Stage 2 Knob cracking :()
 
Stage 3 Making the key Arm
 
Stage 4 Making the contact block
 
Stage 5 Assembling the Key
 
Stage 6 Fine tuning and final assembly
 
Stage 7 Modifications and Enhancements
 
Stage 8 Polishing and final pictures