Enhancements and "Twiddley" bits

 
Having tested the key and got the "Feel" of it I decided to fit some ball races, I've never built a good sleeve bearing key and then changed to ball races to experience the immediate difference, so I was very interested in this modification, below left are the bearing I used, they are 1/4 inside diameter and 3/8 outside the conversion was simplicity itself I just removed the axle and carefully drilled out the side plates from 1/4 to 3/8 and popped the bearings into the holes from the outside, they are flange bearings so they stayed snuggly in place, I had to gently polish the 1/4 axle to get it to slide into the bearings which was a precision fit, then the outer brass fittings were replaced to hold the bearings in place, the whole exercise taking less than 20 minutes, the difference was truly AMAZING, if anyone has ever doubted ball races in a Morse key they should try this project, this modification has transformed the key from very good to Excellent!!! I would now rate this little key among the best I've used, the bearings were about $2 each
 
 
 
 
And at the same time I decided to make the gap adjuster easier to use, I took one of the brass inserts from the knob cracking exercise and pushed a piece of 1/4 brass left over from the project into it, and soldered it in place, then I drilled it out to 2BA clearance and fitted the old adjuster bolt into it with the head cut off filed it flat and fitted a silver contact on top then soldered the whole assembly together (below left) then I got a full size 2BA brass nut drilled out one of the flats to 2.3mm and soldered a 2mm brass pin in the hole, this now acts as a Tommy bar tightener under the new gap adjuster, all a bit fiddly but cost is almost nothing, its possible to add these simple enhancements to any homebrew key, this project is nearly at an end I shall make a better tension adjuster and give it a bit of a clean up and polish on the next page and that will be it and I can switch my beloved Lathe and Mill back on (I have missed you)