Before we go any further I should say that anyone contemplating having a go at making a key that these things below are safety glasses, WEAR THEM AT ALL TIMES in the workshop, you only have one pair of eyes and if you operate a lathe or drill sooner or later you WILL get a piece of hot sharp brass in your eye, nothing is worth the loss of an eye.
And below is the cardinal number one workshop sin NEVER leave a chuck key in a lathe and walk away, if you forget it is there and press the starter it can easily break your teeth or the bones in your face, the same goes for Pillar drills CHECK YOUR CHUCKS
 
 
 

Anyway having got the safety angle out of the way, This is Project Key 141 and it's going to be different, each stage of the construction of this key will be explained in detail by pictures and text, I am going to assume that most people that look at it will have at least some knowledge of basic metalworking, but should I say, or show, something that seems incomprehensible then you need only send me an email for a more fuller explanation, I should also mention that other than basic metalwork that I learnt at school over 50yrs ago I am completely self taught, so probably some of the techniques you may see here may be frowned on by metalworking experts, but so what, that is what Amateur radio is all about, my tools and methods are simple in the extreme and to me that is half the fun, Anyway that is the lead for the defence it's now time to start building a Morse key.
It is going to be in the style of a Vintage Lindholm and Wikstrom key but with subtle variations in size and shape and additions such as ballrace bearings, this first page will describe how I make the basic handle of the key, above is a piece of brass plate, 6mm wide and 135mm long on which I have sketched the rough outlines of the handle shape.

I have started by clamping the work under the tool rest and using a 4inch fine tooth slotting saw blade fitted into my lathe chuck and with this I can cut the brass to size length wise, My lathe is a very old very simple 4inch bed type I bought it from Ebay for about $160 the saw blade and arbor again Ebay items about $20 and that plus a small pillar drill and a bench grinder are all the powered machinery I have, no digital controlled megga buck milling machines, just those and a few hand tools so this exercise will be pretty basic.
Now I'm starting to remove surplus brass by cutting down the work, checking now and again with a digital calliper a most useful item and very cheap to buy, Ebay again $16 the, the work is clamped by using a standard drilling vice secured to the lathe tool post, simple cheap and efficient
And by turning and clamping the work at different angles I can cut off small amounts to get to the very basic shape, you could do this with a fretsaw or a bandsaw but a fretsaw is hard work and I don't have a bandsaw :()
  

And now it is time to get closer to the required shape by using a grindstone, the trick is to use a very light touch and keeping in mind what you grind off can't be stuck back on! you can bring a little artistic talent to this and with a little practice you can make some very sweeping lines to your homebrew key, also you have to turn the work over now and again as you are trying to get a flat edge with a round stone, and if not careful you will get a bevelled edge, you can never get it completely flat that will come later, (grinder $40 local hardware store)

Below you can see the work smoothing out and the lines starting to flow, the key is taking it's first breath of life, imagination is a real asset to key making, to be able to imagine how the finished item will look from the earliest beginnings is a skill that needs to be used as much as possible.
Now it is filing time, the edges must be filed flat or at least to a fine dome shape, no need to be to precise after all this is a homemade key and you can put a bit of yourself into it, but all the deep cut marks should be filed out, I use a fairly course half round file for this job, it is nice to be comfortable I sit on a stool with the work clamped into my old B&D workmate, and start planning my next move whilst filing away.
Below you can see the filing work completed and now it is time to smooth out the rough filing marks out with emery cloth, I do this by simply wrapping a small piece of cloth around my file and carry on as before
And finally a rub all over with a finer grade emery cloth and the very basic handle shape is complete, it will feel warm to the touch, there is nothing to compare with the warmth and glint of worked brass in my opinion, time now for a cup of tea (Old British custom) whilst contemplating  the next move which is cutting the additions to the handle which is the tensioner and knob mountings and contact block, time spent about three hours, which included a chat with my neighbour :()
(PS that is not blood on my finger just grease from the lathe, getting your hands dirty is a requirement of key making :)