Introduction: Copy Your Keys With SUGRU

Lost a key & want to -make- a new one? Use SUGRU to shape a key with Epoxy.

Step 1: Prepare the Key

Step 2: Use a Holder

Step 3: Insert the SUGRU in the Holder

Step 4: Put the Key in the SUGRU

Step 5: Press the SUGRU So the Key Will Be Formed

Step 6: Add Epoxy Too the Key

Step 7: Use the Malls to Insert Epoxy

Step 8: Wait for 10 Minutes & You Have Made Yourself a New Key!

Comments

author
dflynn5 (author)2016-08-29

First useful instructable on Sugru I have seen. Thanks for sharing.

author
Ricardo Furioso (author)2014-11-25

Does anyone know if there's a way to request an instructable be removed?

This one is at the top of my list.

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Solko (author)Ricardo Furioso2014-12-07

think about a flag...

author
Breezy58 (author)2014-11-26

Pay the $2 for a double-sided key at your Home Center. Much cheaper to make a few spares. Safer,too. I imagine that epoxy dust(from the grinding action) would get into the cylinder.I agree that this was a 'secret ad'.

author
bkotlins (author)2014-11-24

This is a Sugru ad. Every instructible KoenA1 has done is a quicky Sugru "project".

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ralenti (author)2014-11-24

This isn't a very good or clever instructable. I would've liked to see the finished product instead of a stock photo. Also, how did you attach the epoxy key to a handle? Does it last for more than a few uses? I imagine the teeth would be worn down by the cylinders, filling the lock with epoxy filings.

author
Syd0the0kid (author)2014-11-23

Do you have a photo of the finished key made of epoxy? The one here looks like a stock photo and I'm interested in know how well the copy works compared to the original. My car key cost $135 a piece and it would be nice to have an emergency copy in my wallet.

author
AJMansfield (author)Syd0the0kid2014-11-24

This probably wouldn't work for your car keys. Expensive car keys are expenses because of a special transponder microchip in the base of the key, not because of the physical metal key. So while you could make a key that could open the doors and such, that key would be unable to actually turn the car on.

author
tony114445 (author)2014-11-23

I got keys coppied last week for less than a dollar a piece... is this really worth it?

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AJMansfield (author)tony1144452014-11-24

Some keys are more expensive. While typical house keys (such as C or KW1 types) are cheap, there are some types of keys, such as those for dimple locks, that are much more expensive. Also, some keys have special control measures against copying them: if you took one of those to a locksmith, you would also need to present a legal document authorizing copies before he could legally duplicate the key.

author

LMAO!!!! your gonna get kicked off her for thinking!

author
Catley (author)2014-11-23

This is interesting, but to me, one of the most puzzling things is how you get a top on the new key.

author
jmcdonald23 (author)2014-11-23

Good idea but not something you want to try with epoxy. Also this can easily be used for criminal activity, ie grab someone's safety deposit key, safe key, etc and make a copy and then when they ain't around the criminal can break into the locked enclosure and steal whatever is there. I'd rather goto a locksmith or key copy place and have my key copied rather and experimenting with epoxy which can easily break off into the lock and then you are going to have an expensive repair bill to get it out.

author
rpotts2 (author)jmcdonald232014-11-23

use the epoxy copy as the "original" in a key copying machine?

author
jmcdonald23 (author)rpotts22014-11-23

Whats the point in doing that if you still have the original? Making the epoxy key serves no purpose in my opinion.

author

LMAO!!!! Again another trouble maker thinking and using reason

author

Not a troublemaker, just someone who sees this as if its easy for you to make then its even easier for a criminal to do. This way of making a key costs about $20 roughly whereas taking your key to a locksmith to have a copy made using a real key blank so that you have a spare will only run you about $5.

author
jlambert (author)2014-11-23

I'm confused, where are instructions.

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mikecz (author)2014-11-23

This seems an incredibly complicated way to make a non-metal key. When I retired 2 years ago after owning a hardware store for 30 years, I was charging $1.99 (US) to make a simple single cut key, as shown in step 4. This would be a nickle plated brass key and I guaranteed it to work! We cut 16,000 to 18,000 keys a year in our little store and 99 point something-something % of them worked! We could almost always make good working copies from broken keys, too. Why not just have your locally owned hardware guy make your keys?

author
Battlespeed (author)2014-11-01

I can't figure out why people use the very expensive Sugru for mold-making when there are so many excellent cheaper alternatives.

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mjenkins1 (author)Battlespeed2014-11-23

Battlespeed, I'd be interested in hearing of those cheaper alternatives. It's hard to find good beginners info on moldmaking, and Sugru always seems to pop to the top the list. They probably have some excellent marketing dept., but I don't need my supplies to be hipster brand. Thanks, Matthew

author
ac-dc (author)mjenkins12014-11-23

Well for one if you already need the epoxy anyway then you could just make the mold out of epoxy too. The key merely needs a release agent sprayed on so the epoxy doesn't adhere to it, or laying two layers of thin plastic (kitchen food covering type) film on top and bottom of the key would also work, but this still does not remove the issue of lack of effectiveness of a key without a top on it or that general purpose non-fortified epoxy is too weak to make a key.

author
mooseroo (author)mjenkins12014-11-23

Pet peeve of mine... " You should use the cheaper alternative." Full stop. No alternative named.

On a site for sharing instructions, people are bad at leaving details in their comments! Could you please elaborate on these alternatives?

author
Battlespeed (author)mooseroo2014-11-23

Reply to mjenkinns and mooseroo: It depends on what material you're wanting to mold, which could be anything from butter to fondant, wax, soap, polymer clay, art clay to metals or even materials like concrete. I assume that anyone is capable of googling a phrase like "how to make molds for <whatever>". I certainly can't detail all of the possibilities here. It should have been sufficient for me to point out that there are less expensive molding materials and assume that people can find the ones that are relevant to whatever they're molding.

author
Battlespeed (author)Battlespeed2014-11-23

P.S. YouTube has about a mold-making videos on mold-making that cover most of the different kinds of materials you can use to make molds for different purposes. If you don't find what you want on Google, try looking for a YouTube video.

author
Battlespeed (author)Battlespeed2014-11-23

(sigh) Sorry - I meant "YouTube has about a jillion videos on mold-making"....

author
mvillalpando (author)2014-11-23

Thank you for the Instructable. Here in America there are plenty of Plastic manufacturers. I am not promoting them, I've used them before myself, but if you are ever interested in looking them up online they are called Reynolds, and this is their website www.reynoldsam.com. You can even look in to doing their workshops as well. Thank you again for your good Instructable.

author
jsoleil (author)2014-11-23

If I were to do this, I'd lay a thin piece of metal or something down in the epoxy so it'd be a bit stronger.

author
stringstretcher (author)2014-11-23

Mall is a word in norther euro languages meaning "form" or "pattern". "Use the forms to insert epoxy." Better? Let your epoxy cure for a long time, 24-48 hours before trying it. That, and the word "epoxy" is a very broad term, there are many different recipes of epoxy. Some are brittle, some are not, some are quite variable depending on the mix of components. Prepare your key, clean it with detergent and or isopropyl alcohol to remove oils, scrub it with steel wool or a Scotchbrite pad to abrade the oxide layer, then wash it AGAIN to remove the stuff you just scraped off. That is to prevent the silicon from what is called inhibition, where it won't harden properly (chemistry!) Not meaning to be a know-it-all here, just hoping to help you succeed with these kinds of projects. Silicon is amazing, but quirky and expensive if you fail. Sugru should be quite forgiving, but still... you CAN make a mess.

author
grayl (author)2014-11-23

The key in the photo used to make the mold looks nothing like your final product. Still waiting to hear about 'use the molls to insert epoxy.'

author
grayl (author)2014-11-23

The key in the photo used to make the mold looks nothing like your final product. Still waiting to hear about 'use the molls to insert epoxy.'

author
Pantherboy (author)2014-11-23

What is Sugru and what is/are Malls? I'm English and we are two nations divided by a common language! Perhaps they are trade names of something found in the US?

Cheers.

Gordon

author
jrgarcia (author)Pantherboy2014-11-23

Hi !

This is Sugru !

http://sugru.com/

malls ? I don´t know !

Regards,

Garcia - from Brazil

author
millmore (author)Pantherboy2014-11-23

Sugru is a British product, available in Maplin or direct from their web site. It's a plastic that is like plasticine when fresh, is highly adhesive, and sets to a squishy solid within a day.

author
Zeugma-fr (author)2014-11-23

Sugru is a nice but expensive option. If you do not need more than one copy of your key, use some "plastic" or "silicone compatible" modeling compound, like http://www.michtoy.com/item-MCK-80476-Klean_Klay.... . you will need to scrap a litle to remove it after your epoxy key is cured, but it's less expensive than Sugru.

On the contrary, if you want to make several copies, sugru is the way to go.

If you think your key should be a little more sturdy, you have 2 options (that you can combine... :) ) :

1) add some metal powder (iron powder is usually the less expensive...), or some silica powder, or better some unwoven glass fiber to the epoxy (or use a pre-mixed compound, like car repair mastic... one nice option here in France is this: http://www.sinto.fr/sintofer/mastics-de-reparatio... , makes a nice metallic grey color with glitters).

2) add one or two metallic pin inside the epoxy key. usually, a simple 'U' made from a paperclip is the easiest way to create something strong and durable...

On the side, sugru is really a fantastic thing ! you can repair almost any handle, and still have some good grip. You can create some custom-made cushioning for every thing (i used it to hold/repair walkie-talkies for my nephews - they were prone to break during play...). I did not think about doing some cast with it before, but this gives me ideas.... new cufflinks on their way !

author
torchburner (author)2014-11-23

I am wondering how well this will hold up. I would like to hear from anyone that has tried it. I broke my key and can't find my spare. If this works I could use it to copy my old key.

author
gizbiz (author)torchburner2014-11-23

Torchburner - If you have both pieces of your key you should be able to go to any competent locksmith and have a key made from the two halves.

There is a caveat to this, however. If you have been using the two halves of your key you may have been wearing off some of the metal, so you will want to find an "Old" locksmith like me to have this done.

Still practicing at 68.

author
jkimball (author)2014-11-23

Could we get some more details or text, please?

1) How do we "prepare the key?"

6) What kind of epoxy did you use, and how much?

7) What is a "malls", and how do you use it?

8) The key pictured is not the one you wanted to copy. Can we see that one?

Other questions:

How do you use the key? How long will it take to cure? Do you need to finish or sand the resulting key?

author
nell.patrick.9 (author)2014-11-23

go to any hardware store they will make a copy of the key for about $3.00

I had the same problem with lowes

author
Ricardo Furioso (author)2014-11-23

Thank you for your instructable.

But, I'm sorry.
I am confused about some details here.

1. How do you keep the two sides of the mold from sticking to each other?
2. How do you separate the key from the sugru?

3. I'm assuming that you stand the mold up so the key's handle/hole end is up. Most epoxy I've used is very thick.How do you get the epoxy to flow into the mold?

4. Wait. You're not copying the handle/hole half of the key. I don't understand how you can turn your new key copy in a lock without that part.

5. Most epoxy I've used is also brittle. If you make the whole key from epoxy, won't it crack and break in the middle when you put it in the lock and turn it?

author
trinity224 (author)2014-11-23

How to you "prepare the key"?

What does "use the malls" mean?

author
smcmasters1 (author)2014-11-21

How well do they hold up? I would worry about the strength, as I too could use a copy of my car key. The idiots at lowes won't copy it cuz they say it has a chip. It may be a Volvo but it does not have a hip. It's just a floppy key. The flip is broken and I can't find a replacement for under $35-70b I'd like to just use the epoxy trick.

author
ibwebb (author)smcmasters12014-11-23

You can buy blanks for keys or remotes off ebay for a fraction of what anyone else will charge you. I had a 1998 Honda Accord that wasn't suppose to have a chip but did. You might be surprised if yours has a chip or not. a Volvo dealership will tell you for free. I know that a local Honda dealership cut my blanks and programmed my remotes I got off ebay for free.

author
jlewis4 (author)smcmasters12014-11-23

I had the same issue with Lowes. I just told them it was a replacement door key and didn't expect it to be for the engine and they did it.

Ace will do them too, but I've never had success and they are expensive!

author
jca245 (author)2014-11-23

Sugru is expensive but I have seen recopies for making it inexpensively yourself with silicone calk and ( I believe) corn starch.

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SparkySolar (author)2014-11-21

clever

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robot797 (author)2014-11-21

can you explain the steps

i mean i get the photo's

but i like to read to what you are doeing

author
MsSweetSatisfaction (author)2014-11-01

That very clever, seems almost Houdini like. You'll have to tell us how well the keys work!

author

this is one of the oldest tricks in the book, can't believe if you haven't seen it before in a movie or something.

nonetheless you have a very valid point about the performance. I'm a little bit sceptical, think the keys are too weak for normal use.

author
iam_maker_leo (author)2014-11-20

Wow... Great idea...

Now I can be a agent with sugru...

Most of all.. I want to copy my car keys.

Thank you.