Picture of Easy way to copy a key.
If you are like me and have a bunch of unused old keys somewhere in your home this trick could come in handy.

Today i was going to copy a key with my dremel like tool  so i put 2 keys in the vice.
It was a real pain in the vice ;) to get them to align properly, and I trimmed to much of the copied key down.

So i aligned the keys(the original on the a bit larger similar type of a key) on the table,  took a spray paint , and sprayed from the 90° angle on them.

So you need:

1.A blank key or a bit larger but similar key with the same profile type.
2.Spray paint. (You will remove it from the original while it`s still fresh.)
3.Any  fine grinding tool and a vice/vise.
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Step 1: Painting

Picture of Painting
Paint over the aligned keys (original key up) at an 90°angle.
Clean the original key, and put the copy in the vice.There`s no need for waiting on the paint to dry off.

Step 2: Grinding

Picture of Grinding
Grind the colored part down.

Step 3: Try the finished key!

Picture of Try the finished key!

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dpina3 years ago
Where do you get the blanks?
I got a big bunch of keys too. As i changed locks for some reason I kept all keys on a project of melting up the whole stuff but the idea that keys may be nickel plated (aren't they ?) kept me from puttting them all in the crucible .
Tkdwn (author)  dpina3 years ago
I don`t ! But thay would work to :)
rgershey3 years ago
Hey everybody. What you're using to hold the key is a VISE. You all know what VICES are - but this is not the place to discuss those ;-)
why not ? What about using a vice-vise, does anyone have one in the garage?
depends if your a 'merikan
Tkdwn (author)  rgershey3 years ago
Well I blame the Google for translating to the non American version :P
Hippymike963 years ago
You know you could go to home depot and make a key in less than 3 min and for $1
MicioGatta3 years ago
Great idea, thanks!
if you're going to go through all that effort, why not just make a bump key ?
First thing I thought too. Now that we know who the criminals are.... haha ;)
See reference Defcon13 game: Spot the fed 
seems easier to just cast a copy
jack85593 years ago
If you have a machinist's tool called a scribe, you can also scratch a line on the larger key instead of painting it making the overspray a thing of the past - no imperfections as long as you hold the scribe at the correct angle all the time. The closer that you keep the keys together the better, hence the vise like you used!
EvilDefman3 years ago
How about turning it into a ring? Would look great! I'll see if I can find a very very very old one that is long and that i can peen into a ring or something. Might work, might not. Good idea, though.
Tim Temple3 years ago
Some used chewing gum would help keep them aligned as you put them in the vice...
Tkdwn (author)  Tim Temple3 years ago
Tnx, but i`m puting only the copy in the vice from now on :)
I'm not the Spelling Police, but the word you should be using is "vise." "Vice" is violation of accepted morals (to some people!)
The spelling depends if you're American or not... :P
Ohhhh... like "wrench" and "spanner?" ;-)
Yeah... and tomato and....er... tomato...
dammit... :-P
Tkdwn (author)  AbnerStinqort3 years ago
Dude! :)
mole13 years ago
I really like the idea of not damaging the original. It lets anyone try it with no risk.
bubbaclaw3 years ago
Cool Instructable. *Gives you a thumbs-up*
DDRAMbo3 years ago
Before you got this idea, why were you collecting old keys?
Tkdwn (author)  DDRAMbo3 years ago
Sometimes the keys fit without the mod.
DDRAMbo Tkdwn3 years ago
OMG, are you the Keymaker from Matrix - Reloaded? jk
Tkdwn (author)  DDRAMbo3 years ago
Oh, yes. It is true. The Keymaker. Of course. But this is not a reason. This is not a "why". The Keymaker himself - his very nature is a means. It is not an end. And so to look for him is to be looking for a means to do... what?
wanna beco3 years ago
I would have never thought of this... it's awesome... I have a bajillion old keys around!!
lcherry3 years ago
What kind of dremel tip did you use?
Tkdwn (author)  lcherry3 years ago
I did not use dremel tips its a diamond coated tip from a Einhell multitool set.
The one in this pict.
you can use a file right ?
if you had enough patience, you would get a more precise key than if you used a dremel, the dremel is just for speed.
Tkdwn (author)  retrotimelord3 years ago
:) Sure!
LesB3 years ago
Or -- instead of doing this you could remove the tumbler from the lock, remove all the pins and reinstall the tumbler. The one time I did this I didn't have any problem with unauthorized access. However I probably wouldn't do this with a lock securing the crown jewels.
dangerine3 years ago
Logicsama3 years ago
Ah, an intelligent instructable! :D Nice one.
four2x43 years ago
Nice idea, in a pinch, if you cannot get to a place to have one made. Otherwise, the cost to have a key made is pretty cheap!
It's also an "exact science." Many times the keys ground on high dollar machines don't work. I managed a 300 unit apartment complex and we made our own keys. At times it was unexplainable why a copy wouldn't work.. This is a novel idea though.....good for retired people!
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