Introduction: 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.

Step 1: 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

Grind the colored part down.

Step 3: Try the Finished Key!


Comments

author
JeffC104 (author)2016-01-24

Just use a tin can, easier to file down take that to a locksmith and bam done

author
dpina (author)2011-10-06

Where do you get the blanks?

author
aristide202 (author)dpina2013-02-10

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 .

author
Tkdwn (author)dpina2011-10-07

I don`t ! But thay would work to :)

author
rgershey (author)2011-10-07

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 ;-)

author
aristide202 (author)rgershey2013-02-10

why not ? What about using a vice-vise, does anyone have one in the garage?

author
meat bingo (author)rgershey2011-10-07

depends if your a 'merikan

author
Tkdwn (author)rgershey2011-10-07

Well I blame the Google for translating to the non American version :P

author
Hippymike96 (author)2012-01-28

You know you could go to home depot and make a key in less than 3 min and for $1

author
MicioGatta (author)2012-01-13

Great idea, thanks!

author
slumdweller2 (author)2011-10-06

if you're going to go through all that effort, why not just make a bump key ?

author

First thing I thought too. Now that we know who the criminals are.... haha ;)

author
chamunks (author)Applejackson2011-11-24

See reference Defcon13 game: Spot the fed 

author
curvy77 (author)chamunks2011-12-07

seems easier to just cast a copy

author
jack8559 (author)2011-10-11

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!

author
Tim Temple (author)2011-10-06

Some used chewing gum would help keep them aligned as you put them in the vice...

author
Tkdwn (author)Tim Temple2011-10-06

Tnx, but i`m puting only the copy in the vice from now on :)

author
AbnerStinqort (author)Tkdwn2011-10-07

I'm not the Spelling Police, but the word you should be using is "vise." "Vice" is violation of accepted morals (to some people!)

author
Beenay25 (author)AbnerStinqort2011-10-07

The spelling depends if you're American or not... :P

author
AbnerStinqort (author)Beenay252011-10-07

Ohhhh... like "wrench" and "spanner?" ;-)

author
Beenay25 (author)AbnerStinqort2011-10-07

Yeah... and tomato and....er... tomato...
dammit... :-P

author
petemwaugh (author)Beenay252011-10-10

OR .... ALUMINIUM AND ALUMINUM ,THE LATTER MUST BE SPOKEN WITH AN AMERICAN ACCENT,,,,BUT STILL SPELL LIKE THE FIRST????.:-/

author
Tkdwn (author)AbnerStinqort2011-10-07

Dude! :)

author
mole1 (author)2011-10-10

I really like the idea of not damaging the original. It lets anyone try it with no risk.

author
bubbaclaw (author)2011-10-08

Cool Instructable. *Gives you a thumbs-up*

author
DDRAMbo (author)2011-10-07

Before you got this idea, why were you collecting old keys?

author
Tkdwn (author)DDRAMbo2011-10-07

Sometimes the keys fit without the mod.

author
DDRAMbo (author)Tkdwn2011-10-07

OMG, are you the Keymaker from Matrix - Reloaded? jk

author
Tkdwn (author)DDRAMbo2011-10-07

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?

author
wanna beco (author)2011-10-07

I would have never thought of this... it's awesome... I have a bajillion old keys around!!

author
lcherry (author)2011-10-06

What kind of dremel tip did you use?

author
Tkdwn (author)lcherry2011-10-07

I did not use dremel tips its a diamond coated tip from a Einhell multitool set.
The one in this pict.
https://www.instructables.com/image/FO3U3S4GT8ESLHS/Grinding.jpg

author
retrotimelord (author)2011-10-03

you can use a file right ?

author

if you had enough patience, you would get a more precise key than if you used a dremel, the dremel is just for speed.

author
Tkdwn (author)retrotimelord2011-10-04

:) Sure!

author
LesB (author)2011-10-06

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.

author
dangerine (author)2011-10-06

Brilliant!

author
Logicsama (author)2011-10-06

Ah, an intelligent instructable! :D Nice one.

author
four2x4 (author)2011-10-06

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!

author
Kalyfrans (author)four2x42011-10-06

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!

author
Tkdwn (author)four2x42011-10-06

Yeah, but it was even cheaper and less time consuming for me, and it was fun to try.

author
Kalyfrans (author)2011-10-06

The only problem I see is that you wear out $3 worth of Dremel bits for a 99 cent key!

author
Tkdwn (author)Kalyfrans2011-10-06

Don`t know about dremel bits, my are diamond coated :P
And you can use a file. :)

author
escher7 (author)2011-10-03

The key profile matching is not the only requirement. The cuttings on the key that you are filing must have all cuts higher than the original. Otherwise you would have to add material which is pretty difficult.

author
verence (author)2011-10-01

Shouldn't you first make sure that both keys have the same profile cross-cut-wise?

If they have a different profile, your replacement key could not be inserted in the lock at all.

So as step 1, make sure that the replacement key can be inserted into the lock in question. It will not be able to be turned and open it, but that's what your I'ble takes care of.

author
Tkdwn (author)verence2011-10-01

Yeah , it`s an important hint! TNX!

author
TheHawkeye (author)Tkdwn2011-10-03

Great idea though! Subtraction is a very important technique with CADD.

author
Scott_Tx (author)2011-10-03

lowers the risk of damaging your original key too

author
rimar2000 (author)2011-10-02

Clever! Thanks for sharing.

author
Tkdwn (author)rimar20002011-10-02

Thank you for the comment !:)

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Bio: Electronics geek, Openwrt, Linux, hardware hacker, maker, SF fan.
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