Introduction: Key Hooks

Picture of Key Hooks

What to get my wife for Christmas?...

...a simple to make key hook with a little heart motif, that she had been asking for...at least two years!

The key hook is made from mostly re-used materials and some simple metal working techniques...

...so simple as they were the first time I had tried them.

Come with me and lets learn some new skills...

Step 1: Get Your Bits Together

Picture of Get Your Bits Together

Most of the materials you probably will have to hand...

MATERIALS

5no. 75mm steel wire nails

10no. steel panel pins, long enough to go through the angle iron and hook plus a couple mm more

30x30x270mm rusty steel angle

35x35x280mm timber. Your choice of type, pick an interesting piece

2no.50mm long screws to fix the hook to the wall

2no. masonry plugs

2no. 20mm long screws to fix the metal to the timber

Plumbers flux

Plumbers solder

Cutting oil

TOOLS

General woodworking tools - saws, plane, sanders...

General metalworking tools - to include

Universal metal bender

Files

Snips

Ball end hammer

Hacksaw

Rotary multi-tool with cutting wheel + sanding awheel

Bed sander

Propane blow torch [plumbers torch]

Sledge hammer head or an anvil

Metalworking vice

Electric drill

Screwdriver

Step 2: Cutting + Bashing

Picture of Cutting + Bashing

Nail the five 75mm wire nails into a piece of timber to help with the cutting + bashing...

Clamp the timber securely and cut off the nail heads...

...don't loose the heads as they are needed.

Now for some metal bashing!

For a while now I have been watching YouTube videos by the likes of Jimmy Diresta, Torbjörn Åhman and Miller Knives and seen them heat and bash metal into shape...and I wanted to give it a try.

I don't own an anvil though I had an old sledge hammer head that would work well.

Take it outside or in a well ventilated fireproof place.

Fire up a propane gas blow torch...

...and heat the nail heads until red hot...

...bash flat with a heavy hammer.

The nail heads may need some re-heating whilst bashing.

Now do the same to the cut ends of the nails.

By leaving the nails in the timber gives an easy way to hold them in place for heating and bashing without getting hot fingers!

Get the ends red hot and bash flat with the hammer...

...you are aiming for a flat flared end about 25mm in length.

Step 3: Cleaning + Bending

Picture of Cleaning + Bending

Remove the nails from the timber...

...and clean them up with a sander...

...to a nice clean + shiny finish.

Take the nail heads and also clean them to a nice shiny finish.

Place in a vice and shape the nail head into little heart shapes.

Now to bend the nails into a hook shape.

I am fortunate to have a universal metal bender that is ideal for this...

...otherwise visit 'JDS1969' Instructable where he shows you how to make a quick + easy wire bender.

You now have five hooks ready for some hearts!

Step 4: Hearts

Picture of Hearts

Another new technique for me...

...I learnt online that it is possible to solder steel!

The steel needs to be nice and clean, which we have done...

...brush on a little plumbers flux to the hook and the back side of a heart...

...flatten a little bit of plumbers solder with a hammer...

...and place on the fluxed hook...

...place the heart on top.

Fire up the gas blow torch...

...I used the end of the brush to hold the heart in place [an old nail or screwdriver may have been better as it doesn't burn!]...

...and heat up until the solder flows.

Leave to cool.

Soldering steel is the weakest of the soldering/brazing/welding processes, though is totally adequate for our needs.

Give the hooks another clean up.

Step 5: Riveting

Picture of Riveting

I wanted to mount the hooks on a piece of metal...

...and I had an old rusty steel angle in the garden, having been there for years as a stake for plants...the perfect feel for this project.

Cut off the end of the angle and then cut to length, leaving two clean cut ends.

Now for the rivets...

...find some steel panel pins long enough to poke right through the thickness of the angle and the hooks plus a few millimeter more.

Not a problem if too long like mine were.

Choose a drill that is slightly bigger than the girth of the panel pin...

...and drill a hole in the centre of the hooks heart.

Drill another hole just above the heart.

Decide how you would like the rusty angle to sit...I chose for the wood to be seen to the top.

Now mark out the hook positions by sticking a piece of masking tape to the angle...

...and work out and mark equal distances...

...clamp the hook to the angle and drill the middle of the heart hole only, right through the angle...

...use some cutting oil to help.

Now to rivet the hooks to the angle...

Poke the panel pin up through the angle from the back and through the hole in the centre of the heart...

...snip off the panel pin about a millimeter above the hook...

...use a ball end hammer to flatten the pin end, riveting the hook to the angle...

...turn over and ball hammer the back side to tighten up the rivet...

...do the same for the rest of the hooks.

Make sure all of the hooks are positioned correctly square...

...drill the top holes...

...and rivet as before.

All the hooks are securely riveted in place.

Step 6: Put It All Together

Picture of Put It All Together

I decided to use a piece of timber to infill the space of the rusty angle...

...and I re-used the timber off-cut that I used to hold the nails at the beginning.

Choose the most interesting face to be seen and mark off the amount that needs to be cut off...

...cut to size...

...and give a final plane and sand to make it nice and smooth.

This timber will be fixed to wall with secret fixings...

...drill and countersink two holes for these fixings...

...drill and countersink two holes in the base of the metal angle for fixing to the timber.

Give a final sanding...

...and spray a couple of coats of clear lacquer all over.

Step 7: Fit to a Wall

Picture of Fit to a Wall

Choose where you would like to fit your new key hook...

...please be aware that walls may have plumbing and /or electrical cables buried out of sight. Make sure that the area is clear of any hazards. Be safe.

Position the timber and mark one of the holes on the wall, the end of a thin screwdriver is good for this...

...I had masonry walls, so use an electric drill and masonry bit and drill a hole...

...push in a masonry plug...

...and screw the timber in place.

Check that the timber looks level...

...mark the second hole + swivel the timber out of the way...

...and drill + plug as before...

...screw back in place.

Screw the metal angle + hooks to the timber with a couple short screws from the bottom...

...all done...

Step 8: Enjoy!

Picture of Enjoy!

...Use + Enjoy!

This has been a really satisfying project with a few new skills learnt along the way and really getting into working with metal...I hope you enjoy making as much as I did.


I am entering this project into the Homemade Gifts Competition and the Trash To Treasure Competition. If you have enjoyed this project, I would really appreciate your vote. Many thanks.


This project is part of my YouTube series where I try to make cool and interesting projects.

Please check out my channel if you want to see more of the projects, if not there will be more coming to Instructables soon.

Why not check out what I am up to with pricklysauce.com

And also catch me on Facebook + Twitter

and now on Instagram!

Comments

ClenseYourPallet (author)2017-01-16

Very cool. Simple and beautiful! Voted

Hey thank you Clense, it is getting used everyday, should have made one years ago. Thanks for your support.

3366carlos (author)2017-01-16

that's beautiful man.

Pricklysauce (author)3366carlos2017-01-16

Thanks Carlos, my wife likes it as well.

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Bio: I make and create anything that comes to my mind from skateboard hooks to garden rooms. And I footle around with electronics and instruments at ... More »
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