Instructables

Key Turning Aid

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Picture of Key Turning Aid
I originally made one of these last year for my Mother. After 30 years of being a Physical Therapist, the strain she put on her body and arthritis caught up with her. Her right wrist became unable to make certain motions without excrutiating pain. One of those motions was the twisting motion required to turn a car key. I came up with this simple device to help. It allows one to turn their car key by pushing and pulling rather than by twisting. ( Ironically Mom got her wrist fixed by surgery and now I use it because I broke a bone in wrist a few weeks ago).

You'll notice that the device shown in this Instructable is different from the one in the video . The device in the video is the original I built for Mom which is still going strong. The one shown in this Instructable is the one I built for myself. It promptly broke on the fifth or sixth use. This is because I used a wood the was too soft and incorrectly placed the key notch. I'll describe these errors and how to avoid them in later steps.
 
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Step 1: Tools and Materials

For this project the only material you'll need is a hard wood dowel an inch in diameter. I used a hard wood for the original device, but (without thinking/realizing) used a soft wood dowel for the device documented in the Instructable.

I used the following tools. As always if you don't have them you can acheive the same effect a different way with what you have...or use it as an excuse to buy a new tool.

* Tape measure
* Bench vise
* Work piece protectors
* Router
* Straight cut router bit (I used a 1/4" bit. This will vary depending on the thickness of your key.)
* Drill with 1/4" bit
* Jigsaw
* Sandpaper
* Wood burner with tips (Optional)



chuchiman3 years ago
Im not sure someone who cant twist a key should be driving. Safety hazard.
jwiegand013 years ago
Are you concerned at all about the extra weight you are putting on your ignition? The extra weight tends to pull down on the ignition causing it to be unbalanced in the barrel assembly, which in turn, causes premature wear. I'm surprised that a physical therapist would use a system like this. Usually you want to exercise the injured area to strengthen the muscles, not use a crutch.
well you don't really want to put too much strain on a broken wrist
I was referring to his mothers arthritis. You probably shouldn't be driving with a broken wrist in my opinion. Not because a broken wrist would cause you to lose control of your vehicle but rather, with a broken wrist, you are less likely able to regain control if something sudden were to happen.
Yeah, I feel like a jerk for saying you're right. I hope she doesn't drive on the highway.
RadBear (author)  jwiegand013 years ago
I can't afford a cab eveyday.
RadBear (author)  jwiegand013 years ago
No to the wear question. The turner is light and is removed after the ignition is turned on. My Mom's wrist was frozen b/c og bone spurs and arthritis. Otherwise you're correct that she would have used exercise to strengthen the muscle group and not used this. She really hates those lft chairs you see on TV, b/c they atrophy so many muscles.
jacksteal43 years ago
Very nice! This will probably help a lot of people with wrist problems. Have you though of putting a peg through the hole so that you can turn the key with an underhand grip? I though I would throw the idea out there. =]
RadBear (author)  jacksteal43 years ago
Actually no I hadn't thought of that. I may have to try that and see what happens! Thanks!
Jayefuu3 years ago
While very simple, I can see it helping a lot of people. It's the kind of thing that's easy to make from almost anything but it's giving people the initial idea to motivate them that's important.

(I changed the category, hope that's okay)
Jayefuu Jayefuu3 years ago
(have you thought of putting a piece of cord through the hole you put in the end and making the whole thing into a keyring? Those with lesser dexterity might find grabbing this easier than fumbling for keys)
RadBear (author)  Jayefuu3 years ago
That was the idea of the hole, but I didn't go through with it as my keys would be hard to fit in my pocket. My other thought was to use a piece of cord to hang it on something in the car so it would always be there when needed.
RadBear (author)  Jayefuu3 years ago
Thanks. And the category change is cool. I meant to do it myself when I saw the assistive technology announcement, but hadn't goten around to it.
I think this instructable ROCKS!  30 years from now I might be thanking you!
RadBear (author)  got2bskilled3 years ago
Thanks! Be sure to vote when the contest wraps up.
cdubnbird3 years ago
 neat idea, i love these instructables that are outside the box but produce something simple yet incredibly useful
RadBear (author)  cdubnbird3 years ago
Thanks! I'm full of these kinds of projects. Subscribe and never miss a RadBear original.
l8nite3 years ago
that really is a good idea !  You could probably sell a million of them on an infomercial if you made them from plastic
RadBear (author)  l8nite3 years ago
I considered that, but since every key (even from the same manufacturer) is different in thickness, I'd either have to make one for each car type or develop an adjustable one. Althought I do know a guy who runs an injection molding plant...hmmm...
Notbob RadBear3 years ago
What if you included different sized(thickness) rubber grippers, in a C -ish shape, kind of like how in-ear earbuds come with different sized rubbery parts.
RadBear (author)  Notbob3 years ago
That might work...
bertus52x113 years ago
I think that's smart!
itsthatsguy3 years ago
this is cool and all, but if you hurt yourself to the point of not being able to turn a key, then you shouldn't be drving.
RadBear (author)  itsthatsguy3 years ago
Well the thing is the injury is such that it is very limited things that cause pain. Twisting a key hurts like hell but all other motions required for driving are pain free. Very weird.
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