Aluminium Keyring




Introduction: Aluminium Keyring

About: I love making stuff, I love Instructables, I love tools, I love machines, and I love materials. But most of all I love Arnie.

This is a small quick project I use in my after school Engineering club for Yr9 students (13year olds). As with all my instructables its achievable by all and results in a quality product that works well. It only takes 1-2 hours to make depending on ability of student, this makes it a real confidence builder.

This project was used as part of a enterprise activity where students made various products to sell on a market stall, this was to raise funds to finance an electric car they wanted to build.

Learning Objective
By making an aluminium keyring KS4 GCSE students will learn and apply knowledge in a practical situation. This knowledge covers accurate use of the measurement dials on the X axis of a metal lathe, how to accurately drill to a given depth, chamfer and face off a component. This project was used as part of a enterprise activity where students made various products. By using this project in their enterprise activity students gain entrepreneurial skills and begin to see the link between time to make / materials cost Vs sale price.

Step 1: Working Drawing

A working drawing is a 2D drawing that shows you the dimensions needed to make a product or component. 

Step 2: Using the Lathe

  • Put your work piece (Ø12mm aluminium rod) into the lathe chuck
  • You should have approximately 50mm sticking out the chuck
  • You must never leave the chuck key in the chuck as this is very dangerous
  • Ensure the correct cutting tool is in position and that it is at the correct angle for facing off

Step 3: Centre Drill

• Centre drill the end

Step 4: Drilling

• Drill Ø4mm x 15mm deep

Step 5: Sanding

  • Sand outer surface
  • Be very careful not to touch the spinning chuck with your fingers

Step 6: Grooves

  • Set the cutting tool to the correct angle
  • Decide where the first groove will be 
  • Advance the tool forward to create the first cut, it should be approximately 2mm deep
  • Bring the cutting tool back and rotate the X-Axis 4mm (two turns)
  • Repeat the cutting process
  • Create three grooves

Step 7: Parting Off

  • Set the parting off tool to exactly 90
  • Part off

Step 8: Chamfer

  • Set the parting off tool to 450
  • Create a chamfer on both ends

Step 9: Cutting Cable

  • Decide how long you want the cable to be (mine was 80mm)
  • Use wire cutters to cut cable

Step 10: Glue

  • Mix a pea sized blob of epoxy resin and carefully put into the hole
  • Fold the cable over and put the ends into the hole

Step 11: O-rings

  • Roll on the o-rings
  • Enjoy :)
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    Where was this after school Engineering program when I was 13 yrs old? This Stuff is awesome!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Looks good! I like it!
    You might try a Design Brief with your students...
    Objective : design/modify this keyring so that the cable can be removed and reseated so the keys can go right on the cable. (I know that changes the quick build for fundraising... just an exciting thought, to see hat they might come up with!)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hay thats a cool idea.....thanks....i will defo use that suggestion in the future.... Jonny :)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    What a great project for students! I can see how they're confidence level would improve after making something like this. You got my vote! ;)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Hi, thanks :) ...... Oh and thanks for not mentioning the unmentionable! That debate is still going!


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    lol.. I noticed (I get the emails, because I started the thread...) I won't make that mistake twice. ;) lol