Introduction: Make a Key Holder

About: Hi I am Dutch and live in Sweden. I love to create things in my little woodshop.

I always have to check all my pockets before I find my keys. A key holder should solve that problem, something little bigger than only keys must be easier to find. I have the same problem with the key of my workshop, and in the beginning we had four keys and now we only have two left.

Time to make some key holders to for once get an end to all that searching. Do you recognize this? Make some key holders too.

Step 1: Measurements and Drawings

I made two different sizes of key holders. A normal size (43 mm high) and a bigger one to make sure that I will find my keys in the workshop (70 mm high).

I always make a sketch/drawing before I start, and in this project I followed my drawings precisely.

Step 2: This Is What I Used

Different kinds of wood: Birch, beech, walnut, mahogany, paddock, oak and ebony

- An adjustable jewelry saw, band saw,

- Sanding paper/sanding disk,

- Wood glue and wood clamp

- Mallet (chisel)

- A lath and turning tools (I used roughing gouge, spindle gouge, parting tool)

- Calipers

- Sanding paper (400-600 grid)

- Bee wax, fabric

- Drill and an awl

- Small eye screw and key ring, small 15mm or bigger. The size depends on how many keys you want to put on your key holder

- Optinal: wire, pliers and epoxy glue, paracord 2-3mm

Step 3: Prepare the Blank

Cut the wood to the size that you prefer. The darker colors are 3 cm thick and 5 cm long, the beech/Birch is 3 cm thick and about 6 centimeter long. I had a very small piece of ebony and this was only 3 cm in size and that was the absolute minimum if you mount that side on the drive spur.

Prepare the surfaces of the individual pieces by sanding to make a smooth surfaces and then glue them together with wood glue.

Clamp them in the workbench or with a wood clamp. Let it dry for at least two hours.

Step 4: Make an Indentation

Now the fun begins. Mark the middle on both ends by drawing two diagonal lines corner to corner. Make
an indentation to fit the blank on the drive spur. There are different ways to do this.

You can saw diagonal from corner to corner with a (band) saw.

Or take the drive spur (or a worn out drive spur) and hammer with a mallet so you get an indentation.

Or use a chisel and a mallet.

Step 5: The Wood Turning

Put the blank in between centers, the dents on the drive spur and rough out the wooden blank with a roughing gauge. Start turning at slow speed (850 rpm) until your log is round.

When the blank is approximate 25 mm in diameter I marked both the beginning and the end, the head and the legs of the key holder with a pencil. Now you can turn up the speed to 2000 and make indentations on the marks with the parting tool.

After that I changed my tool and use a spindle gouge. I turned down the head to the desired diameter in this case 21 mm. Then I turned the body and finished the head. You can mark the middle of the head and turn it round with the spindle gouge on both sides of the mark.

Step 6: Sanding and Buffing

When you’re pleased with the shape, you can start sanding your key holder. If you are a good turner you maybe skip this moment, but I had to sand using 400 and 800 grid paper.

Apply bee wax. It had to let it dry in 2 hours before buffing. Because I wanted to turn some more I took of the key holder. After the wax had dried I placed it back on the lathe and buffed it. Oh, I like this shiny surface! I made a mark, so I could place the key holder in the same place as before on the lathe.

I turned some dowels from the extra wood on the foot of the key holder. I can use these dowels in later Projects.

Step 7: Futher Sanding

Saw the waste wood on both ends of the key holder with a jewelry saw and sand the ends if needed.

Step 8: Finish Your Key Holder

Make a mark with an awl. Predrill and mount a small eye screw.

You can also make a small eye screw (or small eye loop in this case) by yourself. Bend the wire (1 mm) with a round needle nose plier to form a loop and stem. After cutting the wire you have to glue the eye loop in the key holder. Use a good glue (for example epoxy), because you don’t want to lose your key holder.

The key rings that I used are small (15 mm in diameter), but if you want to hang more keys on your key holder I would suggest to use bigger key rings.

Step 9: Some Variations

No colored wood? No problem the key holder is beautiful in one color too.

Instead of using an eye screw and key ring you can use paracord. Drill a hole, make a loop of paracord and glue it.

These little key holders fit perfect in my pocket and solve all my key problems initially. But after using the key holder for a few days in my shop I had to search for the keys again and I decided to make a big key holder. One that I can see easily when the key disappears between the 1000 other things on my work bench.

This bigger key holder fits also in my pocket but folk maybe wonder what that hump in my pocket is ;-)

Why not hang the key holder on a zipper or make a pendant instead.

Thank you for reading this Instructables. I hope you
liked it. Good luck by making your own key holder and don't hesitate to get back if you have any questions.

Have a nice day, Amaries.

Pocket-Sized Contest

Runner Up in the
Pocket-Sized Contest

Epilog Challenge 9

Participated in the
Epilog Challenge 9