Magnetic Chuck Key Holder for Drill Press

About: Eric J. Wilhelm is the founder of Instructables. He has a Ph.D. from MIT in Mechanical Engineering. Eric believes in making technology accessible through understanding, and strives to inspire others to lear...

If you don't have a specific spot for them, drill chuck keys tend to disappear, because every shop user has a different theory on where they should best be stored. I've seen chuck keys stored in the chuck, left in their slot in the chuck (What a terrible idea! Would you do this on a lathe? No! So, don't do it on a drill press either!), tied to the drill press with string or chain, left in a drawer among the drill bits, or just plain missing.

Magnets to the rescue! Smack a couple of rare earth magnets on the drill press and safely hang the chuck key. Magnets have this tendency to make people smile, so every time someone needs to use the chuck key and finds it magnetically hanging right in front of them, they'll be happy. This feeling of happiness will remind them to return the chuck key and continue the cycle of happiness.

Now, if only we could get the same thing to happen with vacuuming up the chips on the drill press...

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    17 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I attach square, phillips and slot screwdriver bits to my cordless drill with opoxied super magnets. That way if I am up a ladder with a screw I always have the bit I need

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Another thing you can do with a magnet on your cordless handle is to dip it into a box of screws and it pulls dozens of them them out, ready to use.
    Generally they even stick out ready for you to grab with your fingers.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This guy has a PhD from MIT, and all he could come up with is a long stringer of tiny magnets? Geez Louise!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I am using magnets for holding chuck keys, blades, small knives, bike kyes and lot more with success.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    or, instead of a string of rare earth magnets. Try one or two hard drive magnets. those things ROCK.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    Well, it's my dads really. It's an old one, but very good, powerful and fast. It still runs smoother then it was new.


    12 years ago

    our teacher drilled a hole in the chuck key, and riveted it to a chain, the switch requires the chuck key to turn on so you must take the key out of the chuck before it runs


    13 years ago

    Yup you got it, the specific location is the key to keeping your keys! But then again I guess the same can be said for all of your various tools and supplies can't it? Sometimes I go help out my buddy and he spends half his time just looking for stuff. He doesn't have a system yet that works. I leave the chuck key for my mill in my toolbox for my mill. For some of my drills I drilled holes in the shelf I keep the drills on and stuff the chuck keys in the holes. Sorta like the when all you got is a hammer everything starts looking like a nail syndrome there I guess. Drill chuck keys? Drill holes for them! Then there's the drawer of overflow drills, I just throw those keys in that drawer with them. Oh yes and the rotary toolbox, that is a Kennedy box they have a lot of nice compartments. I have one of those compartments filled with chuck keys for those tools. Nope I don't lose chuck keys very often. Man I'd probably boil you in oil if I caught you losing one of my chuck keys. I use magnets to hold stuff to the insides of the tops of my machinists boxes. I got these charts I like to have handy. Tool fewl? You betcha! Oh here I'll attach one of them charts to this if I can get that to work out. Print it out and stick it up with magnets or tape, I've gone the tape route too at times. Doesn't keeping your chuck key with a magnet magnetize the key? And if that is the case doesn't it pick up metal chips? Man I hate when tools get magnetized! I got a degausser for that. That freaking ruins drill bits when they get magnetized. Unless of course you got a degausser. Another really stupid idea is them magnet clamps for welding. Arcs go nuts next to magnetic fields! But I digress... One thing my buddy with no system did with magnets is pretty neat, the handle broke on his fridge so he keeps it closed with a long magnet on the side, it works pretty good, yeah he keeps a church key stuck to that magnet usually. Then there's always the old standby of posting a sign that states, "Clean up after yourself yo momma don't work here!" Hey everyone enjoy the magic chart, I know that I do.


    13 years ago

    My grandpa keeps his zip tied to the end of the plug next to it, prevents you from accidently turning it on while you're changing, because sometimes people can be that slow....


    13 years ago

    Genious. But what about simply using one of those magnets for mounting cellphones to car dashboards (see picture). Really strong, can easily hold a big wrench, plus it's covered in rubber, thus increasing friction, so the chuck key won't fall when/if the drill press is vibrating. And it's prepared with double-sided tape for mounting.


    13 years ago

    Good idea. Instead of a long string of magnets, why not use epoxy to stick one magnet to the chuck?

    2 replies

    Reply 13 years ago

    That's what I did. I use double sided tape and stuck one of those cabinet door magnets to the drill press. Then stick the chuck key to that. I have been doing that for five years and havn't lost the key yet!


    Reply 13 years ago

    I think the chuck key may be too heavy for just one magnet to hold.


    13 years ago

    Thank you, I am going too do this later today.