Quick Drill Press Chuck Key Holder




About: I am a 40 foot tall robot made entirely out of recycled Coke bottles, on my mother's side. I get a kick out of making stuff from wood, bytes, food, pixels and silicon, and occasionally metal and fabric. I ...

For years, I've had a neodymium magnet on my drill press, to hold my chuck key. About 5-10% of the time, the magnet comes off with the chuck key, instead of staying on the drill press. It's a minor inconvenience for sure, but one I finally got around to resolving. And it only took 60 seconds!

You'll need:

  • ~3/4 inch neodymium magnet. I got mine at Lee Valley.
  • 1 package of Sugru, a putty-like product that cures to a rubber latex

I got a bunch of free Sugru from the Halifax Makerspace when they had a Sugru build night.

Step 1: Apply the Sugru to the Magnet

Wrap the Sugru around the magnet. Use your finger to make it slightly concave on one side, so that the magnet is just barely covered in the middle. You want the curve to approximately match the curve of your drill press column. The Sugru on this side will do two things. It will make it so the magnet can't rock as you pull the key away. And the thinness of the Sugru up the middle will ensure a strong connection to the column.

Make sure the Sugru is thicker on the other side, but not so thick that the magnet won't attract your key strongly enough. The goal is to pad it enough that the magnetic bond is significantly stronger between magnet and drill press column than magnet and chuck key.

Put your chuck key holder on the drill press column and gently press it in place. Allow it to cure overnight before putting your chuck key on it.

Congratulations, you're done! Just remember to use it!



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    5 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    This is such a neat and simple solution. Thank you for sharing!


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Nice writeup. I use a magnet for my chuck key, and a separate magnet for my three most common sized drill bits. I found that sticking the magnet to the cast iron head of the drill press allows more contact between the magnet and head than the chuck key, so the magnet doesn't stick to the key. Plus, I don't get metal shavings all stuck on the magnet. But I might try a dab of epoxy on top of the magnet so the key comes off easier.

    My drill chuck key has a spring-loaded pin so you can't leave it in the chuck. But on my lathe, I use a high visibility paint on the key so I can see when I leave it in the three-jaw chuck.


    4 years ago

    simplicity itself. but i think I'll use duct tape to hold the magnet to the drill. so much better than the 3 feet of ljne I'm using now for this. thank you.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice solution! I've found all kinds of uses around my shop for both sugru and neodymium magnets, but this is a great combination of the two. Excellent idea for holding any small metallic items!

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago

    I just had one of those moments that changed my life forever! I was only staring at the drill press yesterday wondering what to do.
    Couldn't see the forrest for all the trees.