Wood Keychain Quick Connects

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About: A husband & wife team. Amateur makers. Expert high fivers. New video every week (or so).

We made wooden keychain quick connects with magnets embedded in them. These are great for your everyday carry or anything you need quick access too. Plus they’re made out of walnut, which is always awesome. You can make a lot of these for relatively cheap, so they’re great for craft fairs or little gifts.

Here’s what you’ll need:

There are just a few steps involved in making these, and the hardest part ended up being creating little jigs to drill our holes in the right spots. We’ll get into the details below!

Step 1: Cut Dowels

We cut ½ inch walnut dowels into pieces that were about an inch long. This size worked well and left enough room for the holes we needed to drill. We gave our cuts a quick sanding on our belt sander because we had ours out anyway, but you could use a sanding block and that would be just fine.

Step 2: Drill Holes for Magnets

You’ll see in the video we tried several different techniques to drill the holes for the magnets. This step was tricky because the magnets needed to be as centered as possible, and that was surprisingly tough to do. We ended up making a 3D printed fixture to hold it in place on our drill press. But I think you could make a similar fixture out of wood, it just might take a few tries. We put tape on the drill bit so we knew how deep to drill the holes for our magnets.

Step 3: Drill Holes for Key Rings

Next we drilled a hole all the way through the dowel (on the opposite side of where the magnet is) for the key rings to hook through. We used our drill press V block and some scrap wood to hold the dowel in place. Be careful drilling so that you don’t get tearout.

Step 4: Glue Magnets

Originally we tried using super glue to attach the magnets, but because it doesn’t have any give and because our magnets are really strong, they ended pulling themselves out of the wood! Next we tried a little E6000 and it worked like a charm. Because it’s thicker, it caused a bit of a piston effect so we had to use a little force to press the magnets in all the way.

Make sure when glueing in your magnets, you glue the correct sides down so that they are attracted to each other, not repelled by each other. To make sure we knew which side was which, we marked them with sharpies.

Step 5: Oil and Attach Key Rings

We used some Natchez Solution (a mixture of mineral oil, lemon oil, and beeswax) for this project. It’s a little more specifically made for cutting boards but it’s what we had on hand and it worked great. Then we attached the key rings (this pack on amazon is a great deal) and they were ready to use!

Step 6: Enjoy!

Hope you liked this quick project! Now to load up your new quick connects with pocket knives, tiny flashlights, portable sunscreen, tape measures, and everything else you want on-hand! Let us know in the comments if you have any questions and we’ll be sure to help out. Thanks for reading/watching!

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    21 Discussions

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    Squishy_razor

    1 year ago

    I love Houston Hardwoods! Got a dowel there to make a wooden handlebar for my bike. Great video and great design!

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    evanandkatelynSquishy_razor

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks so much!! Yeah we basically want to buy everything while we're there lol

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    DoğaD

    1 year ago

    LOL that is a cute video. And I envy your workshop :)

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    evanandkatelynAlanS14

    Reply 1 year ago

    Mmhmn, whenever we get a chance, we love those things :D

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    Rocrat

    1 year ago

    Great little gadget guys , if you drill a blind hole for the magnet from the key ring side ,the magnet wouldn't pull out , a little wood glue would hold it from wanting to attach itself to the key ring when not attached to its mate .

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    evanandkatelynRocrat

    Reply 1 year ago

    ooh yeah that would be really cool, we could maybe finish it off with an endmill too so that it's nice and flat so it can still be very close to the end

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    Rocratevanandkatelyn

    Reply 1 year ago

    An end mill would be great to finish it off , or a fostner bit used in pen making would also do the job . If you don't have a very secure platform to bore the wood ,rather drill with a regular drill bit first ,then finish with an end mill . End mills tend to wonder around if not on a secure platform because they don't have any centering spur like the above bits , but once a hole is bored ,the end mill has support from the hole wall .

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    TorBoy9

    1 year ago

    That looks pretty neat. Nice video as well. You look like you are having fun.

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    cbowers18

    1 year ago

    Have to be careful with neodymium magnets though; when a disconnect is separated, the loose halves will stick to anything ferrous within reach, and that reach is considerable. Imagine dropping your keys, and having them stick to some inaccessible spot, like a car underbody. Or just picking up any ferrous shmertz from the ground. And what is the other separated half doing in the meantime? Also not safe near magnetic strips on cards, or any magnetic media.

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    evanandkatelyncbowers18

    Reply 1 year ago

    Yeah for sure, gotta keep that in mind, though I've used it a few times to my advantage too, attaching things to handy places around the shop

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    3366carlos

    1 year ago

    I like it. Good job