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:
- ½ inch walnut dowel
- Neodymium magnets
- Flat key rings
- Drill press
- Drill press V block
- Sanding block or belt sander
- Natchez Solution or some other finish
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
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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