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What do you think of this key ?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by NX3M, Jun 23, 2020.


What do you think of this key ?

  1. really like or would modify to taste

  2. would rather buy a harbor freight special

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. NX3M

    NX3M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I did think of that ! :-0 Probably will have to use a larger bore cutting bit and then a smaller one. There will not be 60 degree corners, but a very small radius - probably around 0.025" radius. But this should be close enough.

    Material is brass, no not that hard to cut. Also material thickness is 1/8" so not a lot to remove.
  2. WB2GCR

    WB2GCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Acrylic base? Too light. Will dance around, I think... but maybe not, the J-38 was light.
    But do I recall holding it down with my left hand??

    Maybe ur going overboard on aesthetics and making it overly difficult to manufacture?
  3. WB2GCR

    WB2GCR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ur cutting with a milling tool that is 0.025" ??
    Have you ever tried to do this... curious.
    KW6LA likes this.
  4. AA6P

    AA6P Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Signal Electric R-62 key with 3/16" contact that does not have the brass nut above the contact.

    Does anyone know if that part was introduced after a certain date? I don't know if the R-62, R-63, and R-64 all had the same design.

    The brass nut is not shown in the 1920 or 1941 Signal Electric brochures.

    Thanks, Kent
  5. K6GB

    K6GB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Mine has the nut and it was dated to 1916.
  6. AA6P

    AA6P Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks for the information. It sounds like you have a very nice collector's item.

    It appears that there were variations in the keys that were produced. The upper contact on my key appears to be pressed into the lever arm although there could be threads that I cannot see. The hole does go all the way through the lever.

    Based on the historical information posted earlier, my key could have been produced anywhere from 1919 through the 1950s or 1960s. It does have the Signal Electric marking stamped into the brass.

    I started using my R-62 key again and it has a really wonderful solid feel when adjusted properly.

    73, Kent
  7. NX3M

    NX3M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry for the really late delay as i spend most of my time recently looking for projects to work on. YES, i understand the dilemma ! This would be a good casting feature, bu machining it would require a minimum cutting tool diameter for a minimum radius. I guess that with brass being soft that a corner cut could be as small as 0.015" with a 0.030" tool bit or perhaps even smaller, but slower. So YES your concern is *definitely* valid !! But there are ways to *try* to get get close. This is mostly a first stab at the Proof-Of-Concept (POC) rather than been-there-done-it-already. Thanks for the mindful and practical critique !
    AB9NZ likes this.
  8. NX3M

    NX3M Ham Member QRZ Page

    All ; If i am out of projects for the next 6 weeks then i think that i will prototype this design in metal and see what the costs and difficulties are associated with a Low Volume Production (LVP) of perhaps (100) units. I suspect that most people out there are going to be bargain hunters for pricing, but considering the hand-crafted approach in a low volume that it might be a couple of hundred dollars a piece to produce. The question is whether to go conservative and lesser details (no trusses - original design) or go with the fancier version that is completely unique and original. Costs for machining are probably very close and most costs today are for materials and time. That being said there is not that much time for the machine to route out the truss windows. So time will tell what i may do to move forward . . .

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