Where do you get your key stock?

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Forum topic by PurpLev posted 08-23-2010 10:24 PM 3710 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View PurpLev's profile


8550 posts in 3916 days

08-23-2010 10:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: key stock store find help

After reading how people are using key stock as gauge blocks, I was trying to find some. went to the local ma-and-pa hardware store, but they had no idea what it even was, let alone had any.

Where did YOU get your key stock from? was it a specialty store? box store? any known name store?

curious minds wants to know.

Thanks in advance

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

18 replies so far

View Richard Dunlap's profile

Richard Dunlap

65 posts in 3133 days

#1 posted 08-23-2010 10:29 PM

If you can use steel instead of brass Harbor Freight sells an assorment kit for under $5.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3124 days

#2 posted 08-23-2010 10:29 PM

Gauges for thickness.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 3559 days

#3 posted 08-23-2010 10:35 PM

McMaster-Carr for all industrial supplies.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3205 days

#4 posted 08-23-2010 10:38 PM

I bought brass set up bars from Oak Park out of Canada but I think you can get them from MLCS now Or maybe Rockler Brass is better….............................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View PurpLev's profile


8550 posts in 3916 days

#5 posted 08-23-2010 10:39 PM

Thanks guys, rldunlap I’ll check HF site, never got anything from them, but for this type of stuff, it may be a good option. shopguryl Grainger is not far from me, although they require a contractor setup I know they can make an exceptions at times.

Jamie – is that the name of the store/website/else?

keep em coming – I’m pretty sure other people could benefit from all the options available around.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 3463 days

#6 posted 08-23-2010 10:44 PM

Rockler sells them and they’re on sale right now. Rockler calls them Precision Brass Setup Bars

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View PurpLev's profile


8550 posts in 3916 days

#7 posted 08-23-2010 10:45 PM

hmm, mcmaster-carr options with shipping doesnt seem like it would be cost effective being that it’s steel, the brass set doesnt seem too bad after all.

thanks for the suggestions. so far so good.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View AaronK's profile


1508 posts in 3732 days

#8 posted 08-23-2010 11:16 PM

i got mine at grainger – they were on clearance, about 30 cents for a 12” long piece of various thicknesses. I do get free shipping from them though, as a member of the local farm bureau.

View b2rtch's profile


4870 posts in 3316 days

#9 posted 08-23-2010 11:25 PM

Harbor Freight or your local hardware store.
I use them for gauges all the time.

-- Bert

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3374 days

#10 posted 08-23-2010 11:52 PM

Any place that sells big rig truck parts usually carries the 12” long sizes. I bought one of HF kits, but the little short pieces are not the way to go.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3537 days

#11 posted 08-24-2010 12:52 AM

I got mine from Amazon (brass set up bars 4”)....they were on sale and free shipping no tax….I also got a 1”2”3” bar and a set of machinists squares….was a great price…they are still at a reasonably good price now…as they sell the 4” bars for the same price most sell the 2”.

Hardware “key” stock is available at some hardware and some automotive repair stores also…but it might be hard finding a place that would carry as good a variety of size stock as you can get in the kits – I am assuming this as I never tried to just buy key stock.

Grizzly also has a nice set (I received an add for them a while back)...fairly inexpensive (goes on sale now and then) as they sell alot of mills and machinery that requires precision setup.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4089 days

#12 posted 08-24-2010 03:28 AM

I get my keyway stock at a local hardware store. I had been wanting some and just happened to spot them in the aisle where the nuts and bolts are sold. These are steel rather than brass but they work just the same. They were a little pricey, I think. If I remember right they were about $2.50 apiece but this store is known more for its convenience than its prices.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View swirt's profile


3668 posts in 3239 days

#13 posted 08-24-2010 05:04 PM

The little white plastic drawers in the hardware isle of the big box stores.

-- Galootish log blog,

View WoodWarden's profile


3 posts in 3100 days

#14 posted 08-24-2010 05:46 PM

Available from MacMaster Carr:

View hvroberts's profile


40 posts in 3549 days

#15 posted 08-25-2010 02:19 AM

If you were to take the belt pulley off of your table saw, drill press, band saw, or lathe you will find a square grove in the pulley and shaft and a square metal piece which is known as a key. these keys are precision ground to close tolerances. They come in a number of different sizes and are great to use as a measure in a number of ways in woodworking.

-- Hvroberts, Up North In Maine

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