A Keychain is Born ~ 8/30/10 ~ With Video

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Blog entry by DustyNewt posted 08-30-2010 10:29 AM 5379 reads 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I must apologize for my lack of interaction here on LumberJocks. I am on the night shift at the paper mill and my neighbors don’t dig the 2:30 am woodworking bit, so I have been limited to my keychain work and ya’ll have seen that. It is my night off and I remembered a couple requests a while back to do a blog on my keychain process. So, here ‘tis! I hope the video comes out right.

I’ve been experimenting with my CoolPix. Short videos? I can do that! So I decided to take my friends, customers and followers through the process of giving birth to one of my name keychains. I hope its parents in Sewell, New Jersey don’t mind the exposure.

I first select a billet of the requested wood.
In this case, Paduak, a deep red hardwood from southern Africa.
A Keychain is Born

I then mark out the letter’s spacing with my saw blade. I use a band saw with a 1/8” blade. It leaves the perfect kerf/kern between the letters.
A Keychain is Born

Over to the drill press to bore the insides of closed letters. In this case only the “e” needs a hole.
A Keychain is Born

I following is the video I took of the actual cutting of the name. Mind your digits!!! (I hope this works…)

Here is a still of the newborn. She still needs cleaning.
A Keychain is Born

This next video is of the preliminary belt sanding.

She is then hand sanded through to 400 grit and hardware is attached. I then give her three coats of lacquer.
A Keychain is Born

And here she is, all ready to ship to her new happy home in Sewell.
The Newborn Keychain

I hope you’ve enjoyed this presentation.

I have over 18 select hardwoods to choose from. Your names are bound to be in my woodbins somewhere.

Peace in Wood,

-- Peace in Wood ~

9 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5155 days

#1 posted 08-30-2010 12:45 PM

Scott, thanks for the videos. It was interesting to see how you made these.

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

View Vicki's profile


1210 posts in 4677 days

#2 posted 08-30-2010 05:44 PM

That was great! Thanks for posting. I didn’t realize you could cut such details with a BS. You must have a really good one. Congrats.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 5195 days

#3 posted 08-30-2010 09:31 PM

Thanks for the comments. Vicki, I have a thirty-something y/o Sear’s 12” bandsaw. It’s the model I learned on, so I am partial to it but it is nothing fancy.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4221 days

#4 posted 08-31-2010 12:12 AM

Hi Scott.

How do you think these would work with a scroll saw? I don’t have a thin enough blade on my band saw and would like to try a few to see how my friends like them before buying a blade and installing it.

Thanks for an excellent tutorial. I was amazed how fast you made one!

Definately adding this to my favorites file.

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View HighRockWoodworking's profile


182 posts in 4312 days

#5 posted 08-31-2010 12:37 AM

Great videos and pictures, thanks for sharing with us. Very interesting.

-- Chris Adkins,

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 4259 days

#6 posted 08-31-2010 05:02 AM

Great little videos! Obviously you had done this before… :)

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Vicki's profile


1210 posts in 4677 days

#7 posted 08-31-2010 06:19 AM

Hi Scott,
Thanks for the info. I have the 10” Sears model and have a nice timberwolf blade, but can’t get it to track properly. I have to stick with the 3/8” and it suits for most of my needs. I see you have blocks not just the wheels like me. Did yours come with them or did you add them? Does that give one more control?

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 5195 days

#8 posted 08-31-2010 03:09 PM

Thanks everyone. I enjoy doing these and they have provided a means to meet great people all over the world, like yourselves.

Blondewood ~ Mine has a thruster bearing (behind the blade) and carbon blocks on either side of the blade. There is a set above and a set below, and they do guide the blade. I saw your bandsaw in your shop. I haven’t used the bearing blocks like you have. My saw came this way originally. I don’t think they started using the bearing block until the ‘90’s. I imagine that they’d excel at resawing.

Big Tiny ~ I have used a scroll saw when my bandsaw was out of commission. And I use one regularly on my MiniTags (below), which are about 2/3 the size of my regular keychains. A scroll saw works great with thinner hardwoods. Happy scrolling!!

-- Peace in Wood ~

View Skylark53's profile


2867 posts in 4393 days

#9 posted 09-04-2010 03:29 PM

You make this look easy. Great little project, well done, functional and sure to be enjoyed by its owner.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

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