Drill Press Chuck Key Holders

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 10-01-2019 06:11 PM 1495 views 1 time favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It is always a chore to find the chuck key on the 3 drill presses at the high school, so I made them some holders that are right in front of the operator. I added a hook so they can put the drill size checking plate on there too.
They are made from 1” maple and finished with clear lacquer.

I bored the holes out with a fly cutter to within .005” and I sanded them to size on the spindle sander. I put 3/4” dowels in the center of the scrap pieces that came out of the holes and one kid made a top out of one of them today.
Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

30 comments so far

View Notw's profile


847 posts in 2728 days

#1 posted 10-01-2019 06:19 PM

i like this, I just put a magnet on the side of the drill press to hold my key

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7821 posts in 4328 days

#2 posted 10-01-2019 06:44 PM

I use a magnet but your idea looks much better Jim. Nice work!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Grumpymike's profile


2480 posts in 3290 days

#3 posted 10-01-2019 07:27 PM

Good Idea there Jim … We could start a whole thread on how we store the chuck key …
I went to a casino some years ago and they gave me a lanyard with a recoil thingie … that thing laid around forever, then and I tied it to the drill press for a retractable chuck key holder …

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View lew's profile


13273 posts in 4730 days

#4 posted 10-01-2019 08:47 PM

Cool! Leave it to a shop kid to make something neat from scraps!!

What’s the piece in the 4th picture? Looks like a piece of walnut and some brass hardware.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View TheSawDustWhisperer's profile


134 posts in 1096 days

#5 posted 10-01-2019 08:53 PM

Good idea Jim. If I didn’t have a spring clip that came with mine it would be on my todo list.

-- One of these days I’m going to build a dust collection system. Dusty Lungs

View doubleDD's profile


10009 posts in 3018 days

#6 posted 10-01-2019 09:12 PM

Excellent idea Jim. I bet the kids at school can loose the key in 5 minutes. I like the drill checking plate hanging nextto it. Mine is in a drawer somewhere.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Peteybadboy's profile


2865 posts in 2924 days

#7 posted 10-01-2019 09:16 PM

Very good idea. I keep moving mine.

-- Petey

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


6199 posts in 1796 days

#8 posted 10-01-2019 09:22 PM

Neat piece of carpentry JJ and you get an ”E” for effort from me.

..... a recoil thingie … that thing laid around forever, then and I tied it to the drill press for a retractable chuck key holder …
- Grumpymike

That is a brliant idea Grumpym’... at least that way the key never leaves the press. Any magnets and holders still let you move the key away from the drill press and of course you’ll put it down where you’ll never find it.
You should blog this as it is one great workshop tip… I can guarantee that many have never considered it!

I found the only foolproof way to never lose the key is to buy a keyless chuck.
I hear you all scream $$$$..... ”$$$$” (in unison with a loud voice), however, put a $ value on your time and you’ll find you will easily recoup the price if you cost the time(s) you waste looking for that camelion key.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View peterford's profile


115 posts in 3583 days

#9 posted 10-01-2019 09:48 PM

great idea..we have all lost one!!!

-- marshall peterson, north carolina

View dannmarks's profile


1023 posts in 1556 days

#10 posted 10-01-2019 10:46 PM

Love it…

View Andybb's profile


3069 posts in 1578 days

#11 posted 10-01-2019 10:50 PM

I’ve tried the magnet and a holder thingy and still lost (misplaced) them. The only thing that works for me is a length of cord around the key and the press. It’s always at the end of the rope.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View pottz's profile


13859 posts in 1959 days

#12 posted 10-01-2019 11:00 PM

it’s a great idea jim but the kids still gotta remember to put em in the holder,and that always seems to be the problem.i use one of those retractable magnet ones that grumpy mentioned because im like those kids-lol.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25752 posts in 4080 days

#13 posted 10-01-2019 11:44 PM

Thank you all for the comments. I know there are lot of ways to hold the key, and this is what I use on all my drill presses and it is right in front of may face so I can always find it…if I put it back every time. They had been throwing the drills and the chuck keys in one drawer and everyone always had to sort out which one went with which drill press…they are all there different.

The kids have a strange way of wrecking machines in the shop. Last week one of the spindles was dropped down 6” out of the quill on the Delta drill press. I took it apart and found the top bearing and the nut and washers in the quill gone. The nut is no longer available so I had to make a 17mm x 1 mm nut and washer for the top and buy a bearing. It works great now.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MJR's profile


376 posts in 1389 days

#14 posted 10-01-2019 11:49 PM


View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2625 days

#15 posted 10-02-2019 03:19 AM

great idea,Jim

-- bambi

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