So the machined key project has been coming along quite nicely. I took it to our good friend/neighbor TONY to be built considering he is an OG in the machine game and the only thing I’ve ever managed to machine was a pile of aluminum curly fries. Anyways Tony is an all around good guy, he’s into anything mechanical; old cars, bikes, jets, his machines, pitbulls and all sorts of real MAN stuff. Tony’s shop has been around since the 70′s and he’s been around the block a few times. He specializes in aircraft aluminum and has even been subcontracted to make parts for the F-14 Tomcat and other military aircraft. If you ever meet Tony you are guaranteed story time from the yesteryear as even the simplest of “stop and chat” usually turns into a crazy story like riding motorbikes with the Hells Angels, or a pre-MS13 El Savador when Tony was the only badass in the country and the national smell was burning tires.
Tony on the mill
Keep in mind that this entire key was done by HAND in an machine mill. I know something like this could probably be programmed into a state of the art multi-axis machine and be whipped out in about an hour, but Tony is a true craftsmen so he took the time to mic the specs and hand mill and turn in.
Comparing drawings and measurements
Originally designed to be a 3 pieces, turned into to Tony working on it for 3 days out of a solid peice of billet T6 aluminum. He says he loves working on stuff like this so it was no problem. Milled flat then carefully turned on the lathe until the desired shaft sized was reached.
Just about ready to be cut off and cleaned up.
This is still really a rough draft and my vision is still slowly coming to life. Definitely a unique piece keeping in mind that all old skeleton keys were either forged or cast from steel. At this point it still needs to be cleaned up a bit before it goes to off for laser engraving and coating. So until next time…