The Wooden Morse Key I Always Wanted To Build

I have a thing for vintage Morse Keys used for amateur radio, but I don't have any. So I decided to replicate an old Wooden Morse Key design using scrap wood.
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Most of the vintage Morse keys I found online can be quite expensive. For that reason I decided to build one on my own. The base for this wooden Morse key is some scrap wood I had around from an old pallet. All it needed to make it look a little better, was a lot of sanding. So I would have a smooth surface. The rest of the hardware parts were simply bits and pieces. I found them and I thought of using them to create the Morse key. This project could end up having endless ways to create it. It depends on what you may have around.

Don’t get stuck on the way I built it. The only important thing I would recommend, is to use brass hardware. Stainless steel could work as well, but brass looks way better. The wood I used was a little soft. That makes it sensitive to humidity changes. I would recommend you to use hard wood types like oak, walnut, or similar.


First step is to find all the materials you may want to use. Have a look at the video above and see the way this Morse key was made. You may end up coming up with better solutions using better materials. Initially I wanted to make a video on making the wooden Morse key step by step. Unfortunately my free time was limited. I just presented in the video the one I built back in 2018. I want to make a smaller version now. There’s a chance to use that opportunity to film a proper video on this topic.


I think this is unnecessary as you can build the key using any dimensions. I remember I was asked about this when I first posted the video on YouTube. So I decided to show you most of the dimensions I used when building the Morse key. Having these on hand, should help you figure out the rest of the details. Remember… use whatever you have on hand. As long as it helps you with the build.

In the future builds I will try to make a wooden Morse key paying more attention to little details. Maybe the use of bearings will help me improve it a lot. At the moment depending on the humidity of the air, I always have to tighten or loosen the side screws for the arm movement. If there is a lot of humidity, the wood will expand and the arm doesn’t move free anymore. For that I have to loosen the side screws. The opposite happens when the air is dry, making me tighten the side screws. That was the only inconvenience I found. Overall… I happy on how it works and I can’t wait for the day I will start using it on air. It will fit perfectly with the Michigan Mighty Mite Transmitter I built some while ago. Or maybe with the Ten Minutes Transmitter. I hope you found this article useful and you will end up building a nice scrap wood Morse key.


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