Woodruff keys

Howdy fellow metalbashers,

I have a question about woodruff keys.

My Bridgeport needs a new #3 Woodruff key (so says the manual) in its quill housing, as the old one is disintegrating.

I could fairly easily make one, except that there's no such thing as a "#3" in my Machinery's Handbook...

Does anyone know what size a "#3 Woodruff key" is, so I can knock one up before my quill lets go?

Oh, also... has anyone changed the quill balance spring in a J-head; and if so, how does one go about making sure the spring goes onto the shaft correctly? It looks like a shaft out job to me, but the manual seems to suggest you just stick it in there & turn, and all will be well...

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Google is your friend.....Paul

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A 10 second search for "Woodruff key dimensions" returned

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Looks like there's a couple of differing numbering schemes for the same keys.

Or you could just haul the thing down to a real hardware store and poke through the drawers until you find a match.


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I did try google, but only got the ANSI sizes, didn't find the SSS=20 sizes.

Ta for the link.

--=20 Cheers! Ade.

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I make my own as im out of spares and to go and get some takeslonger take a high tensile bolt , chuck it in the lathe turn say 1/2in to the woodruff key dia. cut it down the bolt end, then cut off the thickness of the key slot. about 15mins work. file up to fit. hope this helps.

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Ted Frater

I question your suggestion to use a heat treated bolt. Keys are typically intended to be sacrificial to spare more valuable components from being damaged.


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Harold and Susan Vordos

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