Tip: Chuck Key Handle

My shop is not well heated during the winter months and the cold makes my drill press chuck difficult to adjust. I guess the grease inside thickens, making it hard to turn.
Now, that may not seem like a big deal, but I can say with certainty that there were times when I used my hand drill instead, for this very reason. For me, small inconveniences stack up and I’m less inclined to use the tool because of that.
I thought it over and decided the best way to deal with the problem was to make a handle that the chuck key could easily slip into to give me a better grip.
It would work in a similar way to a screwdriver, making it easy to quickly turn the chuck.

I figured it should be about 4″ long, and the finished diameter 1-1/4″, so I cut a scrap piece of pine to that size:

I quickly turn the pine round on my lathe. A 1-1/4″ dowel cut to length would work, but I didn’t have any:

Then drilled a 1/2″ hole in the end, about 3/4″ deep.

I used the chuck key to mark the slot, then cut it with the band saw:

The key fits in nicely, not too loose and not too tight.

I wrote “close” on it, to show which way to turn it – something that I can never remember:

When not in use, it’s kept safe and easy to reach on my drill press cabinet:

Certainly not the most complex shop tool, but it scores high in the frustration saving category.

I made a short video on the project: