Hi, I’m Steve Roberts and I’m a CW addict…I admit it…I’m nuts about CW. Everything about it fascinates me. I’m not a machinist turned CW op. It’s sort of the other way around.
A few years ago I saw an article about how to build a “Torsion Bar Paddle” in an old (80’s) issue of QST. I thought it was intriguing to say the least. I couldn’t find anyone that had ever used such a key. Well, I’ve tried just about everything else, so I figured I would just have to make one if I was ever going to see what the action was like.
So I made one. The action was great, but I found that the bar clanking against the contacts drove me to drink. I set out to make another one, this time with contact strips that would cushion the action. Eureka! Worked like a charm. The key was very quiet and the action was very fluid.
I got the bug so to speak and decided I would set up a little shop and make them so I could offer them to the public. After about a year of teaching myself how to be a machinist here I am…making keys that I’m not only proud of, but those that buy them say they’ll never part with them. That’s a nice feeling. Now after 6 years of production, I’m happy to say that my keys have found a solid place in the ham world and I’m thankful for that.
My good buddy Dave Larsen, N9ZXL played a big part in helping me get set up with my shop and I owe him a big thank you. I will also thank all of those other key makers out there that mill, drill, file and finish their way into CW history. I’m happy to share their quest to be better with each finished project.