“FAT BOY” Torsion Bar Cootie/Paddle

Ok, some of you guys asked me to make the same Cootie key but make the base heavier. I get it…hard sometimes to switch over from smacking a bug all about the shack to a little guy with a very light touch. SO……I am now going to offer up the same key with a 1/2″ solid stainless steel base which makes it ever so chunky. Either way, this key is becoming a favorite to many a happy cootie convert.

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“It is beautiful!

The craftsmanship is top notch, and it is solidly built.

Several small details of the design give it a fantastic feel, much better than most other keys I have tried.

Highly recommended!

“I just bought one of these from Steve. Very fast delivery of a fine accessory. I have no relation to Steve but I believe in positive and negative feedback, as warranted. This one deserves the highest positive feedback and accolades. Nice to look at and a pleasure to use.
Nice work Steve! ”
73 de Arnie W8DU

Here’s what Mike, K5MP recently wrote about the skinny version of the Fat Boy, which is exactly the same except has a heavier base.

“Well, I just added yet another commercially made Cootie to the inventory, this one a Torsion Bar model hand crafted by W1SFR.  Named appropriately the TBCP, it has a very solid feel but is with a relatively soft landing at the end of each key stroke.  The Torsion Bar technology provides firm but soft tension to the single lever and assures optimal centering after each key stroke.  Based on initial usage, I am very impressed by its ease of operation and eye-pleasing appearance.  If I were to attempt a ranking of the cooties here on the desk, I would of course, rate the Begali Sculpture Swing as my number one favorite.  Following closely behind, it is my inclination to place this TBCP, then the begali HST, the GHD GF 501a, and finally, my simple but effective homebrew hacksaw blade cootie.  Perhaps that batting order will change over time, but for now I’ll stick with that ranking in which the TBCP shines as the best price performer.”


As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of the cootie key or sideswiper. I’ve been using one for years and all of my keys can easily be used as either a paddle or cootie.

Knowing that cootie keys are not the most popular way of sending CW, I’ve set out to produce a key that is wired as a paddle but is equally at home as a cootie, and most of all, it’s very affordable. It features my exclusive Torsion Bar action and hand rubbed exotic wood (usually Brazilian Rosewood) finger pieces with genuine Mother-Of-Pearl  inlay on each finger piece. Images above have ebony finger pieces.

The key is a solid block of stainless steel with brushed brass mechanics, and has enough mass (even though it only has a footprint of 3″x3″) to stay put during use thanks to the blind tapped rubber feet. A 3.5mm cable is included as well as a stereo to mono adapter.

Handmade with great care, this key will last a lifetime.

Waiting time averages about 2 weeks with the exception of the Christmas holidays where wait time last year was about 4 weeks. Keys are sent via USPS Priority Mail and professionally packed to ensure safe delivery.

Here’s a video of the first “Fat Boy” version:

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TBFB (Torsion Bar Fat Boy) $225  plus $12.85 USPS Priority Mail Shipping

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International orders are encouraged and average about $20 more for shipping. Please email me for a shipping quote! I will send you a PayPal invoice with the proper amounts.