Customizing the straight key

I received a lovely Kent straight key this morning. Trouble is, it doesn’t fit in my shack:

Is this just me? Not appreciating the quality?
OK, lets take this one step further… I am thinking about making this more 21st century, starting with the wooden base. At the very least I would paint it black, but how far could you go? Vinyl wrap? Could I paint the brass a less ‘brassy’ colour?

Surely I’m not the only person in the SOTA community to have thought this - you’re far too a wayward bunch.

Please let me know if you have any ideas. If I turn this over to the kids I’m likely to end up with it painted in ‘Nyan cat’ colours…Nyan Cat [original] - YouTube

Please don’t click on that link if you value your sanity…

Apologies, Mark.


Sorry, but that would be vandalism.

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Kent do a base conversion kit that lets you replace the wooden base with the heavier black steel one for the KT-1 Pro model, making it look more modern.
Effectively, you are converting the standard Kent key into the KT-1 Pro version. My friend did this last year and is very pleased with it.


Not wanting to cause offence - maybe a better option is to fabricate a new base, and keep the Kent one so it can be returned to factory standard? My desk is ash coloured, so even if I kept it wooden it would fit in better either black, silver or ash.

Regards, Mark.

Unfortunately Andy there is no shipping option to the UK on the Kent website - I found that out recently when I looked at their website. I thought Kent were an English company, and actually I was right they were based in England, but now they are based in Germany, and I think Brexit has caused issues they are working through at the moment.

Regards, Mark.

I have the same model and I quite like the varnished look. I have a kitchen full of wooden furniture for the same reason.

The only criticism I have for the key is that it is quite long, my preferred keying style is to rest my elbow on the desk so I need quite a bit of space for the combined length of the arm and the key. I get around that by mainly using a paddle. I keep the hand key available in case anyone wants a hand key contact for SKCC purposes. Only one person has requested that so far (Bill vk1mcw).

I tend to agree with Ron VK3AFW, but if you are preserving the key and just moving it onto a base that you like better, I would forgive you!

73 Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

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