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BigSix

Woodruff Keys--Is There a Classification System?

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BigSix
All: In my related post about my mower deck's arbor shaft jam nut unwinding, I mention that I'm seeking a woodruff key. My Simplicity deck manual denotes a "#61 Woodruff Key," but of course both of my local, commercial mower shops have never heard of a number system for woodruff keys, and tried to tell me this was "just the part number." It's neither the part nor item number in the manual, as the diagram's parts list lists it as a "#61 Woodruff key." Thinking I didn't want to wait the mere two days for SLI to put one on my doorstep (which I may still do) I drove to one of these shops, waited endlessly, and paid for a key that is a good 1/6" too small, which is all they have. Is there in fact a generic or universally known (ahem...by professionals, that is) system of classification for Woodruff keys? Does anyone have a recommendation of where to get a good quality assortment of these keys, so I'll be prepared next time? The second, local (poor) shop says I can paw through their assortment, but they too have never heard of a numbering system for these keys. Thanks again.

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thedaddycat
My local hardware has a bunch of plastic boxes in racks and each box has several compartments or small paper boxes with the different size nuts, washers, Woodruff keys, etc. When I went and bought some yesterday, the Woodruff keys were sized by number and dimension. I don't recall 100%, but I think the ones I got for the BGB shaft were a #9 Woodruff key. I can go back and take another look when I'm that way again and get better info....

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DaleC
The key for the mowers is a thicker key than you will proably find in the local hardware. The last owner of my B12 had used the thinner version and it ended up ripping the key way right out. I rebuilt it with JB Wield and so far so good. I am going to replace the shaft soon however.

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powerking_one
Peter et al: The U.S. standard of woodruff key numbers is as follows: The first (and second if a 4 digit number) digit is the width in 32nds of an inch The second two digits are the length in 8ths of an inch. Take a number 305 woodruff key as an example. It would measure 3/32" wide by 5/8" long. Take a number 1208 woodruff key. It's dimensions would be 3/8" wide by 1" long. So much for today's lesson, Tom(PK)

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iweld
McMaster Carr Supply Co. has a nice assortment (97 Pcs. for about 40 bucks) I understand they will sell to anyone with a credit card. We buy a lot of stuff from them. Can't beat their service. "In stock, will go out today." Even if I order it at 5:00 P.M. Their catalog has the corresponding sizes with the key numbers, your 61 being a "plain Jane" 3/16" x 5/8" key.

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MPH
I need educatin, are the woodruff keys the halfmoons with the ears on them? Like mostly used thoughout these tractors. Or, is woodruff just the proper name for what a Ne farmboy grew up calling a half moon key??? thanks MPH

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BigSix
Gregc thanks for the link. I email them b/c they showed no sets of assorted sizes, and they emailed back that they do have, and will get back to me. Daddycat, as the link referred to lists my key consistently with my measurements of the slot (3/16 x 5/8), calling it a #61, please don't bother to research it further, but thanks anyway. Powerking: thanks for the breakdown, which I will print for reference, but I'm still confused about one thing. My measurements and iweld's calculations show my #61 key as 3/16 x 5/8. How is the length denoted here, if the second number = the length in eighths of an inch? I'm probably missing something here.... Meantime, I'm waiting for the owner of our local hardware store to return (tomorrow). His assistant was clueless on the phone, but he'll know if he's got 'em. The store has been on site, in the same family, since I believe 1928, in Suffern, NY. You don't see that everyday, and with a decent attitude to boot!^

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HubbardRA
MPH, The Woodruf keys are the half moon keys. The keys with the ears appear to be unique to these tractors. I have never seen them elswhere. I have made a couple by grinding down a larger key of the same thickness.

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