Did you know you can buy precision finished high-strength shafting that already has a keyway machined in it? You can. You can purchase sizes from ½” Diameter through
2 15/16” Diameter. This product is available to ship from stock from Associated Steel.
The product name is Mirraloy FM (Free-Machining) Pre-Keyed. It is an elevated strength material that is also precision finished and polished, In most sizes accurate within a couple of thousandths. The keyway runs the entire length of the shaft.
For some, that configuration may work just as received; just cut it to the length you need. For others, it will be sufficient to get you back up and running quickly while you wait for an OEM part or custom machined part.
The main thing is, be aware that it is available, and the standard length (10/12ft rdm) can be cut-in-half as a courtesy, and rushed out via an expedited package service.
Cutting keyways can be a fun and surprising endeavor. Some materials, particularly stainless grades and hardened alloy, can move and bow, and not just a little. Re-straightening is often required; sometimes even an additional stress-relief is needed. When you purchase the shaft pre-keyed, Associated Steel has already insured you get a prime, accurate, usable shaft. Just install it and carry on.
-Howard Thomas, August 24th, 2022