Homebrew Wooden Cootie.
I started out as a No-Code Tech back in 1992 in high school and spent years doing nothing but VHF. However after college I wanted something different. My father N2NRA was a big code operator and always after me to learn it too. So I did my 5 WPM and got my Tech Plus, then I tested for my General and have been mostly CW since. Too lazy to talk I guess! Saw a something on the Cootie Key on the SKCC web site and looked into them, liked the concept and decided to try and build one. My Cootie has a aspen wood base and the rest is red oak. I figured on the hack saw and the guitar pick after seeing some pictures of other home brewed keys and went to work. I'm more of a mechanic than a machinist and it's signed Mal and Erin my XYL helped out on the project. The guitar pick is just the right flex to weight to keep down the chatter I think. The contacts are cap nuts and the binding post for the key was salvaged from the junk box. Pretty basic but sounds nice. [N2QFD].
Homebrew Travel Cootie.
I had the other half of the hack saw blade and wanted something easier to take on the road. So I did a little quick work and made up this travel cootie out of a diskette box and a few odds and ends. Still need to get some rubber feet on it to keep it still on the table top. This one isn't as precise as my wooden key and does not feel as good when working it but will let me keep up the practice on the road.
Update (picture on the right): I made some improvements starting with rubber feet to stop it walking around the desk when I use it. However I found it was still too light, so and I hope you can see it in the picture, there is a hockey puck inside the key for weight! This additional weight has improved handling. Also I have added some brass knurled stop nuts to the contact posts. This took the residual slop out of the contacts and every Morse Code Key should have a little brass in it! [N2QFD].