Homebrew Steak Knife cootie key.
Description: I used a kitchen steak knife for the key as Ben, N6SL did. I cut off most of the handle leaving just enough for my thumb and index finger. This removed most of the weight from the end of the lever reducing the tendency of it to vibrate.
In my "junk box" I found three split-posts. I used one of them to clamp the other end of the lever and the other two to hold two adjustable screw contacts for the key side contacts. I also found two binding posts for the key connectors. These items originally came from an old telegraph relay.
I found nothing heavy for the key base so I decided to use scrap wood. This means my key must be screwed down to the operating table. The base measures about 10 x 6.5 cm making the key about the same size as the original cooties advertised for sale in the 1920's.
After wiring it up under the base, I tried it on the air. I liked the "feel" of the key immediately. The total time making the key came to about an hour. [W3OER].