The Ian Key is an ingenious solution invented by my brother, Ian Inkster. We have just recently launched the Ball Gouge and part of the pack includes this unusual looking tool alongside it.
Many people know about the Allen Key, (I have no idea who Allen is) a small L-shaped tool commonly used to tighten screws and bolts in self assembled furniture. The Ian Key provides a similar function that is unique to Arbortech tools, and it ensures the correct amount of torque (18Nm to be exact) when tightening bolts in both the Ball Gouge and our masonry Allsaw the AS170.
It is longer than an Allen Key and has an unusual ‘pig-curl’ tail which is the secret to being able to tell if you have tightened bolts to the correct level of torque. When the gap between the two straight portions of the Ian Key closes, you have reached the right torque. The bolts are now tight enough to perform, but not so tight that it is almost impossible to unscrew later with the opposite end of the Ian Key.
The shorter length is designed to be inserted into the socket head while the longer length is designed to be hand held and makes the tightening easier for the user.
Watch this short video where Kevin talks about the Ian Key
I feel this tool deserves special mention and a bit of explanation as it epitomizes the approach we at Arbortech like to encourage and embody in all of our tools.
Best regards and happy woodworking!