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Mcgyver
07-24-2006, 07:01 AM
I'd become very tired of never have a decent socket or nut driver for various model engines - even in the larger sizez, commercial sockers are often to bulky to fit into tight spits. finished yesterday a complete set of model engineering nut drivers, BA set is half done. Interesting project involving heat treating the hexes (imperial i used Allen keys, BA are based on metric but non standard sizes so i used drill rod) case hardening the sockets, forging, pressing, silver soldering all kinds of good stuff.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b201/michael0100/sockets/completedsockets.jpg

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b201/michael0100/sockets/finished.jpg

wierdscience
07-24-2006, 08:30 AM
Nice job,you would have spent a bundle if they had been stamped Whia,if they even made them in the sizes you needed.

Millman
07-24-2006, 08:43 AM
Very nice. You can never have enough nut-drivers, and yours look like they will last a while.

pkastagehand
07-24-2006, 09:11 AM
I wanted a nut driver for some #3-48 hex machine screws on a project. I turned and knurled a handle from some 5/8" diameter AL stock. Then drilled and tapped a hole in the end for a socket head (allen) capscrew. After using loctite and tightning the screw very tightly I turned the screw head down to make the wall thin enough to reach in tight places.

Evan
07-24-2006, 09:25 AM
That's a nice looking set. I'm not clear on how you made the sockets. Could you please explain further?

Mcgyver
07-24-2006, 10:36 AM
Evan, they are forged around a hex former then turned . i took pics through out and was half thinking I might submit an article so held of posting all the pics :D.

Todd Tolhurst
07-24-2006, 11:33 AM
Cool. More pictures! :)

Evan
07-24-2006, 12:01 PM
On the subject of nut drivers I bought this set many years ago. They are metric and go down to 5mm. The rachet handle is especially nice and they stood up to daily usage for 20 years when I worked with Xerox. I still use them on computers. I have no idea what brand they are as the only marking on them is "chrome vanadium". I found them at a small local tool store that used to sell all sorts of good quality uncommon tools including many shop tools like mics etc at reasonable prices. I was really disappointed when he closed.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/nutdriver.jpg

DR
07-24-2006, 12:04 PM
"forged around a hex former"

This I'm not clear on. How?

I've made a couple similar tools by grinding a slightly oversize male version out of a hardened dowel pin, then broaching that into the end of stock in a hydaulic press.

I've seen this type work done in a rotary swaging machine. Just not sure how you forged them.

Some hints (if you don't want to post the pics), please.

Evan
07-24-2006, 12:08 PM
Take a lump of steel and drill a proper hole in it. Heat to red heat and insert allen wrench. Beat the crap out of it until the hole resembles the allen wrench. Cool, machine, reheat and case harden. Polish until satisfied (or you give up).

BobWarfield
07-24-2006, 12:26 PM
DR, I would of thought your broaching approach was the way. Hadn't occurred to me forging would produce a clean enough result.

By all means submit an article McGyver, sounds like quite an interesting one. Very nice project as well.

Now I suppose Evan's air powered shaper project would also be a nice way to turn out a set of these, but he's already got some nice hex drivers.

Best,

BW

Mcgyver
07-24-2006, 12:28 PM
close, I pressed the hex in first with 5-10thou interference so its held nicely. turn down the area to be forged so that you minimize the amount of hammering - this helps maintain the axail alignment of the hex shaped hole.

the 1x1 HR's my anvil :)

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b201/michael0100/4a65fb9a.jpg

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b201/michael0100/0322273f.jpg

IOWOLF
07-24-2006, 02:06 PM
I was told Snap-on wanted $35 for a 1/8" nut driver, I fixed the guy up with a socket head cap screw for nothing and he has been a good customer ever since.

PHiers
07-24-2006, 04:03 PM
Mcgyver,

I sure hope you do the article, that should be a great one. I am always looking for nut drivers in odd sizes, it would be nice to make my own.

sasquatch
07-24-2006, 04:29 PM
Very nice job, looks great, but a bit puzzled by your manufacturing method for the socket end? Ray in N. Ont.

railfancwb
07-24-2006, 04:37 PM
Evan,

Do you drill the holes for a a sliding fit on the hex stock then shrink the stock around the hex by turning and hammering? Or do you drill it approximately the diameter/distance between two opposing flats on the hex stock and enlarge and shape the hole by pounding the key into the red hot stock?

I suspect the second, but don't know...

Thanks, Charles

Evan
07-24-2006, 05:15 PM
You can do it either way. I have never made sockets for nutdrivers but have made some other small forged items. Best way would be to make a shrinking die. Make a hole in some stock a bit smaller that the diameter of the material to be squeezed around the former (key in this case). Split the die into two pieces through the hole. Heat the work and insert key. Place on lower die in half hole, put other half on top and press it, or beat it.

We have a historical park near here called Barkerville, the site of the great gold rush in 1858 to 1872. I have been there many times. It is a town that has been completely restored to it's original 1800s condition and includes many shops and stores, all open for business and many operating and selling as nearly as possible the goods and services offered then (except the cathouse :D ). The local people from the town of Wells operate most of the town of Barkerville during the summer and one of the businesses is a fully equipped blacksmith shop from that period. The guy that runs it is an old hand at smithing and makes most of the restoration parts used in keeping up the buildings, right down to the square nails which he also sells in the next door hardware store.

He is facinating to watch as he pounds up a piece of iron into just about anything from a coat hook to a gate hinge.

This is a shot of the inside of his shop:

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/bsmith.jpg

I would really like to do some smithing but I can't as my muscle strength lasts about one minute max for heavy exertion and then takes 20 minutes to recover.

wierdscience
07-24-2006, 10:21 PM
I was told Snap-on wanted $35 for a 1/8" nut driver, I fixed the guy up with a socket head cap screw for nothing and he has been a good customer ever since.

I use allen capscrews for running in roof screws,one $0.30 3/8 x 1-1/2 screw outlasts 10 or 12 of the $2.00/ea. socket screw driver bits.I have even gone so far as it inset a small neo-magnet in the base of the recess to make them magnetic.

Wareagle
07-24-2006, 11:07 PM
I use allen capscrews for running in roof screws,one $0.30 3/8 x 1-1/2 screw outlasts 10 or 12 of the $2.00/ea. socket screw driver bits.I have even gone so far as it inset a small neo-magnet in the base of the recess to make them magnetic.

I did that same thing once, and the people that were watching me thought I was crazy. We were fifty miles from the nearest town, and the bit we were using was dropped (attached to the drill) and bent beyond use. It was either stop for a few hours, or become resourceful. Bottom line is we finished up in less than half the time it would have taken to go buy more bits.

That is an interesting set of nut drivers. Great job!

Elninio
07-25-2006, 09:59 PM
you mean to say that you heat-treated and hardened those in your HOME shop?!?!? probably not but i still must ask!

Mcgyver
07-25-2006, 10:41 PM
Elninio, yup, not that big a deal though. case-hardedned using Kasenit.

torker
07-25-2006, 11:45 PM
McGyver...your projects are now on my "Must see"list.
I'm thinking you are blessed with a lot of patience :D
Russ

moldmonkey
07-26-2006, 07:00 PM
Mcgyver-

Can you use unhardened steel for the forming tool or does it need to be hardened? If an Allen works, I would think 4140 Pre-hard would also.

Are you heating the piece and forming tool to red-hot before forging (which would anneal the tool anyway)? Or do you press the forming tool in after heating?

I'm wondering about applications where there isn't a readily available tool such as an Allen wrench to form around and I can't wait for the article to find out. :) Nice project. You've really got me thinking.

Jon

Mcgyver
07-26-2006, 10:14 PM
Jon, the form is pressed in cold, with about a 5-10 thou interference between the hole dia and the across the points of the hex. its not much, just holds it in place. The allen keys were hard enough and worked well. The oddball size like 2.3mm for BA size, I made the hex out of tool steel, hardened then tempered right down - figured it just has to be tough enough for one pass. I then turned down the OD on the socket blank to reduce the material to be forged. I cold forged the approximate shape, but gently or you spread or thin the material too much. Then the last step is to heat it up red hot (which happens very quickly with propane and my custom made forge (two refractory bricks) and tap tap tap. the former/hex doesn't get hot enough i don't think to completely anneal, but the forging is a gentle tapping, we're not making horseshoes! if you went at it, you'd deform the hex and never get it out. I would then quench the blank with the hex in it - not really for any reason but to cool it down to work with, ie it was not a red hot quench. the hex is firmly held now (i believe, could be wrong that the heating/cooling shrunk the material around the hex slightly). a few more taps of cold forming to loosen the hex and its off to the lathe to give it a round OD.

Russ, its patience or something anyway :D This all started when i couldn't find an socket head screw the right size to turn down and my commercial 1/4" set was to bulkyto get at part of my hit and miss properly, but yeah like all the home stuff we do its part patience part illness. they do feel very good in the hand though, makes me want to take everything apart. Still have to finish the BA set then its open and box end wrenches!

moldmonkey
07-26-2006, 10:35 PM
Mcgyver

Thanks for the explanation. I was going to ask about wall thickness but you covered that as well. I was thinking if you needed a thicker wall for strength. It would be possible to press a sleeve on for reinforcement. (Slip fit over the socket section, press fit over the bigger OD behind it so you wouldn‘t distort the socket size.) I've turned down impact sockets for special applications and if you get them too thin they will break out at the corners.

Dan Craig
07-28-2006, 03:56 PM
I agree, this is a great project. I look forward to reading about it in the magazine.

Nice job!