PDA

View Full Version : square wrenches/ spanners



form_change
06-27-2010, 12:41 AM
Looking at page 11 of the July? August edition of The HSM magazine reminded me that I still need to find a 3/8" square ring spanner (box wrench) for locking my lathe carriage. I've looked in Mcmaster but I couldn't see any there. Does anyone know a source (that does mail order) for these beasts or is my best bet combing the second hand tool sections at the local markets?

Michael

Boucher
06-27-2010, 01:02 AM
Take a 3/8 drive socket and make one. You can anneal the other end and cross drill it for a sliding bar type handle. They may be avaliable commercially but I don't remember seeing one. There are weld in square sockets that would work also. Of course there is the old file. You can make nearly anything with a file.

Black_Moons
06-27-2010, 01:09 AM
I thought 12 point box wrenchs worked with square bolts?

oldtiffie
06-27-2010, 01:13 AM
Use either a female 3/8" ratchet spanner or a male one with a 3/8" double-ended female socket.

Paul Alciatore
06-27-2010, 01:22 AM
Looking at page 11 of the July? August edition of The HSM magazine reminded me that I still need to find a 3/8" square ring spanner (box wrench) for locking my lathe carriage. I've looked in Mcmaster but I couldn't see any there. .....
Michael

Who says none there. Try McMaster part number 5473A12 or 5473A15 for ratcheting sets that include 3/8" square size. And this set is a bit expensive but claims to work on almost any type of head: 4950A22.

McMaster has everything, not that other store who used to claim to.

Grainger has them too:

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/items/1C052?BaseItem=3XL15

And here:

http://wildetool.com/cat-37.cfm

I got many more returns on a search for "box wrench" 3/8" square. The 3/8" square size seems to be used in AC work.

RancherBill
06-27-2010, 01:58 AM
Get a 4 or 8 point socket

http://www.mcmaster.com/#8-point-drive-sockets/=7pjw1m

oldtiffie
06-27-2010, 04:55 AM
Change it from a square-head set screw to a hex-head screw from the "spares" or scrap bin and use a standard socket, ring or open-jawed spanner from around the shop.

The Artful Bodger
06-27-2010, 05:03 AM
Is that the same size as a gas cylinder key?

oldtiffie
06-27-2010, 06:58 AM
Not here AB.

My BOC oxy-acet larger size bottles had a 1/4" square end on the valve spindle.

I have the smaller "Plumbers" size set now and they, like my large MIG gas bottle all have hand-wheels/knobs - ie no keys

form_change
06-27-2010, 07:12 AM
Thanks for the replies so far. I would prefer to get a plain spanner rather than a ratchet simply for cost reasons (I doubt I'll be using it much, so don't really want to spend extra for a feature that I probably won't appreciate). Unfortunately the locking bolt in question is a BSF, so replacing it with a hex head is not as straight forward as it first seems - I'd likely have to cut my own. I had thought of using a modified 3/8 socket but the bolt (in normal use) is underneath the compound so I need to be low profile. The gas key idea may work but I'm not sure how big they go. Here in Oz cylinders usually have a built in handle on them, so it would have to be an import. From the pictures I've seen I'm also wondering about the height.

Michael

speedy
06-27-2010, 07:18 AM
Bicycle spanner? Or make your own from gauge plate??

oldtiffie
06-27-2010, 07:28 AM
Make one.

Use a tube with a 1/2" hole.

Get a bit of 3/8" square mild steel and put a 60 degree point on it as a mandrel or former.

Heat the tube to bright red and use a hammer to force the square mandrel/former into the 1/2" hole. It will act as a former and force the 1/2" tube into changing its shape into a 3/8" square.

Circumference of a 4-sided 3/8" square = 4 x 3/8" = 1 1/2" = 1.50"

Circumference of a 1/2" hole = 0.5 x 3.1416 = 1.571"

or use a 15/32" hole circumference = 1.473"

Your Old Dog
06-27-2010, 07:35 AM
I bought some square tubing with 1/2 square for similar use on a ring roller. You might get lucky and find some 3/8's stock in the hardware store.

Black_Moons
06-27-2010, 11:59 AM
What was wrong with using 12 point sockets/wrenchs?

38_Cal
06-27-2010, 12:10 PM
I had thought of using a modified 3/8 socket but the bolt (in normal use) is underneath the compound so I need to be low profile.

Michael

Can you use an open end wrench, since you've got clearance issues at least part of the time?

David

Paul Alciatore
06-27-2010, 12:43 PM
Change it from a square-head set screw to a hex-head screw from the "spares" or scrap bin and use a standard socket, ring or open-jawed spanner from around the shop.

I changed the square heads that lock down the compound on my SB to SHCSs to allow easier operation when my milling table is installed in place of the compound. The first time I swapped back to the compound I replaced the square heads, but after that I just left the SHCSs in place. They work just as well.

brian Rupnow
06-27-2010, 01:07 PM
Do you have a welder? Drill out a hex nut to accept the square head and weld it on.--Instant hex head, no need for square wrench.

lost_cause
06-27-2010, 01:35 PM
is this like what you are looking for? i'm not sure of the terminology and translation to be honest :D two of them are more like sockets on the end of a handle, while the others are simply 1/4" thick box end wrenches.

http://i908.photobucket.com/albums/ac286/lost_cause_photos/lathe/wrench_1.jpg

kendall
06-27-2010, 03:24 PM
First look of that pic, the sun wash shining on my monitor, I saw the feet, and thought they were HUGE wrenches . After shading the screen I could see the hand

Ken.

John Garner
06-27-2010, 04:11 PM
Black Moons --

A standard "12-point" wrench opening -- also called a "double-hex" opening -- on a square-head fastener isn't ideal, for two basic reasons: 1) the faces of a square fastener head form 90 degree angles that don't fit into the 120 degree angle of the wrench-opening points, and 2) the double-hex openings are sized to fit the across-flats dimension of a hexagonal fastener head, not the across-flats dimensions of a square fastener head.

Square and 8-point -- sometimes called "double square" -- wrench openings have the 90-degree angles in their points and are sized to fit the across-flats dimensions of square fastener heads.

As an aside, and if I recall correctly, some of the European car makers used a 12-point "triple-square" recess with 90-degree angles in the points for high-strength fasteners. These fasteners worked well with a male triple-square driver, but the drive recesses stripped easily when an unknowing mechanic tried to drive 'em with a standard hex key.

John

form_change
06-27-2010, 04:48 PM
Black Moons, John has pretty much summarised why I'm avoiding using a 12 point spanner. The other aspect is that with a 50 y.o. bolt head, the corners are not as sharp as they once were - whether I'd get decent purchase is debatable.

I'd prefer a ring spanner end so that it could be left on the bolt head while in use - like a removable handle. I seem to recall that something like that was once used on rainwater tanks, but haven't seen any for some time

Lost_cause's photo shows the ideal item, and also explains why they are hard to come by - he's got all the spares!

Michael

lost_cause
06-27-2010, 06:08 PM
when i bought my sb, it came with a box of odds & ends. most of the items were odd, but i'm pretty sure there were a few ends in there too. the one thing in abundance was the pile of those wrenches. i have no idea what availability is like over on the other side of the planet, but there's a used tool shop not too far from me, and while i find little of use there, i'd bet if you were to spend the 6.7 years needed to sift through the place, i'd bet you could come up with about 50 of them. sadly, shipping from over here probably makes it a wait-to-find-it -local item.

franco
06-27-2010, 10:12 PM
form change,

Keys the same as shown by lost cause were supplied with the old style Australian made Lock tool holders for 1/4" square lathe tools. They should not be too hard to find.

If there is room to convert to a hex head, why not buy any bolt the same size as your present bolt with the unthreaded part longer than your original, cut off to the correct length, and rethread it in the lathe. BSF thread angle is 55 degrees. You did not mention the original bolt size, but 3/8 BSF is 20 TPI, 7/16 is 18 TPI and 1/2" is 16 TPI. This would be a very quick and easy fix, and it would be no problem to revert to the original bolt when you find a suitable key.

franco

EVguru
06-28-2010, 08:57 AM
Drum brake adjuster.

http://www.justoffbase.co.uk/core/media/media.nl?id=28145&c=317638&h=1281127a2424f1ddb3bd