View Full Version : Looking for plain steel Whitworth hex stock

daryl bane
11-17-2015, 02:01 PM
I can find it in SS but not plain steel. Thanks

dan s
11-17-2015, 03:42 PM
A lot of places have, just depends what you need.


daryl bane
11-17-2015, 04:02 PM
I guess I should clarify, Whitworth Spanner size hex stock. This is sized for British Whitworth wrenches, which are neither US inch standard or metric. Not so common....anymore. Was hoping for either a stateside supplier or stockist who has a smallish variety pack for overseas shipping.

dan s
11-17-2015, 04:27 PM
That's probably going to be really hard to find in the states. if you don't need a lot of bolts, it would probably be cheaper/easier to buy oversize bar stock and use a 5C hex collet block to form the heads on a milling machine (assuming you have one).

11-17-2015, 04:39 PM
You might try a motor rewind shop, lots of english made electric motors like Crompton and Crompton-Parkinson use whitworth bolts, they were my most used set of spanners back when I was an apprentice :)


daryl bane
11-17-2015, 04:46 PM
Yeah, that is what I have been doing, is making from scratch on the mill. Unfortunately the machine I am restoring, most of the bolts are rather special in addition to them being Whitworth, as the heads are taller and some domed than the normal standard. This was probably common for some suppliers pre-war.

11-17-2015, 04:54 PM
I remember the head size variations, in fact there were 2 sizes or series of whitworth if I remember right, Some spanner sets were marked with a "W" and other other with "BSW" the "W" sizes were usually bigger for the same marked size.

Good luck with your search.


11-17-2015, 05:28 PM
Usually BSW and BSF where the BSF (standard fine) is one size smaller on the flats, so 5/16 BSF has the same flats size as 1/4" Whitworth. Pre-war (39-45 war) Whitworth had bigger flats sizes but were reduced as an economy measure due to steel shortages due to the U-boat problem

Richard P Wilson
11-17-2015, 07:20 PM
According to my copy of Machinery's Screw Thread Book, 18th edition which has tables for BSW pre war, and BSW & BSF post war, virtually alldimensions post war had shifted one nominal size, in other words, a post war 1" Whitworth bolt had the same and thickness of head as a pre war 7/8" Whitworth bolt. Same for the nuts. Yes I remember BSF being a size down on Whitworth, and have open ended spanners marked so, but that must have been pre war, because the post war standard has them the same.
I wish the OP well in finding Whitworth sized Hex stock because I'm not sure its readily available even in the UK any more.

11-17-2015, 07:55 PM
I am curious as to why you need the hex stock. If you need some Whitworth AF dimensions, I have some spanners that have been sitting in my tool box now for over 50 years.

daryl bane
11-17-2015, 09:31 PM
Stainless Steel Whitworth hex stock is readily available as many people restore British cars, motorcycles, and use the stock to make proper, sometimes special fasteners for their machines. Most are post war which would use a cad or zinc finish on the fasteners. Stainless steel can be bead blasted to mimic this finish to good effect. I am restoring a pre war British machine which like Harley Davidson used a black parkerized finish on its fasteners. A correct black parkerized finish is easy to do at home
on plain steel but not on Stainless, hence the hunt. I have been making my own plain steel Whitworth hex stock and it would be nice to find some ready made material, but I think that option has passed into history.

11-17-2015, 10:35 PM
It may not be the exact help you need, but it might be easier to take oversize standard stock and machine the flats off something like a 2' length as distinct from doing hex's one at a time (if that's in fact what you're doing now). Or farm out the resizing to another shop so your focus is just on the fasteners you want.

Spin Doctor
11-18-2015, 06:03 AM
Why in the world would any one use stainless steel screws to replace what are most likely carbon steel screws that have been heat treated to a specific hardness and are a specific alloy. Stainless quite simply is not as strong as a lot of people assume it is. I work with stainless and carbon steel screws on a daily basis and everything we build has specific torque values that the fasteners get tightened to. Mostly we use metric fastener and an M12x1.75 in A2-70 or A4-80 gets torqued to 55 ftlbs (I know, mixing systems). An M12x1.75 in grade 12.9 carbon steel gets torqued to 110 ftlbs iirc. I'll check the chart at work today. If the fasteners they are making are on non stressed items it is probably fine. If they are on stressed parts especially suspension prts they are risking their own safety along with everyone elses when they take such vehicvles on the road.

Just my $.02