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Nutsplitter tool with a soft wedge? What's up with that?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

    If they did, they did a very good job.... it has the knurl, and the ball detent that it should have, and they are done very well. I'd say NO CHANCE.... the thing is original.

    .
    It certainly sounds like it is the original alright. Heaven only knows what happened to it. Somehow it either did not receive heat treatment, was later annealed, lord only knows why, but irregardless it's no good to you or anyone else in the condition it's in.

    I've used cheap off-shore nut splitters that were much more serviceable than this, I'd hardly think the tool is in the condition it was designed to be in at it's present condition.
    I don't use these types of tools very often but when I have they have always worked as intended. The older US sourced tools were always nicer to work with but as mentioned, even the cheap knock-offs did work well enough.

    It would not require anything more however than a simple chisel replacement using a suitable material and heat treatment or grinding if the candidate is in the hardened condition already.

    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

    Location: British Columbia

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Willy View Post
      . . .Somehow it either did not receive heat treatment, was later annealed. . .
      Hah! I can see someone 'helping' split a big nut by breaking out the hot-wrench.

      Southwest Utah

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      • #18
        Originally posted by chipmaker4130 View Post

        Hah! I can see someone 'helping' split a big nut by breaking out the hot-wrench.
        Excellent point and very likely what may have happened.
        Part of the issue with tools of unknown pedigree, one has no idea of it's service history.
        Last edited by Willy; 11-22-2020, 09:50 PM.
        Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
        Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

        Location: British Columbia

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        • #19
          That was my first thought also. But that usually is shown by fairly obvious heat colors, and there were none anywhere, not even on the stem. And the spring of the ball detent is not annealed, which would be expected if it had got overheated.

          It's a mystery, I will probably try re-heat treating it, and when that fails, I will make another, drawing it to a light straw like a cold chisel.

          Apropos of that, the cold chisel is not immune from acting butter soft..... if one tries diligently to cut harder material with a cold chisel, it may end up bent as well. But the metal is generally not annealed by that.

          I tend to think that it was decarb. The surface seems harder a bit farther in, suggesting that this one may have gone through heat treat twice, and have had only one treatment worth of decarb ground off.

          It seems odd as well that the ball detent could be made if the thing were rather hard, since the ball is staked in place. The ball is only a few mm from the wedge, and you would think the part would either get too hard to stake, or that the spring would be annealed if it were staked prior to hardening. It is overall small enough that differential hardening seems difficult. An induction heater could probably do it, though.
          CNC machines only go through the motions

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          • #20
            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
            It is overall small enough that differential hardening seems difficult. An induction heater could probably do it, though.
            Or.. I could just mail mine out to you as long as you dont forget were you got it keep it. As long as you need. No chit. JR

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            • #21
              It looks as if the decarb theory may be correct.

              I filed at the wedge until the file seemed to stop cutting well. At that point most of the soft area seems to be gone. I split a 1/4-20 nut with it and the edge seems undamaged, just a scuff mark from the metal of the nut.

              Apparently there was enough decarb surface material to burr-up and refuse to cut. The nut I needed to remove was actually a bolt that had been drilled down the (almost) middle through the head and cemented onto the shaft of a small generator for no obvious reason. The splitter just burred-up and never did actually start to split the head.

              The fact that the bolt had been drilled seems to indicate that it was not hardened particularly hard. I know that most all nut splitters will not touch a hardened nut, that just damages the wedge. But that does not seem to have been the issue, the bolt was apparently soft enough to drill. (I removed the bolt with a grinder, which did bite the 3/32 inch diameter generator shaft, a result I wanted to avoid).

              Anyhow:

              The splitter


              The soft wedge after filing, with the bent end showing (but out of focus) Did not get a pic of the wedge with the burrs on it.


              The splitter about to break the nut, having cut mostly through it. Just a "plain nut", no special type, unmarked hardware store type.


              Nut and undamaged wedge after the cut. The far end is where the soft bent over part was.

              CNC machines only go through the motions

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              • #22
                Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                It looks as if the decarb theory may be correct.

                It looks ground?


                The soft wedge after filing, with the bent end showing (but out of focus) Did not get a pic of the wedge with the burrs on it.
                ...

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                • #23
                  Nope, not ground, just filed through the soft stuff. I don't have a grinder for that at the moment, just a semi- T&C without a good holder for that sort of part.. Did not even use a hand stone on it. Probably should, the filing marks are likely to be stress risers, although I do not know if the forces are directed such as to make them important.
                  CNC machines only go through the motions

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by chipmaker4130 View Post
                    Jerry, are you sure the wedge you have is original? Maybe someone lost it and made another.
                    That's exactly what I was thinking.

                    JL.............

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                    • #25
                      I remember my uncle having one of those in his tool box. I never used it because I remember him having trouble with it. Most of the time you couldn't get the tool in the area where the nut was, tight places were out. I don't think they were all that popular because of this. And if you never got the nut to split all you did was crimp it on even tighter possible damaging the mating threads.

                      I do remember seeing them on the K-D racks in all the auto parts stores. K-D had a tool for just about everything automotive and a lot of them were failures. I think they had people dreaming up all these things just to fill their racks.

                      JL.................

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                      • #26
                        The wedge you can see in the pics. If it is not original, it is a great copy, looks factory to me. I have one of the style JR showed also, and this is made the same way.

                        I've used these before, mostly not mine, and they are the exact right tool in certain cases. Yeah, sometimes the nut is in a recess, and you can barely get a wrench on t, let alone this type tool, but nothing is perfect.

                        Nut splitters work well when they fit, are not AFU, and the nut is not hardened.
                        CNC machines only go through the motions

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