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diy nut drivers

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  • #16

    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


    • #17
      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 ). 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:

      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.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


      • #18
        Originally posted by IOWOLF
        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.
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #19
          Originally posted by wierdscience
          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!
          Why buy it for $2 when you can make it for $20


          • #20
            you mean to say that you heat-treated and hardened those in your HOME shop?!?!? probably not but i still must ask!


            • #21
              Elninio, yup, not that big a deal though. case-hardedned using Kasenit.
              in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


              • #22
                McGyver...your projects are now on my "Must see"list.
                I'm thinking you are blessed with a lot of patience
                I have tools I don't even know I own...


                • #23

                  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.

                  Last edited by moldmonkey; 07-26-2006, 07:03 PM.
                  Jon Bohlander
                  My PM Blog


                  • #24
                    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 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!
                    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?


                    • #25

                      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.
                      Jon Bohlander
                      My PM Blog


                      • #26
                        I agree, this is a great project. I look forward to reading about it in the magazine.

                        Nice job!