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Making Allen Wrench Sockets

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  • Making Allen Wrench Sockets

    I need to make several Gib bolts that were missing on the lathe I'm rebuilding. The ones that are present have an Allen Wrench socket in the head. I have no access to rotary broaching tools so is there someother method that can be used to make the hexagonal hole in the bolt head? Thanks.

    I can always resort to a slotted head but would perfer the Allen socket head.

    Bill
    Bill

    Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

    Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

  • #2
    Hex socket screwa

    Wow,

    it must be tough where you live Bill.

    I had to go to my steel supplier here in OZ a couple of times this week and included several lots of high-strength "hex" socket screws (metric);
    - Hex head socket screws (HHSS): round head with hex socket;
    - hex socket in a countersunk screw; and
    - plain headless socket screws.

    They carry a pretty full range of inch and metric on-hand and if not are only a day or two away on a regular delivery run.

    Comment


    • #3
      You could use a setup like this to get your hex but with a 1.5 to 3mm corner radius



      (This shows an adapter plate clamped to the mill's locked quill which allows outboard mounting of a RotoZip which will run fast enough for 1.5mm carbide endmills, I broke a few until I goth the feel for DOC and feed )

      then file or make a broach to sharpen the corners,
      Regards,
      Nick

      Comment


      • #4
        Not sure how the sizes would come out, but can you tap a hole in a gib bolt, and then permanently loctite an Allan grub or cap screw in, to give you the hex socket?

        Ian
        All of the gear, no idea...

        Comment


        • #5
          Size Matters

          Originally posted by oldtiffie
          Wow,

          it must be tough where you live Bill.

          I had to go to my steel supplier here in OZ a couple of times this week and included several lots of high-strength "hex" socket screws (metric);
          - Hex head socket screws (HHSS): round head with hex socket;
          - hex socket in a countersunk screw; and
          - plain headless socket screws.

          They carry a pretty full range of inch and metric on-hand and if not are only a day or two away on a regular delivery run.
          I looked at manufactured socket Allen head cap screws but the head diameters are too small. The thread is 0.3125" and the diamater of the head must be 0.625".

          Bill
          Bill

          Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

          Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

          Comment


          • #6
            How about buying screws with the correct head size, then machine the shank smaller?

            Kerry

            Comment


            • #7
              Gib screws

              Thanks Bill.

              The requirement is for a 5/16" thread and the head is to be 5/8"OD.

              Is it possible to use a standard 5/16" hex head socket screw with a say 5/8" OD x 5/16+"id x say 1/8" (or to suit a slot in the gib) thick washer/disk as a temporary measure at least? The gib/s shouldn't need adjustment too often. The "washer/disc" could secured to the screw head with an adhesive or perhaps be silver-soldered onto the head if needs be.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BigBoy1
                I need to make several Gib bolts that were missing on the lathe I'm rebuilding. The ones that are present have an Allen Wrench socket in the head. I have no access to rotary broaching tools so is there someother method that can be used to make the hexagonal hole in the bolt head? Thanks.
                Bill
                What material are you making them out of.

                Try on a bit of scrap drilling at the AF of the allen key size, cut the angle off a std top quatiy allen key,syareoff to fine finish on grinder, put in tailstock and wind in, We used to make large pan hd allen and torx srews in 304 stainless.

                Steve Larner

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by NickH
                  then file or make a broach to sharpen the corners,
                  Regards,
                  Nick


                  Your approach is similar to what I use when in a pickle except I just pamper a low RPM after a plunge cut with a max diameter endmill and just take out the corners with the smaller endmill --- I add one thing though,
                  I dont make a broach to take out the corners - I just rotate the rotary table 30 degree's for a re-start and then install the appropriate sized tiny endmill and readjust the X axis and plunge cut the corners out for clearance --- what you end up with (besides even more time invested ) is a socket head thats not only stronger than standard - it's easier on the drive allen flanks to boot, Its the reverse order of Snap-on's "flank drive" system in which the socket is the drive with the radius corners instead of the fastener ----
                  Im so limited on RPM's on my mill that I can only do this on fairly larger socket/bolt heads, But its nice to be backed into a corner for not having the equipment and yet end up with a superior Job because of it (despite the extra 20 times the amount of time it took ) Not only that - it just plain looks cool.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    similar to sdl when i need something custom Allen or torx i take the desired bit and chuck it in the lathe. then with my dremmel tool and the smallest grinding burr or diamond burr i hollow out the end to create cutting edges on the points. you have to use a high quality bit if you want it to last and don't over heat it. then chuck up the bolt and drill a hole the same size as across the flats of the Allen. now put your broach in the tail stock and put some good cutting oil on the hole. crank the tail stock in until it stops. back it out and pick out the burs and drive it in again. repeat as necessary. if you have a small lathe or are doing a big hole you may have to use a press. i have even hammered the bit in with good results. with really small allens you can just grind the end flat and then hone it real smooth and they seem to cut well.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Same Idea

                      Originally posted by oldtiffie
                      Thanks Bill.

                      The requirement is for a 5/16" thread and the head is to be 5/8"OD.

                      Is it possible to use a standard 5/16" hex head socket screw with a say 5/8" OD x 5/16+"id x say 1/8" (or to suit a slot in the gib) thick washer/disk as a temporary measure at least? The gib/s shouldn't need adjustment too often. The "washer/disc" could secured to the screw head with an adhesive or perhaps be silver-soldered onto the head if needs be.
                      While eating my lunch today, I thought about the standard socket head cap screw and a "thick washer". I guess we both came up with the same idea. That seems to be the simplist and fastest way to get the job done. Silver soldering the washer in place is a good idea. I was think about a set screw or pin to secure the washer to the shaft of the cap screw.

                      If that doesn't work, I'll resort to the other methods, such as broaching with sharpened Allen wrench.

                      Really appreciate all of the help. Thanks.

                      Bill
                      Bill

                      Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

                      Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BigBoy1
                        While eating my lunch today, I thought about the standard socket head cap screw and a "thick washer". I guess we both came up with the same idea. That seems to be the simplist and fastest way to get the job done. Silver soldering the washer in place is a good idea. I was think about a set screw or pin to secure the washer to the shaft of the cap screw.

                        If that doesn't work, I'll resort to the other methods, such as broaching with sharpened Allen wrench.

                        Really appreciate all of the help. Thanks.

                        Bill
                        Rather than a simple washer you could make a "Cup" washer that is also a sleeve around the head, this would be easier to permanent fix to the head.(e.g. you could make it a press fit) and would at least help keep out some of the swarf.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You can get large headed socket screws, the exact name of the type escapes me at the moment, but we have a large box of them at work for securing cover plates, which are M6 thread, but with a head thats larger than an M8 standard one. Try your local fastener place and ask them.

                          Dave
                          Just south of Sudspumpwater UK

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I’ve made various press tools, drill aprox hole in stock and use 20 ton press to form spline or in your case Allen socket.
                            Then machine whatever you need that can’t be gotten from Fastenall.

                            PaulF

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I made a screw as discussed to replace one used for adjusting the cross feed nut on my Bridgeport mill. You can even countersink the allen head bolt some depth into the washer you make if its thick enough. I cleaned the "teeth" and black oxide off the outside of the bolt head in the lathe so that it would be clean, and then silver-soldered the whole works together. The original was a slotted screw, but this should be a notch or two better than the original. Slotted screws suck. They had their place in history, but so did horse driven carriages and wooden wheels.
                              Paul
                              Paul Carpenter
                              Mapleton, IL

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