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  • square wrenches/ spanners

    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

  • #2
    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.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX

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    • #3
      I thought 12 point box wrenchs worked with square bolts?
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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      • #4
        Ratchet spanner

        Use either a female 3/8" ratchet spanner or a male one with a 3/8" double-ended female socket.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by form_change
          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/ite...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.
          Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 06-27-2010, 01:28 AM.
          Paul A.
          SE Texas

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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          • #6
            Get a 4 or 8 point socket

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

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            • #7
              Change

              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.

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              • #8
                Is that the same size as a gas cylinder key?

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                • #9
                  Boc

                  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

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                  • #10
                    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

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                    • #11
                      Bicycle spanner? Or make your own from gauge plate??
                      Ken.

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                      • #12
                        Make one

                        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"

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                        • #13
                          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.
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                          • #14
                            What was wrong with using 12 point sockets/wrenchs?
                            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by form_change
                              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
                              David Kaiser
                              “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
                              ― Robert A. Heinlein

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