Suitable Steel For Home Made Wrenches

On 8/10/2013 12:54 AM, Bob La Londe wrote:


There are a couple of service centers I use for quantity but I buy at McMasters if I want it now or ebay. Should be $3-$5/lb in bulk, ground stock is more but still reasonable, for the times.
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On Thursday, August 8, 2013 9:12:16 AM UTC-6, Bob La Londe wrote:

coated) wrenches that come with a lot of power tools for changing blades, bits, discs, etc. They look like they are stamped out of sheet. I am certai nly not going to make a stamping die for one wrench, but I am sure I could cut one out of flat stock on the mill when I need one and a regular mechani cs wrench won't fit. The thing is I don't know what steel to use. How about an inexpensive alloy that might be easily heat treatable. I don't think su rface hardening would help for a wrench or a spanner as the cross section w ould still be softer, but maybe somebody who knows better could speak up?
Pays to be a scrounger. I've seen bins of this stuff in pawn shops and "ba rgin" stores, collect a few sorts and grind to fit whatever you have. For one-offs, some of the regular-style wrenches can be collected and cut/weld ed/brazed to whatever location some twisted engineer figured out where to p ut a bolthead or nut. My dad had a bucket of such tools that he collected from LOLs, estate sale residue and the like. Came in handy. Vertical belt grinders make short work of widening wrench gaps to fit.
If you need something a little more formal, O1 makes a decent tool, ground flat stock is available, if not as cheap as it once was. Then there's chun ks of OCS if you're in scrounger mode. But it may take you a lot longer t han just modifying an existing wrench. Dunk it in purple paint, grind off the markings, restamp it or something so you don't grab it sometime thinkin g it's the size wrench that's marked and finding out that it truly isn't so ...
Stan
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