Wanted: socket for square nuts

While I have you on the line... <g>
I have an outdoor light on a pole which is attached to a stand by three bolts ... er, actually they're not really bolts... studs I
suppose is a more apt description. Anyway, these are welded into the pole and slide into slots in the base where they're secured by square nuts. To stop the pole from moving side to side you tighten up the square nuts. Unfortunately the nuts are recessed so I can't get a normal open-ended or adjustable wrench onto them. If they were hex (which I want to replace them with) I'd use a socket without any problem.
So what I need is a four-point socket but unfortunately I don't see any such thing available. Alternatively, those plumbing tubular wrenches that are used on recessed shower faucets would be good if only they had a square end. I seem to remember about twenty years ago seeing an adjustable wrench (like a pipe wrench) that had thin triangular faces that would also do the job. Maybe it was even made for this sort of problem.
Someone put these nuts on so there must be a solution somewhere. Of course the light is about fifty years old and has no obvious brand name so I can't ask the mfg.
Anyone have any suggestions?
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snipped-for-privacy@UndisclosedISP.gov wrote:

(Square four - sided nuts recessed. Gotta remove them.)

What size ya need?
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA1-7178&PMPXNO906626&PARTPG=INLMK3
--Winston
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wrote:

Yeah, Winston. But I can count. What do you do with those four extra points?
Steve ;-)
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Steve B wrote:

Usually I comb my hair over them. :)
--Winston
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    Use them when it is inconvenient to rotate the socket 45 degrees to get alignment.
    Really -- the majority of the force from a socket onto a nut or bolt head is applied out near the corners -- maximum radius from the center, so it generates the most torque for a given force.
    If your size does happen to be a common socket drive size, and the diameter of the back of an extension is too great to allow you to fit the socket so formed over the nut, thanks to the recess in which it is mounted, why not get a cheap extension, clamp it in the lathe, and turn the OD of the back down to fit in the recess -- all the way down to the corners if necessary. Turn down just sufficient length to let it bottom, so you have as much metal left as possible supporting the four sides.
    If you can't find an extension with the right size socket, take some square stock the same size as the nut's square (or is it a bolt head?), clamp four pieces of flat steel to the sides (perhaps with a ring with four setscrews -- or even better, a longer collar with four pairs of setscrews), put it in the lathe, and turn the ends of the four pieces of flat steel down to a round shape just touching the corners of the cavity, and then turn that original square with an open-end or even a Crescent wrench while pressing it in to the side of the lamp column.
    After all -- you intend to replace these nuts or bolt heads with the more common hex ones once you have them out, don't you? So a permanent tool is not really needed -- just something which will pull the old ones out.
    Good Luck,         DoN.
--
Email: < snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
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Sold as 8 point sockets all the time. Sears and all makers
Regards         Phredd
snipped-for-privacy@UndisclosedISP.gov wrote:

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Hi,
Here in the UK many of the sockets provided with your common or garden "Socket Sets" are what are called "BiHex". This means that instead of having only 6 corners, to match a standard Hex nut they have 12 corners. This is done I believe to ease the problem of getting the socket to engage with the nut when you can't see what you are doing. Now as 12 can be divided by 4 (flats or corners on your nut) exactly, you should be able to find a socket which fits the 4 flat nut satisfactorily. For example I have here a 1/2 inch AF square nut which fits nicely into a 5/8 inch AF BiHex socket.
Give it a go, and good luck!
Ian.
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There is a strong chance that the square involved will fit the back end of socket set extension bar. If it happens to fit the 1/4, 3/8, or 1/2 drive extension insert the extension and use a Crescent on the exposed end.
You might also own some 12 point sockets. They can fit a square, if they can fit through the recessed hole.
Sure beats buying something for a one time use, though I have sworn to buy a set of 4 point sockets for a little over 40 years now.
(top posted for your convenience) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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I've tried 12 point sockets but they're too big to fit in the recess. Further, the sockets have very little gripping area on a square nut. Although I obviously haven't tried since I can't fit it in I suspect that the 12 point would damage the corners beyond repair very quickly especially as the lamp base, being outside, is somewhat rusty.
The "back end" for 1/2 and 3/4 aren't the right size -- I think it's 7/8 -- but even if I could get one the recess would prevent insertion.

Let us know when you find one <g>.
Thanks to all the other posters too for their suggestions.
The lamp only moves in a very high wind and can be easily brought back to the vertical so it's not desperate. When it becomes such I can gain some access to the top of the nuts so I'll use a cold chisel to (hopefully) remove and destroy them. If that doesn't work I can always buy a new lamp <g>.

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snipped-for-privacy@UndisclosedISP.gov wrote in

This might work depending on the diameter of the recess.
<http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID455 &group_ID94&store=snapon-store&dirtalog>
Otherwise you might be able to make a pin spanner with four pins out of a piece of flat stock.
--

Dan


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snipped-for-privacy@UndisclosedISP.gov wrote:

D Murphy pointed out an individual 8 point-er at
http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID455&group_ID94&store=snapon-store&dir talog
In my other thread (about an NPS die) tomcas suggested
http://www1.mscdirect.com/
and they have individual 4 point-ers in their impact sockets line. Also note the lines of T-handle square sockets and 90 degree square black oxide socket head wrenches on:
http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNPDFF?PMPAGE"17&PMCTLG
Very expensive but I guess if you're flush with bucks it is possible to assemble a set <g>.
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Any chance a piece of square tube stock would fit? Just cut to length, drill a hole in it and turn with a screwdriver.
mark

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snipped-for-privacy@UndisclosedISP.gov wrote:
[...]

Pipe, hammer, pipe wrench. Or a 12-point socket.
--
B.B. --I am not a goat! thegoat4 at airmail dot net

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Just in case anyone is still interested...
snipped-for-privacy@UndisclosedISP.gov wrote:

Found my adjustable square nut wrench too at the same place (MCS Industrial Supply)! Go to:
http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/N2DRVSH?PMSECT 07569
Then cut the selection by picking only Stanley. There's even three sizes!
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