Anyone have a source for inexpensive wrenches sold individually? I'm
putting together separate maintenance tool sets for each of my machines
and I'd rather not shell out for Craftsman (much less Mac/Snap-On).
Yeah - that would be penny wise and pound stupid. I'm not planning on
wrestling with any corroded nuts or bolts so I think the tolerances and
quality of steel even in cheap wrenches should suffice. I'll use the
"keepers" if I need to really torque something - which I shouldn't have
to do if the machines are kept up.
HF has some junk, BUT my son and I have multiple sets of combination and
impact socket wrenches from them. All seem to be the right sizes and have
proved immune to much mindless abuse, like pounding with hammers to break
things loose. We get the black ones, but I don't know if they are better
than the shiny ones or not.
If you can tolerate the idea of low pay in the third world, they are fine.
BTW, we also have a couple of the 4" angle grinders, which have held up fine
for a couple of years.
I did the same thing and it sure made life in the shop easier.
Each machine has it's specific setup/adjustment wrenches,
hex keys, etc stuck to magnets near the point of use. No
more wasted time searching for them.
If you have a HF store near you they sell individual wrenches
and cheap(in both senses of the word) hex key sets which are
plenty good enough for the TS throat plate levelers, BS guide
Three 15 dollar sets of Stanley combinations and two of hex keys did it for
me. Mix and match, with hex keys held on magnets, wrenches hanging on
hooks. Color code the hex keys, because you may have metric/imperial
problems which old eyes can't easily resolve. Tape works fine.
Sockets are one set garage, one set workshop.
Snap-on, off eBay. My machines tend to be big, old and English. So a
lot of their nuts are either imperial, or even Whitworth. As size isn't
such an issue with woodworking machines as it is with cars, then they
only use the same couple of sizes for everything - no 14mm and 18mm
heads, just to fit in the tiny space.
So when those one or two odd wrenches and sockets go past on eBay, I
grab them - usually cheaply, because none of the car fettlers are
interested. They're usually got the owners name on, and all seem to be
Canadian Snap-on for some odd reason, but they work fine for adding to
the machine toolsets.
My own car-fix box is of course full Snap-on (or Facom) Cost a bloody
fortune and several years that lot did, so I don't want to leave odd
ones wandering around the workshop.
Whitworth is an Imperial standard invented before the USA was
discovered, but I am surprised as the USA is so backward in adopting the
otherwise worldwide metric measure that they don't still use it for
Especially as it is such a rough and ready style.
Well, since it costs no more to get things right:
<<Joseph Whitworth (1803 - 1887) was a British mechanical engineer and tool
maker who was also responsible for establishing precision measurement and
manufacturing standards. >>
I believe ~1848 is the correct time frame for the standardization. US dates
from either 1776 or 1789, depending on your desire.
Whitworth was a thread form designed specifically for use in cast iron
(as there was little else in use at the time). So even in the modern
world, it still has a use. Under 1/2", it's the same as UNC (within a
whisker). If you tap metric threads into cast iron you can often have
problems with poor thread form or thread stripping (the coarse metric
series is rarer than Whitworth).
Whitworth / BSF (British Standard Fine) have much the same relation as
UNC / UNF. Although I maintain a full set of Whitworth tools and do
still use them, the BSF kit is just there for historical reasons. I
remember my Dad hauling scrap brand-new BSF tap and die sets by the ton
load a few decades ago.
Since we are both in Ann Arbor, I would be interested in what you find
here. I have a Jacobs Power Collet that I have installed on my router
table. It might work for everything, but from what people tell me, I
will probably use the standard collet for some things like larger bits.
The nut on the Power Collet is 1 1/4 inch and with all my wrenches, I
don't have one that large. Harbor Freight has a jumbo set, but it
costs $29 (as I recall) on sale. I did not see (and did not ask) if
they had singles, so if you find one, let me know
Will do. Coincidentally, I am right now looking at a flyer I got in
the mail for a "Cummins Industrial Tools Truckload Tool Sale" that's
taking place right here in town today. Looks like Harbor Freight
quality, but maybe they'll have the odd wrench for sale cheap. Further
bulletins as events warrant.
I've picked up several old wrenches and odd sockets out of "bargain boxes" at
of course, you could just convert as many as possible to allen head and hang an
allen wrench on the machine with a magnet..
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