Such a thing as "thin walled" box wrench ?
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  1. #1
    D. Thomas Guest


    Thin walled socket won't fit due to vertical obstruction, and standard (22mm)closed box wrench won't fit due to thickness of wall not fitting in recess surrounding the bolt (check valve actually)

    Thinning the wall of a socket no big deal since you can do it on the lathe, but thinning a standard box end would involve the PITA of hand grinding...which is what I'll do I suppose, but now just curious for future reference if thin walled box wrenches even exist.

  2. #2
    rjibosh is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Los Angeles


    If anyone has them, it would probably be SnapOn tools. Also, you could try turning down your socket and welding a flat bar to the top of it in lieu of a ratchett. That should get you your clearance.


    [This message has been edited by rjibosh (edited 07-03-2004).]

  3. #3
    John Garner is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    south SF Bay area, California


    Don --

    Head size of box-end wrenches will vary somewhat from maker to maker, with the high-end makers usually producing thinner-wall wrenches.

    Of the American-made brands today, SK, Craftsman, and C-man's close cousins Allen, Easco, and KD tend toward the thicker-walled side. Snap-On tends to be consistently thin-walled, probably even more than the other high-end makes.

    Older wrenches and metric wrenches often have thicker walls than newer Imperial-size wrenches. Sometimes a 7/8-inch box wrench will fit where a 22 millimeter wrench won't.

    Danaher's Armstrong and Matco lines include a socket-wrench variant that uses an external driver that fits over the outside of the specially-shaped sockets. The Armstrong version is named "The Eliminator", the Matco version is sold under some other name.

    I bought a "3/8 inch drive" size combination inch and metric Eliminator set from Enco a few years ago for somewhere around $70. I doubt if I've used it once a month since then . . . but it's been "just the ticket" often enough that I wouldn't want to be without it.

    There is a somewhat-similar tool sold under the O-Ratchet name that uses a male-hex socket that can probably be turned with a box or open-end wrench (don't remember the hex size for sure) and definitely can be driven with an adjustable wrench.

    Of course, you could also grind or mill drive flats on the upper end of a socket to take a flat wrench.


  4. #4
    Ox's Avatar
    Ox is online now Diamond
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    West Unity, Ohio


    I agree that my Snap-Ons are much thinner on the box end than others.

    They also make belt sanders for a reason too eh? It's just a tool. You CAN alter it! LOL!

    Think Snow Eh!

  5. #5
    jim rozen is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    peekskill, NY


    Snap-On does indeed make a line of
    "performance" box end wrenches, where the
    wall thickness is really, really thin.
    I have a set of these at work for doing
    close quarter work. Nobody borrows them,
    they stay right in my personal toolbox.


  6. #6
    Barry Briscoe Guest


    Sometimes a flare nut wrench will work if one side of the nut lacks space.

    [This message has been edited by Barry Briscoe (edited 07-04-2004).]

  7. #7
    ronr's Avatar
    ronr is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Northern Michigan


    There is available a 12 point crowfoot flare nut wrench for working on tube fittings in tight spots.

    Most large brands have them, Snap On, Armstrong, Mac, etc.. Also McMaster Carr has them.

  8. #8
    dloc Guest


    McMaster-Carr has them, actually at least two brands. They list thickness specs by size. Several companies make sets. Son just bought a couple for use in rebuilding a motor.

  9. #9
    Dave G is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Aug 2004


    Does it need to be a box wrench? Bike shops have "cone wrenches" for adjusting the bearing on the wheels and bottom brackets. They are a very thin box end.

  10. #10
    D. Thomas Guest


    Just for the record, for this particular application, as it turns out even a box end wrench wouldn't work on the second hydraulic cylinder check valve due to yet another obstruction not present on the right side one. (lifting cylinders on Austrian made box truck lift gate)

    The check valve "plunger cylinder" for lack of a better description, was such that it interfered with standard 3/8 and 1/2 inch drive sockets (i.e. wouldn't go thru the drive square) and deep sockets were too long due to other interferences to slip over.

    So, what I ended up doing was taking a 7/8" (just because I already had one, and that was close enough to 22mm) standard socket meant for 3/4" drive, turning the front of it to "thin wall" on the lathe, and making a special driver out of 3/4 square stock that had a drill hole large enough to go over the plunger cylinder ! Thus a wrench could drive the 3/4 stock and free the check valves !

    Sheesh...all this hassel over something so simple. Maybe Hans and Frans of AHT liftgates decided to get into the "special liftgate tools" business on the side

  11. #11
    Richard Rogers's Avatar
    Richard Rogers is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Bentley, Louisiana


    Modified a tool or two in my time. Maybe you could turn down an el-cheapo socket for a one-shot job? Then weld to a handle........


    [This message has been edited by Richard Rogers (edited 07-05-2004).]


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