Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 26
  1. #1
    adamsgt is offline Cast Iron
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Fort Worth Texas
    Posts
    347

    Default Allen Wrench Gage?

    Have a lot of allen wrenches jumbled in boxes, including a box of hundreds I picked up at an auction recently. Question, does anyone make a gage similar to a drill gage that could be used to size allen wrenches for sorting? A google search revealed nothing as did a search on MSC. Failing that, does anyone know of a quick and easy way of measuring, Identifying and sorting allen wrenches? Spending hours and hours with a mic measuring allen wrenches could lead to alcoholism.

  2. #2
    L Vanice is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    9,103

    Default

    A digital caliper, or even a dial caliper, is very fast to use.

    Of course, I always first look for stamped markings. I prefer to use the USA brands with the size marked for actual wrench use.

    If it says Taiwan, China, etc. or no marking at all, I throw it in a separate box. I use the foreign stuff when I need hex bar stock to make a little nut or cap screw. I draw the temper and machine it as required.

    Larry

  3. #3
    atty is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Kingman, Az.
    Posts
    218

    Wink

    Not sure that a digital caliper might be faster than trying to find the right hole or slot. Anyway, like you say, it's a good excuse for lots of beer.

  4. #4
    Clive603 is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Sussex, England
    Posts
    2,292

    Default

    A fairly effective test gauge is to make a plate with a sample allen head screw for each size screwed in.
    If you haven't got a screw that size you probably don't need a key.
    Helps to pre-sort into several boxes of roughly similar size, have something handy that you can jam the best ones into as you go through. That way its easy enough to end up with a couple of sets of good ones. Time I had to do that I made some across corners hole gauges for pre-sorting.

    if you have mixed metric and imperial in real small sizes, pray 'cos pretty much nothing else will help much. You could make hole gauges to nominal across corners sizes in metric and imperial. It will et most of them somewhere near.

    Having sorted mark the imperials & metrics to keep them apart. I have one set where metric are silver and imperial black. Great idea.

    Chop the doggy ones to have a short and long bit of hex. Great get of jail tools:- hook a spanner on for leverage, cut down and hook a spanner on where now't else will go in, weld a shank on when you need a real long one and so on.

    Clive

  5. #5
    Tim in D is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Tx
    Posts
    501

    Default

    Make a "taper guage" to test them for size. IOW, make up a dohickey with a tapered slot, slide a known wrench along it till it stops and mark your guage to that size, rinse,lather, repeat.

    Tim in D

  6. #6
    Ron of Va is offline Aluminum
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Tidewater, Va
    Posts
    209

    Default

    I had to do the same thing recently. I used some dial calipers and these figures from some known allen wrenches.

    Allen Wrenches Sizes
    Standard Approximately
    1/16 0.0600
    5/64 0.0770
    3/32 0.0940
    7/64 0.1090
    1/8 0.1230
    9/64 0.1380
    5/32 0.1545
    3/16 0.1865
    7/32 0.2175
    1/4 0.2490
    5/16 0.3110
    3/8 0.3745

    Metric Approximately
    1.5 MM 0.0580
    2 MM 0.0775
    2.5 MM 0.0970
    3 MM 0.1170
    4 MM 0.1560
    5 MM 0.1950
    6 MM 0.2350
    7 MM 0.2720
    8 MM 0.3155
    10 MM 0.3930

  7. #7
    KilrB is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Angleton, Texas
    Posts
    1,204

    Default

    A pair of dial calipers have always done the job just fine, and plenty fast enough, for me.

  8. #8
    peterve's Avatar
    peterve is online now Titanium
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    3,674

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron of Va View Post
    Allen Wrenches Sizes

    Metric Approximately
    1.5 MM 0.0580
    2 MM 0.0775
    2.5 MM 0.0970
    3 MM 0.1170
    4 MM 0.1560
    5 MM 0.1950
    6 MM 0.2350
    7 MM 0.2720
    8 MM 0.3155
    10 MM 0.3930


    1.5 mm is 1,5mm
    2mm is 2mm
    ASO ASO

    I thank God on my naked knees I am fully metric

    Peter from Holland

  9. #9
    bosleyjr's Avatar
    bosleyjr is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    SE PA, Philly
    Posts
    4,397

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peterve View Post
    1.5 mm is 1,5mm
    2mm is 2mm
    SI allows either the period (full stop), ".", or the comma, "," for use as the radix point, or separator between integers and fractional portions of the number. For international blueprints, SI does specify the comma as the radix point.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterve View Post
    I thank God on my naked knees I am fully metric
    I am thankful that I am bi. Errr, bi-unit that is. Hmmmm. Bi-unit still sounds a bit abnormal.

    I can work in both. And in wood working, it's much easier to use fractions when you are dividing dimensions in half. So I actually LIKE "English" customary units for that.

    But you know, exquisite work has been done in all units. And Europe gave the world Whitworth and Loewenherz!

    Best,

    Jim

    PS: To the OP's point, if you have some SHCSs in each of the sizes, you could tap and screw 'em into a piece of scrap, and label it well. Or glue it into a piece of 2x4. Err, that would be nominally 2 inches by 4 inches, which is really 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches.... Ok, so maybe there IS something to this metric stuff.

  10. #10
    EPAIII is online now Stainless
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Beaumont, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,796

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tim in D View Post
    Make a "taper guage" to test them for size. IOW, make up a dohickey with a tapered slot, slide a known wrench along it till it stops and mark your guage to that size, rinse,lather, repeat.

    Tim in D
    This is probably the fastest way. I believe they make taper gauges for drills and a size is a size as long as you measure across the flats. Get an inch, taper style drill gauge and mark the metric sizes on it. Then go for it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    suburbs of Ann Arbor, MI, USA
    Posts
    12,364

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by adamsgt View Post
    Spending hours and hours with a mic measuring allen wrenches could lead to alcoholism.
    Think how good you'd be with reading a mic!

    I dumped out a good 2/3 of a 115pc drill index once and had only a mic to judge the smaller sizes which aren't stamped. Got a lot of practice that day.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Metuchen, NJ, USA
    Posts
    4,577

    Thumbs up Thinking about the geomtery of this measurement.

    EPAIII:

    Your post is very thought-provoking !!! You wrote: " I believe they make taper gauges for drills and a size is a size as long as you measure across the flats. "

    You just opened up an interesting new issue! One cannot truly measure "across the flats" of a hex wrench with a tapered-slot gauge. With perfect alignment, one would AT BEST be measuring between two corners (arrises) which have one arris in between them.

    If the corners are not perfectly sharp arrises, then the reading between two arrises is not quite the same thing as the measurement across the flats adjacent to these arrises.

    You've raised a whole interesting mathematical question about how the rounding of the corners would interact with the taper of the gauging slot depending on the angle of the slot !!!

    (Also included in this is thinking about those slotted drill gauges. They are marked with drill diameters, but they actually measure a chord of the circle, not a full diameter. I never thought of this before you brought it up!)

    You also shot down the suggestion I was going to make about calculating the size of the hole that various Allen wrenches would fit through and make a round-hole gauge plate. This idea founders when the issue of less-than-perfectly-sharp corners is considered.

    OK, then the IDEAL Allen gauge looks something like an old-fashioned sheet metal gauge as made by Starrett or Brown & Sharp. Its a disc about 4 inches in diameter with PARALLEL-SIDED slots cut in the rim, one slot marked for each size.

    I would not be surprised if such a gauge has actually been marketed, with suitable fractional sizes, for some purpose other than Allen wrenches.

    What a great post, in terms of how much thinking about geometry it provokes!

    John Ruth
    P.S. Since the smallest Allen wrenches are not stamped with the size, I've considered coding them with colored stripes using the same code used for electronic resistors. Only problem is that the color black is used as a zero in that code, which would be a problem coding metric Allen keys. (Black paint does not show against a black Allen key.)
    Last edited by SouthBendModel34; 02-09-2009 at 10:35 PM. Reason: Added P.S.

  13. #13
    Mark Leigh is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Merced, Calif
    Posts
    955

    Default

    How about just using a set of sockets ? One set metric, one fractional. ?

  14. #14
    Lew Hartswick is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM USA
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by matt_isserstedt View Post
    Think how good you'd be with reading a mic!

    I dumped out a good 2/3 of a 115pc drill index once and had only a mic to judge the smaller sizes which aren't stamped. Got a lot of practice that day.
    Every time I get a bit out of the cabinet at school I check it with a mic that is laying on the
    shelf right above. You just never know where a student has "replaced" a bit when they
    return it. :-)
    ...lew...

  15. #15
    M. Moore's Avatar
    M. Moore is offline Stainless
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
    Posts
    1,251

    Default

    The color coding works well. I just sorted all my old "keys?". (why are they called keys?)
    Then I used different colors of electrical tape to color code some of the more commonly used sizes, very helpful when you have a boxfull.
    I also just used digital mic calipers, (inch-metric of course, I'm Canadian eh!) Pretty fast but still led to some beer consumption.
    Peterv, it is nice to know the inch size of a metric key as you often are measuring in inches and come across a metric key. Once you get familiar with the sizes you can spot them right away.

    I was also amazed at the difference in tolerance within a given size. I can't remember the amount of variation but there were some keys that I just threw away, but now I will keep them for small bols etc as per post #2 by L vanice.

    Love the PM!
    Michael Moore

  16. #16
    lazarus is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    king george, va
    Posts
    706

    Default

    How about get one of those $4.99 sets of calipers with the cute little 3' tape measure and 6"rule. The plastic calipers are measured in inches and fractions, and cm/mm. True value had them in the garbage tool bin the last time I was there.

  17. #17
    bjorn toulouse's Avatar
    bjorn toulouse is offline Titanium
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    N.E. oHIo, USA
    Posts
    2,054

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bosleyjr View Post

    I am thankful that I am bi. Errr, bi-unit that is. Hmmmm. Bi-unit still sounds a bit abnormal.

    I think "multi-dimensional" has a better ring to it.
    Now, where did I put that damm Whitworth caliper?


    Rex

  18. #18
    lazarus is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    king george, va
    Posts
    706

    Default

    Try this made in USA, SS, 4"pocket caliper. It's marked of in 32nds and mm with conversion chart on back

    http://www.ehobbytools.com/index1.html

    It's under general hobby tools page 3

    I had a brass one till my son found out, was handy.

  19. #19
    gmatov is offline Diamond
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    5,702

    Default

    Jim,

    "Err, that would be nominally 2 inches by 4 inches, which is really 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches.... Ok, so maybe there IS something to this metric stuff."

    While I'm comfortable with both also, I don't think the metric is better in the quote above. I smile as I say that, not nitpicking.

    Our 2 X 4 was AT least a full 2 X 4 many years ago, and has steadily shrunk as mills decided they could make more money from a given quantity of wood by selling smaller pieces for the same purpose at the same or ever escalating price.

    Ask some of the older European members if they remember what their 50 X 100 mm studs were way back then, and if they are now sold as the same but measure 37.5 X 75 mm. Maybe that's a 5 X 10 cm stud, instead.

    I'd eyeball the keys into approximate sizes then use a set or capscrew to finalize the sorting. If you have bigger ones without a capscrew to fit, 1/4 or 3/8 drive 6 point sockets will work They make them in metric, too.

    I gotta admit, my own are piled into a toolbox with nothing else in it, not more than about 10 pounds. When I need one, I eyeball and try on a sample cap or setscrew. You get down to an .050, you probably should mike it.

    Cheers,

    George

  20. #20
    Keelan's Avatar
    Keelan is offline Hot Rolled
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Kelowna, British Columbia
    Posts
    639

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by peterve View Post
    1.5 mm is 1,5mm
    2mm is 2mm
    ASO ASO

    I thank God on my naked knees I am fully metric
    According the the measurements provided by Ron of Va (converted to metric), 1.5 mm = 1.4732 mm allen key.

    Or in Holland, are the allen keys sized for an interference fit?

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •