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Thread: Best material for Allen wrench

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    Bassbum2's Avatar
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    Default Best material for Allen wrench

    I would like to make a 2.5mm T handle Allen wrench that is about 16" long, only the working end needs the hex to be machined, what is the best material for this application?

    Russell

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    juergenwt is offline Hot Rolled
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    Cut off part of an allen wrench and silver solder or braze or solder or press or -any way you can hold it in to an extension. Than add a cross pin or bar on top. Don,t waste yor time machining one.

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    Miguels244 is offline Diamond
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    Add a bit to this...
    T-Handle Bit Driver (no welding)
    Unless you really need the overall diameter to be 3mm...then it gets trickier.

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    Bassbum2's Avatar
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    It does have to be no bigger than the original dimensions of a 2.5mm allen wrench. It will have a fair amount of torque on it, will the silver solder hold up and would the heat soften the Allen wrench? If I machine one, I only need to machine about .5" of the end.

    Russell

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    Miguels244 is offline Diamond
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    You are going to be seriously bummed out when you break the tip off in the bottom of the hole.
    cgb2 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguels244 View Post
    You are going to be seriously bummed out when you break the tip off in the bottom of the hole.
    If the tip did break off it is accessable as the job can be done with two Allen wrenches, one normal and one stubby, one that is 16" just makes a 45 minute job only take 20 minutes.

    Russell

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    Davis In SC is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miguels244 View Post
    You are going to be seriously bummed out when you break the tip off in the bottom of the hole.
    OR, it sure is going to sting (like a cracked bat), when the screw breaks loose. I hate any T-hex wrenches for that reason.

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    Miguels244 is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davis In SC View Post
    OR, it sure is going to sting (like a cracked bat), when the screw breaks loose. I hate any T-hex wrenches for that reason.
    The plastic handle ones are OK...but these SOBs hurt.

    Amazon.com: Oregon Replacement Part SET, T-HANDLE ALLEN WRENCH # 42-480-0: Patio, Lawn & Garden

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    DaveE907 is offline Titanium
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    Best material would be the drawn and heat treated stock the majors use for their wrenches. For a one off with the major diameter limitation you specify with only the end machined to a hex the quickest and most available stock to size is drill rod. A big plus is it can be heat treated, it's tool steel.

    O1 or W1 would be good for the first 10-15 minute prototype, it's available off the shelf in the size you need for a dollar or two. Heat treat the hex end and give it a try. Or not, perhaps it would be good enough without heat treatment. The entire tool could be heat treated if required for higher torque strength. (It won't make it twist less.)

    Torque requirement would be useful, that along with the diameter restriction would have added to the original request to get a good recommendation.

  10. #10
    S_W_Bausch is offline Diamond
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    I would consider starting with a 1/4 inch drive (ratchet) extension, removing the driving (male) end and grinding a hex onto it.

    They do exist:

    Proto 14 inch 1/4 drive socket extension used | eBay

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    DaveE907,

    I will see if I can get the actual torque specs. I used to have an allen wrench that would reach almost to the last of 16 bolts and at only 15" it would put a pretty good twist in the wrench.

    S_W_Bausch,

    A 14" 1/4 drive extension would be to to big in diameter and and too short. I was hoping to use a piece of .125" of the recomended material.

    Russell

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    Cole2534 is offline Titanium
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    Well when you get it figured out be sure to use it to smack the guy who put that tiny screw i such a deep hole.

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    Russell,
    Is there enough material in a standard "loop-handle" wrench to experiment with whatever steps are necessary to straighten it out? Probably localized heating at the handle end, along with some degree of re-hardening after adjustment... At least if it ends up breaking off, it'll be up at the end closest to the outside world, and potentially within reach of a magnet.

    Chip

  14. #14
    sch
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    Allen wrenches are made from S2 steel. Recent experience with a stuck 4mm hex head
    set screw suggests that a 16" long 2.5M allen wrench is going to twist a lot making
    delivered torque to the head something you would have to compensate for. The allen
    wrenches are not spring steel and may remain twisted to some degree. Allen wrenches
    need to be tough, not 'hard'.

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    Default T Handles

    At work we use 17/4PH stainless heat treated at 480 degrees C for 1 hour with an air cool to H900 condition. We use these for for 3.5 mm hex head wrenches and yet still have to have a torque limited T handle limiting them to no more than 8 Nm or they snap very nicely in the socket...

  16. #16
    Mud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sch View Post
    Allen wrenches are made from S2 steel.


    Allen wrenches need to be tough, not 'hard'.
    Do you know the correct HT spec for them?

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    greggv is offline Cast Iron
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    I'm wondering if you knewMcMaster sells such a wrench, with short, replacable tips?

  18. #18
    SilveradoHauler is offline Cast Iron
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    Here is one of many I have made:

    Drill a hole in a piece of round stock for a cut off piece of allen wrench to slip into. Cross drill and tap for a 10-32 setscrew (Drill and tap for two if you are really reefing on the T handle). Cross Drill the other end about 1/4" for a 6 to 8 inch long piece of 1/4" drill rod. Another setscrew on the T end secures the drill rod.


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