Anyone who knows me is familiar with my love of homemade tools. It comes from my dad. He was a blacksmith in my youth, and I often stood watching him make tools.
I’ve made quite a few, too. Links are on my blog. Today I needed a 45° offset 7/16-inch open-end wrench. I just couldn’t bring myself to buy one for $8 to cut and bend it. Since I have tons of woodworking flat paddle bits from my father-in-law, it was the perfect stock. I found a 7/8-inch paddle bit with a broken tip. Perfect. A few minutes with an angle grinder and the problem was solved.
If you don’t have scrap tools, pawn shops typically have scrap bins full of wrenches and sockets very cheap. Cut, grind, heat and bend. Be creative.
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I’m glad to see that someone else likes to make their own tools! I’ve been called crazy more times than I can count. I’m a heavy equipment mechanic and make a lot of my own tools. It started when I thought it was crazy to fill my truck with huge wrenches so I came up with my crane wrenches. Starting with worn cutting edges, I cut the hex shape with a cutting torch and then put a hole about a foot from the center of the hex. I trim it down with the torch and finish it with a grinder. It only takes me about 15 minutes to make a wrench. To use it, I put a shackle in the hole, place the wrench on the nut or bolt, and then hook the truck crane line to the shackle. I smile as I watch the guys that called me crazy strain and struggle with a wrench that’s four feet long and weights a hundred pounds or a one inch drive breaker bar with a four foot cheater when all I have to do is toggle the rocker switch on the crane’s remote. And it’s great to make a tool from scrap that’s free when a single wrench or even a socket can cost upwards of half a grand.
That’s awesome Mr Swim. Very cool.