Project: tap wrench
Saturday, Oct 10 2017
I’ve slightly re-organized things on my work bench in the garage. I’ve some more room around the mill. The mill is now bolted to the bench top. It was bolted to a sheet of wood sitting on the bench. There was too much movement. Bolting it to the bench is much better. I also made a rack to hold the mill collets. Not shown is the cart that holds the lathe. Same cart, but I added a supports to one side and a cross brace to another in an attempt to make it a bit more solid.
I needed to tap some holes and got frustrated with the 3 or 4 tap wrenches I own. Either the handle was too long such that it hit the column when used in the mill or the wrench was too long (T-style) to use in the mill. My solution was to grab some 1/2" diameter O-1 tool steel and make something to fit my needs following the general style of the Starrett 174.
I didn’t take any pictures while machining the wrench. When the machining was done I heated the jaws of the body and the end of the adjustable pin cherry red and quenched in oil. After quenching I put them in a 350°F oven for about an hour to temper the material. The above pictures show:
1) the wrench post tempering after cleaning off the scale on the wire wheel
2) the blueing process
3) the final tool after cleaning and oiling.
I’m quite happy with the way it turned out.